Avoidance motivation in psychological problems and psychotherapy.

Research paper by Martin Grosse MG Holtforth

Indexed on: 26 Sep '08Published on: 26 Sep '08Published in: Psychotherapy research : journal of the Society for Psychotherapy Research


Avoidance of aversive experiences is common to all human beings. However, when avoidance is too strong, it might be associated with impaired psychological functioning and psychopathology. This article examines the role of avoidance motivation in psychological problems and psychotherapy from conceptual, assessment, and empirical perspectives. The concept of avoidance motivation is introduced, and measures of the intensity and satisfaction of avoidance motivation that the author developed are presented. Empirical findings generated using these measures are also reported. The findings address the role of avoidance motivation in relation to well-being, psychological problems, and psychotherapy outcome. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed and avenues for further research explored.