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Well-Being Therapy of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Fava G.A.a, b · Ruini C.a · Rafanelli C.a · Finos L.c · Salmaso L.c · Mangelli L.a · Sirigatti S.d
aAffective Disorders Program and Laboratory of Experimental Psychotherapy, Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy, bDepartment of Psychiatry, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, N.Y., USA; cDepartment of Statistical Sciences, University of Padova, Padova, dDepartment of Psychology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy Psychother Psychosom 2005;74:26–30 (DOI:10.1159/000082023)


Background: There is increasing awareness that the goal of treatment in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) should not simply be a response, but restoration of normal function. The aim of this study was to apply a novel psychotherapeutic approach for increasing the level of remission in GAD. Methods: Twenty patients with DSM-IV GAD devoid of comorbid conditions were randomly assigned to 8 sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or the sequential administration of 4 sessions of CBT followed by other 4 sessions of well-being therapy (WBT). Assessment methods included the Anxiety and Depression Scales of Paykel’s Clinical Interview for Depression, Ryff’s Psychological Well-being Scales and Kellner’s Symptom Questionnaire. A one-year follow-up was undertaken. Results: Significant advantages of the CBT-WBT sequential combination over CBT only were observed with both observer and self-rated methods after treatment. Such gains were maintained at follow-up. Conclusions: These preliminary results suggest the feasibility and clinical advantages of adding WBT to the treatment of GAD. They lend support to a sequential use of treatment components for achieving a more sustained recovery.


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