Benjamin Bellet

Benjamin Bellet
Harvard University | Harvard · Department of Psychology

MA in Clinical Science

About

33
Publications
23,662
Reads
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222
Citations
Introduction
Meaning-oriented approaches to trauma and loss. Cultural factors related to resilience. Network analysis. Trauma survivors who "self-trigger" or compulsively seek reminders of trauma.
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (33)
Article
Exposure and response prevention is the gold-standard treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), yet up to half of patients do not adequately respond. Thus, different approaches to identifying and intervening with non-responders are badly needed. One approach would be to better understand the functional connections among aspects of OCD symp...
Article
Full-text available
The concept of "trauma" was originally used by psychiatrists to describe horrific events such as rape and torture that characteristically provoke extreme emotional distress. Both colloquially and clinically, the concept of psychological trauma has broadened considerably. Although many clinical scientists have expressed concern about the broadening...
Article
Objective: Research suggests six motives for exposing oneself to painful reminders of a trauma outside of a therapeutic context (self-triggering). These include provoking arousal, escaping emotional numbness, self-punishment, controlling symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), making meaning of one's trauma, and generating an experience...
Article
Objective: We explore the emerging concept of "self-triggering" through a case illustration of a Vietnam veteran with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who engaged in self-triggering for 50 years after his index trauma. He reduced the frequency of self-triggering upon receiving a combination of cognitive processing therapy and behavioral exposu...
Article
When a traumatic experience is central to an individual's identity and worldview, it can result in either severe posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, perceived posttraumatic growth (PTG), or, paradoxically, both. To resolve this apparent paradox, we used network analytic methods to estimate the relations among components of event centrali...
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We present a dataset containing participants’ ratings ('n' = 250) of 600 written descriptions of events ranging from benign (‘witnessed a leaf falling from a tree’) to potentially distressing and/or injurious (‘was stabbed by a close friend’). Participants were randomly assigned to rate a subset of events on a 7-point Likert scale from “Not at all...
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Objective: Loneliness is associated with negative mental health outcomes and is particularly common among adolescents. Yet, little is known about the dynamics of adolescent loneliness in non-Western, low-income nations. Accordingly, we estimated the severity of loneliness in a sample of Kenyan adolescents and used mixed-effects regression modelling...
Article
The centrality of a traumatic event to one's autobiographical memory has been associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity. In the present study, we investigated the associations between specific features of event centrality (EC), as measured using the Centrality of Event Scale, and specific symptoms of PTSD. We computed a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objective: Loneliness is associated with negative mental health outcomes and is particularly common among adolescents. Yet, little is known about the dynamics of adolescent loneliness in non-Western, low-income nations. Accordingly, we estimated the severity of loneliness in a sample of Kenyan adolescents and used mixed-effects regression modelling...
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Full-text available
Trauma can produce posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but may also foster positive outcomes, such as posttraumatic growth. Individual differences in coping styles may contribute to both positive and negative sequelae of trauma. Using network analytic methods, we investigated the structure of PTSD symptoms, elements of growth, and coping styles i...
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Background: Loneliness, a transdiagnostic feature of psychopathology, is an experience of perceived isolation only weakly linked to amount of time spent alone. Although traditional loneliness interventions aim to increase social contact, targeting maladaptive cognition about time alone may be an effective way to reduce loneliness. We investigated w...
Preprint
Full-text available
The word 'trauma' was originally used by psychiatrists to describe horrific events such as rape and torture that characteristically provoke extreme emotional distress. Both colloquially and clinically, the concept of psychological trauma has broadened considerably. Although many clinical scientists have expressed concern about the broadening of the...
Article
Reports an error in "Identity confusion in complicated grief: A closer look" by Benjamin W. Bellet, Nicole J. LeBlanc, Marie-Christine Nizzi, Mikaela L. Carter, Florentine H. S. van der Does, Jacqueline Peters, Donald J. Robinaugh and Richard J. McNally (Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2020[May], Vol 129[4], 397-407). In the original article, the f...
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Full-text available
Trigger warnings alert trauma survivors about potentially disturbing forthcoming content. However, empirical studies on trigger warnings suggest that they are functionally inert or cause small adverse side effects. We conducted a preregistered replication and extension of a previous experiment. Trauma survivors ( N = 451) were randomly assigned to...
