Gander, F., Proyer, R. T., Ruch, W., & Wyss, T. (2013). Strength-Based Positive Interventions: Further Evidence for Their Potential in Enhancing Well-Being and Alleviating Depression. Journal Of Happiness Studies: An Interdisciplinary Forum On Subjective Well-Being, 14(4), 1241-1259. doi:10.1007/s10902-012-9380-0.

Gander et al. explore the effectiveness of positive interventions to increase happiness and alleviate depressive symptoms. Three interventions were implemented: gratitude visit, three good things, and character strengths. A total of nine different combinations groups were implemented. The Authentic Happiness Inventory and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale were utilized to measure effectiveness of the interventions. Out of the 2,374 participants that were assigned to an intervention group, 1,598 participants carried out the intervention, and only 622 completed all follow-up assessments. The findings suggest that happiness levels increased in all intervention groups and have a positive impact on depressive symptoms in all intervention groups, including the control group. The findings suggest that incorporating gratitude visit, three good things, and character strengths activities in therapeutic sessions is useful in increasing happiness and alleviating depressive symptoms.

Gonçalves, M. M., Ribeiro, A. P., Silva, J. R., Mendes, I., & Sousa, I. (2015). Narrative innovations predict symptom improvement: Studying innovative moments in narrative therapy of depression. Psychotherapy Research, 26(4), 425-435. doi:10.1080/10503307.2015.1035355

This article focuses on Innovative Moments (IM) or exceptions of depression within a Narrative framework. The aim was to investigate whether IM’s in a session could predict depressive symptoms in the following session and/or depressive symptoms in a session could predict IM’s in the next session. Ten cases of narrative therapy for depression were explored. IM’s and depressive symptoms were analyzed using a hierarchical linear model from Outcome Questionnaire responses. Gonçalves et al. found that IM’s are better predictors of depressive symptoms. Results from this study indicate that exploring meaning process of individuals can alleviate depressive symptoms.


Habibi, M., Ghaderi, K., Abedini, S., & Jamshidnejad, N. (2016). The effectiveness of solution-focused brief therapy on reducing depression in women. International Journal of Educational and Psychological Researchers. Retrieved from http://www.ijeprjournal.org/preprintarticle.asp?id=179077;type=0

In this article, Habibi et al. investigates the effectiveness of SFBT on reducing depression in women under the protection of State Warfare Organization in Tehran, Iran. Requirements for participation included borderline or clinical range on depression based on BDI scores, 1 month after initial diagnosis, and participants had not received prior intervention or medication for symptoms. A total of 30 women were randomly assigned to either intervention group or control group. Women in the intervention group participated in a total of seven sessions. The study utilized a pretest and posttest of the Beck Depression Inventory-II scores with a control group to measure the effectiveness of SFBT. An ANCOVA analysis was implemented to find differences in scores. Analysis indicated that women participating in SFBT had a decrease in BDI scores. According to the findings, SFBT is useful in reducing depressive symptoms in women. Particularly, focusing on finding skills and exceptions positively influence depression.

Hyman, S. M., & Andres-Byman, R. C. (2013). A Strength-Based Exercise Training Model of Psychotherapy: Can Principles Derived from Exercise and Sport Physiology Guide Behavioral Prescriptions for Physical and Mental Wellness?. American Journal Of Psychotherapy, 67(4), 367-383.

This article discusses how psychotherapists may benefit from incorporating exercise and sport physiology into their clinical practice. It proposes that the integration of sport physiology and psychotherapy may offer a stronger theoretical perspective for improving mental health. Hyman et al. propose six principles that facilitate the connection between physical and mental wellness. The goal of integrating these models is to conceptualize psychotherapy as a nonstigmatizing approach that increases strength, improves positive mental health, increases happiness, and relieves suffering.

Jacobs, R. H., Becker, S. J., Curry, J. F., Silva, S. G., Ginsburg, G. S., Henry, D. B., & Reinecke, M. A. (2014). Increasing positive outlook partially mediates the effect of empirically supported treatments on depression symptoms among adolescents. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 28, 3-19. doi: 10.1891/0889-8391.28.1.3

