Increasing psychological well-being and resilience by psychotherapeutic methods

J Pers. 2009 Dec;77(6):1903-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2009.00604.x. Epub 2009 Oct 6.


A specific psychotherapeutic strategy for increasing psychological well-being and resilience, well-being therapy, has been developed and validated in a number of randomized controlled trials. The findings indicate that flourishing and resilience can be promoted by specific interventions leading to a positive evaluation of one's self, a sense of continued growth and development, the belief that life is purposeful and meaningful, the possession of quality relations with others, the capacity to manage effectively one's life, and a sense of self-determination. A decreased vulnerability to depression and anxiety has been demonstrated after well-being therapy in high-risk populations. There are important implications for the state/trait dichotomy in psychological well-being and for the concept of recovery in mood and anxiety disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Anxiety / prevention & control
  • Depression / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Happiness
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Motivation
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Self Concept*
  • Social Adjustment
  • Social Environment
  • Social Support