Current conceptualizations of mental illness focus on assessing psychopathology. A balanced approach would assess strengths that individuals bring to coping with illness. This study measures psychological strengths in individuals with recurrent depression their coping strategies and their perceptions of the usefulness of strengths assessment as a component of psychological assessment. Individuals (N¼112) with recurrent depression completed an online questionnaire measuring several psychological strengths including gratitude forgiveness spirituality and hope. Participants also described their use of coping strategies and their reaction to the utility of the two-continua model of mental health. A subset (n¼10) completed a follow-up telephone interview. Higher levels of gratitude self-forgiveness hope and spirituality and lower levels of optimism were indicative of higher life satisfaction. Self-forgiveness spirituality and gratitude were predictors of happiness. Higher levels of hope and self-forgiveness predicted positive affect whereas lower levels of self-forgiveness predicted negative affect. Participants reported using a range of coping resources and indicated that they valued strengths assessment perceiving the two-continua model of mental health as empowering. The researcher discusses implications for clinical practice
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