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Well-Being Therapy: Conceptual and Technical Issues

Fava G.A.
Department of Psychiatry, State University of New York at Buffalo, N.Y., USA, and Laboratory of Experimental Psychotherapy, Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Italy Psychother Psychosom 1999;68:171–179 (DOI:10.1159/000012329)


Well-being therapy is a short-term, well-being-enhancing psychotherapeutic strategy. It is based on Carol D. Ryff’s multidimensional model of psychological well-being, encompassing environmental mastery, personal growth, purpose in life, autonomy, self-acceptance and positive relations with others. Its conceptual and technical issues are described. It may be applied as a relapse-preventive strategy in the residual phase of affective (mood and anxiety) disorders, as an additional ingredient of cognitive behavioral packages, in patients with affective disorders who failed to respond to standard pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatments, in body image disorders and in psychosomatic medicine. The first validation studies appeared to be promising. The technique is in its preliminary stage of development and may undergo major changes in the next years. It is hoped it may herald a new trend of psychotherapy research and practice in the current symptom-oriented settings.


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