Article
Trigger warnings notify people that content they are about to engage with may result in adverse emotional consequences. An experiment by Bellet, Jones, and McNally (2018) indicated that trigger warnings increased the extent to which trauma-naïve crowd-sourced participants see themselves and others as emotionally vulnerable to potential future traum...
Preprint
Full-text available
Loneliness, a transdiagnostic feature of psychopathology, is an experience of perceived isolation only weakly linked to amount of time spent alone. Thus, targeting maladaptive beliefs about time alone may reduce loneliness. We investigated whether a brief reappraisal manipulation enables individuals to experience their time alone more positively. C...
Article
Complicated grief (CG) is characterized by a wide range of symptoms, including identity confusion or a sense that a part of oneself has died with the decedent. Although identity confusion is a commonly reported feature of CG, little is known about which specific aspects of self-concept are compromised. In the current study, we used qualitative codi...
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Trauma survivors who self-trigger, or seek reminders of their traumatic events, have been noted in the clinical literature but have not yet been the subject of a systematic empirical inquiry. This article presents the results of two exploratory studies of self-triggering. In Study 1 ( N = 545), we estimated the behavior’s clinical relevance among t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objective: Trigger warnings alert trauma survivors about potentially disturbing forthcoming content. However, most empirical studies on trigger warnings indicate that they are either functionally inert or cause small adverse side effects. These evaluations have been limited to either trauma-naïve participants or mixed samples. Accordingly, we teste...
Article
Survivors of homicide loss are vulnerable to negative mental health outcomes, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complicated grief (CG). Meaning making in the aftermath of traumatic loss is hypothesized to be an adaptive process associated with reduced symptomatology. Homicide survivors (N = 57) completed the PTSD Checklist, Invento...
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Full-text available
Suicide loss represents particularly a difficult form of bereavement due to the challenges that volitional death poses to survivors. Understanding these challenges requires recognition of the idiosyncratic processes of meaning reconstruction for this specific group of grievers. The current study investigates such processes in survivors of suicide l...
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Full-text available
Background and objectives: Trigger warnings notify people of the distress that written, audiovisual, or other material may evoke, and were initially used to provide for the needs of those with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Since their inception, trigger warnings have become more widely applied throughout contemporary culture, sparking inte...
Article
Bereavement can lead to negative outcomes such as complicated grief (CG), but some mourners with symptoms of CG often experience positive sequelae of loss such as posttraumatic growth (PTG) as well. We propose that grief and growth co-occur and change one another because they alternately reinforce and weaken each other at the level of their respect...
Article
Objective: Although brief alcohol interventions (BAIs) that incorporate personalized feedback demonstrate efficacy for reducing the frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption in veteran samples, little research has explored the influence of BAIs in reducing symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The goal of this investigation was to...
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A mourner’s success in making meaning of a loss has proven key in predicting a wide array of bereavement outcomes. However, much of this meaning-making process takes place in an interpersonal framework that is hypothesized to either aid or obstruct this process. To date, a psychometrically validated measure of the degree to which a mourner successf...
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We examined the use of the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) in a small sample of 47 U.S. military veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Approximately half of the sample met criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) based on the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale. PAI profiles were compared between the PTSD and non-PTSD gro...
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Full-text available
The centrality of a loss to a bereaved individual’s identity is associated with greater symptomatology, whereas meaning made of a loss is associated with positive outcomes. This article examines meaning made as a moderator of the relationship between event centrality and symptomatology. Our sample consisted of 204 bereaved undergraduate university...

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Projects (2)
Project
As loneliness is a transdiagnostic risk factor for numerous mental disorders, many researchers agree that loneliness should be a target of clinical intervention in its own right. However, the majority of existing loneliness interventions focus exclusively on increasing social contact. Our research suggests that, rather than reducing the amount of time spent alone, perhaps we should also target negative and maladaptive beliefs about our time alone. Our preliminary investigation identifies cognitive reappraisal as a viable tool in this regard. This project provides a first step for what may be a novel clinical approach to the treatment of any disorder exacerbated or maintained by loneliness.