Group Counseling Change Process: An Adaptive Spiral Among Positive Emotions, Positive Relations, And Emotional Cultivation/Regulation

Meifen Wei, Li fei Wang*, Dennis M. Kivlighan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Research Has Provided Empirical Support For The Effectiveness Of Group Psychotherapy. However, We Have Little Understanding Of Mechanisms That Account For The Effectiveness. Thus, There Is A Need For Complex Theory-Driven Hypotheses And Analytical Models To Understand The Complexities Of Change In Group Counseling. We Used Fredrickson’S Broaden-And-Build Theory As Well As Yalom And Leszcz’S Proposition About Adaptive Spirals As Guiding Frameworks. We Then Examined The Process Of How Positive Emotions Or Positive Relations And Emotional Cultivation (Regulation) Reciprocally Influence One Another To Create An Upward Or Adaptive Spiral Toward Greater Well-Being Over The Course Of Group Interventions. A Total Of 196 Taiwanese Children And Adolescent Clients Across 33 Groups Participated In An 8-Session Emotional Cultivation/Regulation Group Intervention. The Random Intercepts Cross-Lagged Panel Model (Ri-Clpm) Was Used For The Data Analyses In Mplus. Overall, Our Results Supported The Broaden-And-Build Theory And Its Broaden-, Build-, And Upward-Spiral Effects, With The Exception Of Positive Affect. Specifically, Positive Emotions (I.E., Gratitude And Psychological Need Satisfaction) And Positive Relations (I.E., Teacher–Student Relationship And Perceived Social Support) Predicted Future Improvements On Emotional Cultivation (I.E., The Broaden Effects). Additionally, Improved Emotional Cultivation Was A Long-Lasting Characteristic That Could Be Drawn Upon At Later Moments To Drive Greater Positive Emotions And Relations (I.E., The Build Effects). Together, The Results Supported A Reciprocal Model With Positive Emotions And Relationships Being Associated With Greater Future Emotional Cultivation And Subsequently Emotional Cultivation Being Associated With Greater Future Positive Emotions And Relationships (I.E.,

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)730-745
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Counseling Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Emotional Cultivation Or Regulation
  • Group Counseling And Psychotherapy
  • Positive Emotion/Relationship
  • The Broaden-And-Build Theory
  • The Random Intercepts Cross-Lagged Panel Model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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