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Recent research: spiritually modified CBT, happiness & freedom, healthy goal disengagement, and hoarding & OCD

Hodge, D. R. (2008). "Constructing spiritually modified interventions: Cognitive therapy with diverse populations." International Social Work 51(2): 178-192.  [Abstract/Full Text]                
Although cognitive therapy is widely used, little attention has been given to the value assumptions embedded in the self-statements that are at the heart of the change process. Constructing statements that have been repackaged with values drawn from clients' spiritual belief systems may increase their effectiveness with a variety of populations.

Inglehart, R., R. Foa, et al. (2008). "Development, Freedom, and Rising Happiness: A Global Perspective (1981-2007)." Perspectives on Psychological Science 3(4): 264-285.  [Abstract/Full Text]                 
Until recently, it was widely held that happiness fluctuates around set points, so that neither individuals nor societies can lastingly increase their happiness. Even though recent research showed that some individuals move enduringly above or below their set points, this does not refute the idea that the happiness levels of entire societies remain fixed. Our article, however, challenges this idea: Data from representative national surveys carried out from 1981 to 2007 show that happiness rose in 45 of the 52 countries for which substantial time-series data were available. Regression analyses suggest that that the extent to which a society allows free choice has a major impact on happiness. Since 1981, economic development, democratization, and increasing social tolerance have increased the extent to which people perceive that they have free choice, which in turn has led to higher levels of happiness around the world, as the human development model suggests.

Lench, H. and L. Levine (2008). "Goals and responses to failure: Knowing when to hold them and when to fold them." Motivation and Emotion 32(2): 127-140.    [Abstract/Full Text
Abstract:  The ability to disengage from hopeless situations is critical to goal attainment and effective self-regulation. Two experiments investigated the effects of striving to attain success (approach goals) versus striving to avoid failure (avoidance goals) on persistence. Participants completed anagrams designed so that less persistence during an initial set of unsolvable anagrams was beneficial. In Study 1, participants reported how motivated they were by approach and avoidance goals. In Study 2, participants were primed to set approach or avoidance goals. Participants with avoidance goals persisted longer during failure, with more intense and enduring emotional distress, than those with approach goals. Greater anger predicted spending more time on subsequent unsolvable anagrams and accounted for differences in persistence. The results suggest that people with approach goals are better able to identify when they should disengage during failure, and disengage more completely, than people with avoidance goals.

Levin, A. (2008). "When Does Hoarding Cross Line Into Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?" Psychiatr News 43(11): 35-a-41.    [Free Full Text
Follow the link for a good, freely viewable discussion about the overlaps and differences between OCD and Hoarding.

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