Positive clinical interventions: Why are they important and how do they work?

E. T. Bohlmeijer*, L. Bolier, S. M.A. Lamers, G. J. Westerhof

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
179 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper we discuss positive clinical psychology as an emerging field within clinical psychology. Positive clinical psychology is based on research demonstrating that mental health is more than the absence of mental illness, on research showing that well-being has buffering effects on the incidence of psychopathology and mental illnesses and on studies demonstrating that positive characteristics, such as positive emotions and gratitude, can predict pathology beyond the predictive power of negative characteristics. In this paper we present three distinct forms of well-being: emotional, psychological and social. In addition we review three types of positive clinical interventions: well-being therapy, positive psychotherapy and acceptance and commitment therapy. The paper ends with a call for a transformation of mental health care in which illness oriented treatments are complemented with well-being oriented treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
JournalPapeles del Psicologo
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Mental health
  • Positive clinical interventions
  • Positive clinical psychology
  • Well-being


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