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Keywords:

  • mechanism of change; process–outcome;
  • resource activation;
  • resource priming;
  • patient strengths

Abstract

Previous research has supported the immediate activation of patient's strengths (resource activation) as an important mechanism of change in psychotherapy. We designed a brief (10 min) priming procedure in which therapists' attention was focused on the patients' individual strengths before each therapy session (resource priming). In a preliminary study, the priming procedure was carried out before each of the first five sessions (N=20). Preliminary results indicated that this brief preparatory intervention boosted resource activation as perceived by independent observers, fostered attachment and mastery experiences by the patient, and improved therapy outcome at Session 20. Improvement was assessed in comparison to a pairwise matched, nonrandomized control group of patients treated previously with the same treatment protocol at the same clinic. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol: In Session 64: 1–14, 2008.