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Research Library

The Heart‑Led Counselling Programme (HLC): Developing a Programme to Reduce Anxiety, Using Heart‑Led Interventions and Positive Psychology Techniques in a Counselling Context

    • Published: 2021
    • Laura Hancock
    • Dissertation, M.Sc. Applied Positive Psychology, High Wycombe, United Kingdom, August, 2021.
    • Download the complete paper, click here.


The aim of this integrative literature review was to explore the current published research relating to certain mindful-based interventions and to determine their efficacy in helping relieve the symptoms of anxiety. The interventions of interest were Loving-Kindness Meditation and gratitude practices which are well-known Positive Psychology strategies, as well as three heartled interventions from the HeartMath Institute. Three particular areas of interest were explored: literature pertaining to heart-brain coherence interventions and their potential for reducing anxiety symptoms; Positive Psychology interventions (Loving-Kindness Meditation and gratitude practices) and their anxiety reduction effects; and the role of the counselling environment in potentially amplifying the efficacy of both these types of intervention. The outcome of the research indicated that these interventions all have significant records of success in the treatment of anxiety and that the therapeutic relationship is potentially crucial to this success. The long-term purpose of this research is to justify the use of these interventions in a new programme of psychological treatment, the Heart-led Counselling (HLC) Programme to help patients who suffer from moderate anxiety.