Transdiagnostic and transtherapeutic strategies for optimising autobiographical memory

T. J. Barry, D. J. Hallford

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Our memories for past personally experienced autobiographical events play an important role in therapy, irrespective of presenting issue, diagnoses or therapeutic modality. Here, we summarise evidence for how autobiographical memory abilities can influence our mental health and the relevance of this for the treatment of mental health problems. We then guide the reader through principles and strategies for optimising autobiographical memory within treatment. We ground these recommendations within research for stand-alone interventions for improving autobiographical memory and from studies of how to support the formation and retrieval of therapeutic memories. Options are given for clinicians to guide clients in improving retrieval of autobiographical memories within treatment, for improving autobiographical memory for the therapeutic experience itself, and for creating improvements in autobiographical memory that endure post-treatment. We also provide worksheets for clinicians to use within treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104575
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Early online date4 Jun 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Jun 2024

Data Availability Statement

No data was used for the research described in the article.


  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Consolidation
  • Depression
  • Encoding
  • Episodic memory
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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