Back to overview

Working with patients' strengths: a microprocess approach

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Flückiger Christoph, Caspar Franz, Grosse Holtforth Martin, Willutzki Ulrike,
Project Explicit and implicit change of depression in exposure-based cognitive therapy
Show all

Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Psychotherapy research : journal of the Society for Psychotherapy Research
Volume (Issue) 19(2)
Page(s) 213 - 23
Title of proceedings Psychotherapy research : journal of the Society for Psychotherapy Research
DOI 10.1080/10503300902755300


Previous research has supported the immediate activation of patients' strengths (resource activation) as an important change mechanism in psychotherapy. Two different studies of integrative cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) treatments demonstrated that fostered strengths-oriented CBT treatments were more effective than the control conditions. Within these two studies, the authors tested the effect of specific resource-activating strategies at the beginning of therapy (Sessions 2, 5, and 8) using a pairwise matched control group design. The in-session processes were measured by video observer ratings (N=96 sessions). Results indicate that in the strengths-fostering treatments therapists and patients focus more strongly on patient competencies and personal goals in comparison to the control groups. These in-session processes have a direct impact on session outcome (particularly self-esteem, mastery, and clarification experiences). Results are discussed in regard to actively implementing resource-activating behavior as superordinate principles of change and their relevance for therapy outcome.