Attributions and affirmations for overcoming anxiety and depression

Richard Kinnier, Christy Hofsess, Rick Pongratz, Christina Lambert

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Scopus citations


    Individuals who struggle with anxiety or depression often turn to experts for help in overcoming these disorders. In this study, we consult three expert 'populations': the popular self-help literature, well-respected therapists, and individuals who believe that they have successfully recovered from either anxiety or depression for their recommendations to those who are currently anxious or depressed. In Part I, we content-analyse recommendations from 10 current self-help books on anxiety and 10 on depression. In Part II, we asked 17 respected therapists and 18 individuals who believed that they have recovered from anxiety and 23 individuals who believe they have recovered from depression what they believe are the 'keys' for recovery.We also asked them to rate the efficacy of seven popular affirmations. Through content analysis and descriptive statistics, we summarize their collective wisdom. Among the main findings are the recommendations for anxious and depressed individuals to actively seek help from multiple people and interventions, as well as to being open to trying innovative self-tailored interventions. Affirmations relating to 'not being crazy' in relation to anxiety and that the depression will subside in time were deemed most helpful for recovery. Discussion focuses on practical application.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)153-169
    Number of pages17
    JournalPsychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 2009

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Developmental and Educational Psychology
    • Clinical Psychology
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
    • Psychiatry and Mental health


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