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Thursday, June 9 • 10:30 - 12:00
Introduction to symposium: Could self-affirmation have a role to play in treating clinical problems? LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

In this presentation I discuss the construct of self-affirmation (SA; Steele, 1988), and consider its role in the treatment of clinical disorders. After defining SA and describing how it is implemented, I then turn to evidence in support of the clinical utility of SA from studies showing how it may reduce defensiveness (e.g., Sherman & Cohen, 2006), physiological stress responses (Sherman, Bunyan, Creswell, & Jaremka, 2009), and rumination following failure (Koole, Smeets, van Knippenberg, & Dijsterhuis, 1999) in non-clinical samples. I next examine studies demonstrating the value of self-affirmation in the treatment of a range of clinical problems including eating disorders and weight loss, alcohol consumption, aggression, and for promoting healthy outcomes including academic performance, acceptance of health promotion information, and increasing working memory. I then review theories to explain why, how, and for whom SA is effective (or not). In particular, I discuss the possibility that SA may work by broadening the working self (which constricts under threat) and consider how this may promote recursive processes that yield positive outcomes over time. I conclude this introduction by briefly identifying the particular clinical focus of each of the remaining papers in the symposium and highlight some of the important questions each raises with respect to SA.


Edward Johnson

University of Manitoba

avatar for Clinical Psychology / Psychologie clinique

Clinical Psychology / Psychologie clinique

The Section on Clinical Psychology is one of the largest sections of CPA, and it serves to represent the professional and scientific interests of its members to CPA and to reflect the profession at the national level within Canada. Its mission is to "promote clinical psychology in its broadest definition as a science and a profession to the public, other service providers, clinical psychologists, and the government.

Thursday June 9, 2016 10:30 - 12:00
Oak Bay 2 (Victoria Conference Centre - Level 1) 720 Douglas St, Victoria, BC V8W 3M7

Attendees (12)