The current state of memory Specificity Training (MeST) for emotional disorders

Tom J. Barry, David J. Hallford, Caitlin Hitchcock, Keisuke Takano, Filip Raes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Citations (SciVal)


Memory Specificity Training (MeST) is an intervention developed from basic science that has found clinical utility. MeST uses cued recall exercises to target the difficulty that some people with emotional disorders have in recalling personally experienced events. MeST is simple enough to be delivered alongside traditional interventions or online by artificial intelligence. Currently, research indicates MeST's effects are immediate but short-lived, and there is limited research indicating its superiority over established interventions. Future investigations must establish the dosage and specific components of MeST that are necessary for clinically significant effects. Further, it must establish the secondary processes (e.g., problem-solving) that mediate between MeST-driven improvements in memory and symptoms. Similar interventions that build upon the idea of training autobiographical memory specificity are also emerging and warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-33
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
Early online date11 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Autobiographical memory
  • Depression
  • Episodic memory
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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