Positive psychology for depression: a critical review
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Positive psychology for depression: a critical review

Laura Clarry Psychology graduate, University of Bolton, England
Jerome Carson Professor of psychology, University of Bolton, England

Background Positive psychology has become a popular approach to psychology.

Aim To evaluate the approach of positive psychology in dealing with depression and the strength of empirical research in the area.

Method A comprehensive search was conducted using the search engines and databases: Scopus, Google Scholar, PsycARTICLES and ProQuest Central. Results were then screened.

Results The ten reviewed studies indicate that the positive psychology approach is effective in treating depression and reducing symptoms. However, issues to be addressed include the need to integrate it with other approaches and how long it takes.

Discussion The review highlights the effectiveness of positive psychology approaches and summarises the positives and negatives of the empirical research presented.

Conclusion Positive psychology has clear, effective treatment methods that present benefits for the individual. However, the methods of treatment may be more time consuming and need more commitment from the individual than more traditional methods.

Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2019.e1312


Clarry L, Carson J (2019) Positive psychology for depression: a critical review. Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2019.e1312

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Published online: 08 January 2019

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