Well Being Therapy

At the seventh session well-being therapy is introduced (WBT; Fava & Ruini, 2003). WBT is a short-term psychotherapeutic strategy, with sessions taking place weekly or every other week. The duration of each session may range from 30 to 50 minutes. The technique emphasizes self-observation (Emmelkamp, 1974), with the use of a structured diary, and interaction between patient and therapist. WBT is based on Ryff's (1989) cognitive model of psychological well-being. This model was selected on the basis of its easy applicability to clinical populations (Fava et al., 2001; Rafanelli et al., 2000). WBT is structured, directive, problem-oriented, and based on an educational model.

In this phase of treatment, the target for intervention shifts from symptom reduction to the attainment of well-being. Underlying this treatment is the idea that the absence of well-being is a risk factor for future difficulties. WBT utilizes many of the traditional CT tools presented during the first phase of treatment (see Sessions 1-6). However, emphasis is shifted to patient monitoring of periods of well-being rather than periods of distress. The overall task of the patient is to attend to and enjoy periods of well-being, and to attend to cognitions or other events that may interfere with ongoing enjoyment. The therapist's role is to intervene with cognitive restructuring, activity assignments, and skills training to help the patient better maximize periods of well-being. The therapist uses a conceptual framework that defines domains in which well-being can be enhanced.

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