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Can positive emotion influence problem-solving attitudes among suicidal adults?

Joiner, TE
Pettit, JW
Perez, M
Burns, AB
Gençöz, Tülin
Gençöz, Faruk
Rudd, MD
A client's mood can hinder or enhance treatment and its effectiveness. Positive emotions can encourage exploration and experimentation, and they may have the long-term effect of resource building. The purpose of the present study was to assess this perspective as applied to the treatment of suicidal individuals. The authors found that patients prone to positive moods, as compared with those less prone to such moods, displayed more positive problem-solving attitudes following treatment for suicidal symptoms, and, partly as a function thereof, displayed enhanced treatment response. These findings suggest that clinicians may improve their chances of achieving successful treatment outcomes if they present skill-building treatments during windows of positive mood for the client, rather than in times of crisis.