Jacobs, Becker, Curry, Silva, Ginsburg, Henry, and Reinecke (2014) questioned whether solution-focused thinking, positive outlook, cognitive distortions, and cognitive avoidance would mediate the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and/or fluoxetine (FLX) on depression severity of adolescents. Their hypothesis was that CBT, alone or in combination with fluoxetine (COMB), could display increases in solution-focused thinking and positive outlook. Decreases in cognitive distortions and cognitive avoidance may also occur. Furthermore, they hypothesized greater changes in cognitive constructs in the CBT and COMB conditions than in FLX condition. The data of 291 adolescent participants, ages 12-17 and previously enrolled in the Treatment of Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS), was used for this study since it was complete on cognitive measures at baseline. It was also randomized to one of the three treatment conditions (CBT, COMB, or FLX). The Children’s Depression Rating Scale—Revised (CDRS-R) and cognitive measures were used as assessments. Cognitive measures included the rational problem solving and positive problem orientation subscales of the Social Problem-Solving Inventory-Revised (SPSI-R) for the solution-focused thinking construct, the Cognitive Triad Inventory for Children (CTI-C) for the positive outlook construct, Children’s Negative Cognition Error Questionnaire (CNCEQ) for cognitive distortions construct, and Dysfunctional Attitudes Scales (DAS). The results showed significant treatment differences at week 12 and active treatment convergence at week 36. As hypothesized, cognitive construct changes were associated with all three treatment conditions, with the COMB condition producing the most change. For instance, the COMB condition yielded a greater rate of change in solution-focused thinking, positive outlook, and cognitive distortions than did the CBT and FLX conditions. Also, the COMB and CBT conditions yielded a greater rate of change in cognitive avoidance than did the FLX condition. Further, as semi-hypothesized, significant main effects were detected for positive outlook, cognitive distortions, and cognitive avoidance, but not for solution-focused thinking. Thus, change in positive outlook, cognitive distortions, and cognitive avoidance statistically contributed to change in depression over time. However, over the 36 weeks, positive outlook was most linked with change in depression severity of the adolescents. These findings suggest that a combination of treatments may be most effective for depressed adolescents. Increasing hopeful and adaptive cognitions more so than decreasing negative cognitions for depressed adolescents were also seen to be helpful.

Javanmiri, L., Kimiaee, S. A., & Abadi, B. A. G. H. (2013). The study of solution-focused group counseling in decreasing depression among teenage girls. International Journal of Psychological Studies, 5, 105-111. doi: 10.5539/ijps.v5n1p105

Javanmiri, Kimiaee, and Abadi’s (2013) examined whether a solution-focused consultation attitude in group counseling would be beneficial in reducing depression among adolescent girls. They hypothesized solution-focused group counseling would reduce the depression symptoms in the teenage girls in the experimental group compared to the teenage girls in the control group. Twenty teenage girls, between the ages of 15 and 18 and who lived in Sahneh city in Kermanshah province, participated in their study. They were then randomly assigned to either an experimental group (n=10) or a control group (n=10). In order to be part of the study, it was additionally required that the girls meet the DSM-IV-2 criteria for depression, lacking medical or psychiatric treatment, and lacking insanity. The experimental group received solution-focused group counseling. This consisted of eight, one-hour sessions, while the control group received lessons on reading skills. The measures used to assess outcomes were pre- and post-tests of the Beck Depression Inventory, second edition (BDI-II). The results indicated a statistical difference between post-tests of the two groups in which the experimental group showed a more reduced average of BDI-II scores than the control group. This indicates solution-focused group counseling was effective in decreasing depression for the teenage girls.


Kramer, J., Conijn, B., Oijevaar, P., & Riper, H. (2014). Effectiveness of a web-based solution-focused brief chat treatment for depressed adolescents and young adults: Randomized controlled trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 16, e141.doi: 10.2196/jmir.3261

Kramer, Conijn, Oijevaar, and Riper’s (2014) investigated whether an individual, web-based chat treatment based on solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) would be effective for adolescents and young adults ages 12 to 22 years who suffered from depression. 263 adolescents and young adults with depressive symptoms participated, and followed further selection criteria of having access to a computer and Internet and having a score of 22 or higher on the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Facebook, banners and links placed on relevant websites for adolescents and young adults, and newspaper articles were used as methods to recruit participants. They were then randomized into a web-based SFBT chat intervention condition, PratenOnline (n=131), or the waiting list control condition (n=132). The SFBT chat intervention included secured, real-time, one-hour chat sessions with a trained health care professional during either weekdays, weekends, or late at night. SFBT techniques such as the miracle question, exploring strengths or solutions, setting goals, focusing on what is going well or better, looking for exceptions to the problem, and asking scaling questions were utilized. At the end of each chat session, participants determined whether or not their intervention goal had been reached. If not, a new chat session was scheduled. The goal was to provide five or less sessions to each participant, however, more were offered if necessary. The waiting list control group was not offered access to the chat sessions during the study. Only after a 4.5 month waiting period were they able to participate in them. Measures used to assess outcomes were sporadic administrations of CES-D, which measured depressive complaints for both treatment and control groups. At 9 weeks and 4.5 months, significantly greater reductions appeared in depressive symptoms on the CES-D with SFBT chat conditions than with the waiting list condition, with larger effects at 4.5 months than at 9 weeks. The SFBT chat condition also showed a significant reduction in depressive symptoms on the CES-D at 7.5 months.Therefore, the results of the study indicate that a web-based SFBT chat intervention, PratenOnline, was more effective in reducing depressive symptoms than the waiting list control group for adolescents and young adults suffering from depression.

