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Tracy keeps abreast of research on several topics.  Take a look, if there is research you think I might be interested in, email me at

Disrupted Sleep Patterns

The Guardian published an interesting article looking at how our sleeping patterns can affect our health and well-being.  Well worth a read - it also includes some sound advice on lighting late in the evening.  

The Truth about Sugar

Professor Lustig from the University of California published this 90 minute video examining the evidence pointing towards sugar being responsible for the obesity epidemic, particularly sugar in soft drinks.  It's a long video, however, credible and very interesting.

Positive Psychology

Much of psychology is based around healing - positive psychology works from the perspective of building upon strengths.  Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi (2000) explain what positive psychology is and how it can be used to great effect.

The Positive Psychology Programme website has a wealth of information on the subject, including interesting tools such as the Strengths Wheel.

Building Resilience

Resilience can be grown to help you build your resilience to enable you to better cope through life's ups and downs over the longer term.  There has been an increase in interest in gaining the ability to bounce back at all ages.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) has been demonstrated to be an effective  treatment with respect to sleep disorders, chronic pain, anxiety disorders and depression (Butler et al, 2006; Chambess and Ollendick, 2001;  Padesky and Mooney, 2012), however a strengths-based version of CBT has also been shown to be suitable in building positive qualities such as resilience (Fava and Tomba, 2009).

This focus on resilience moves from the absence of illness, to the presence of wellness, allowing capacity to be built to cope better with adversity.  This is done through the 6 dimensions of psychological well-being, as below (Fava and Tomba, 2009; Ryff, 1989).

  • Environmental mastery - feeling in control of one's environment

  • Personal growth - feeling of self-improvement

  • Purpose in life - having goals in life and a sense of direction

  • Autonomy - independence and personal regulation of behaviour

  • Self acceptance - a positive attitude to oneself

  • Positive relations with others - building empathy, affection and intimicy


Butler, A., Chapman, J., Forman, E. and Beck, A., (2006), 'The empirical status of cognitive‐behavioral therapy: A review of meta‐analyses', Clinical Psychology Review, 26(1), pp 17–31

Chambless, D. and Ollendick, T., (2001), 'Empirically supported psychological interventions: Controversies and evidence', Annual Review of Psychology, 52, pp 685–716

Padesky, C. and Mooney, K, (2012), 'Strengths‐based cognitive–behavioural therapy: A four‐step model to build resilience', Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 19(4), pp 283-290

Fava, G. and Tomba, E., (2009), 'Increasing psychological well‐being and resilience by psychotherapeutic methods', Journal of Personality, 77(6), pp 1903–1934

Ryff, C., (1989), 'Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being', Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 6, pp 1069–1081

Blonk, R.W., Brenninkmeijer, V., Lagerveld, S.E. and Houtman, I.L., 2006. Return to work: a comparison of two cognitive behavioural interventions in cases of work-related psychological complaints among the self-employed. Work & Stress, 20(2), pp.129-144

Lagerveld, S.E., Blonk, R.W., Brenninkmeijer, V., Wijngaards-de Meij, L. and Schaufeli, W.B., 2012. Work-focused treatment of common mental disorders and return to work: a comparative outcome study. Journal of occupational health psychology, 17(2), p.220.

Seligman, M.E. and Csikszentmihalyi, M., 2000. Positive psychology: An introduction (Vol. 55, No. 1, p. 5). American Psychological Association.

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