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Gratitude as a Psychotherapeutic Intervention


Please address correspondence to: Robert A. Emmons, Department of Psychology, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616. E-mail:


Gratitude practice can be a catalyzing and relational healing force, often untapped in clinical practice. In this article, we provide an overview of current thinking about gratitude's defining and beneficial properties, followed by a brief review of the research on mental health outcomes that result from gratitude practice. Following an analysis of our case study of the use of gratitude as a psychotherapeutic intervention, we present various self-strategies and techniques for consciously choosing and cultivating gratitude. We conclude by describing ways in which gratitude might be capitalized upon for beneficial outcomes in therapeutic settings.