Kvarme, L. G., Aabo, L. S., & Saeteren, B. (2013). “I feel I mean something to someone”: Solution-focused brief therapy support groups for bullied schoolchildren. Educational Psychology in Practice, 29, 416-431. doi: 10.1080/02667363.2013.859569

Kvarme, Aabo, and Saeteren (2013) examined the effects of solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) support groups, with an emphasis on emotional well-being, on bullied schoolchildren. Nineteen adolescents living in Norway and ages 12 to 13 years participated in the study with three females receiving support from a group and 16 children participating in the support groups. Those chosen met criteria such that they were bullied adolescents in the seventh grade, had been exposed to bullying, and wanted to have a support group. They first focused the group sessions on developing empathy for the bullied adolescents. This was done by asking the group members about a day they felt unhappy at school or had a problem. Then, the group members offered each other suggestions on how to help with bullying- playing together during free time, doing work together, or eating lunch together at school. Future sessions highlighted improvements and progress they had observed, and further improvements for their situations were suggested. The support groups met weekly until the bullying subsided. An explorative qualitative design was used in which the collection of data was analyzed, attempting to understand the subject’s point of view. Six individual interviews of the bullied adolescents, which examined their experiences of having the support group, were used as measures to assess outcomes. After the support group sessions ended, each participant received one interview and then one other interview three months later. The results reported bullied adolescents as having no more experiences of bullying after attending the support group. This even lasted still at a three-month follow-up interview. In further study of the support group interviews, members reported feeling important to someone, experiencing improved self-confidence, and believing they did a meaningful job in helping the bullied adolescents. It was seen, however, that some members experienced feeling unsure about their role in the group and sometimes feelings that their support was one-sided. Altogether, both the bullied adolescents and the support group members reported positive feelings and happiness from this experience.

Reddy, P. D., Thirumoorthy, A., Vijayalakshmi, P., & Hamza, M. A. (2015). Effectiveness of solution-focused brief therapy for an adolescent girl with moderate depression. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 37, 87-89. doi: 10.4103/0253-7176.150849

It was seen in Reddy, Thirumoorthy, Vijayalakshmi, and Hamza’s (2015) article how effective solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) would be for Ms. S, a 19-year old with moderate depression, who lived in India. She reported pervasive sadness, crying spells, guilt and worthlessness, outbursts of anger, irritability, decreased appetite, sleep, and interest in studies, difficulty in concentration and attention, and poor academic performance. Ms. S was prescribed antidepressant medication for two months, but no improvements were seen. She was referred to one of the authors for therapy and selected for this study. Six sessions of SFBT, in which the therapist validated Ms. S’s feelings and concerns, were conducted. Goals developed included managing academic stress, enhancing attention and concentration, and planning preparation for academic exams. The miracle question, scaling questions, and exception questions to identify previous and current solutions were utilized. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D), which assessed the severity of Ms. S’s depression, were given pre- and post-treatment. Results indicated a HAM-D pre-treatment score of 21 (moderate depression) and a post-treatment score of 6 (normal), with Ms. S’s academic performance improvement as well. These findings suggest that SFBT with as little as six sessions as effective in treating moderate depression in female adolescents.

Rodríguez Vega, B., Bayón Pérez, C., PalaoTarrero, A., & Fernández Liria, A. (2014). Mindfulness-based Narrative Therapy for Depression in Cancer Patients. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 21(5), 411-419. doi:10.1002/cpp.1847

In this article, Rodriguez et al. review and describe mindfulness-based narrative therapy (MBNT) for the treatment of depression in cancer patients. The authors provide a thorough description of MBNT and its technical characteristics as applied in therapeutic contexts. Previous MBNT interventions were modified to the needs of cancer patients. The authors position depression within social and neurobiological construction framework to destabilize the depressive narrative in cancer patients. The depression narratives are explored through a first, second, and third person perspective to facilitate new meanings using both verbal and non-verbal techniques based on mindfulness. A previous randomized, controlled trial using both quantitative and qualitative analyses supported the effectiveness of the adaptation of (Rodríguez Vega et al., 2012; Rodriguez Vega et al., 2010). The review of MBNT found that linguistic interventions, promote mindfulness and emotional regulation, resulting in improved quality of life and treatment enhance, alleviation of depression symptoms and anxiety. MBNT can be a useful tool in the treatment of individuals diagnosed with cancer.