Gratitude as a psychotherapeutic intervention

J Clin Psychol. 2013 Aug;69(8):846-55. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22020. Epub 2013 Jun 17.


Gratitude practice can be a catalyzing and relational healing force, often untapped in clinical practice. In this article, we provide an overview of current thinking about gratitude's defining and beneficial properties, followed by a brief review of the research on mental health outcomes that result from gratitude practice. Following an analysis of our case study of the use of gratitude as a psychotherapeutic intervention, we present various self-strategies and techniques for consciously choosing and cultivating gratitude. We conclude by describing ways in which gratitude might be capitalized upon for beneficial outcomes in therapeutic settings.

Keywords: goodness; gratitude; healing; redemptive; transformation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Psychotherapeutic Processes
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Spouses / psychology