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Positive Psychology

Positive psychology complements traditional psychological approaches to mental health. The stance of positive psychology is to study ‘what makes life worth living.’ Practitioners of positive psychology focus on interventions that develop a sense of optimism, and that foster positive attitudes (toward oneself, one’s subjective experiences, and life events). Positive psychology in its current implementation was given a boost by Martin Seligman’s presidential address given to the American Psychological Association in 1999. He proposed that although contemporary psychology successfully focused on curing mental illness it largely neglected other historical goals of helping everyone to lead more productive and fulfilling lives, and identifying and nurturing talents. Other psychologists throughout the 20th century have also aspired to help psychology focus on aspects other than dysfunction:
“The science of psychology has been far more successful on the negative than on the positive side. It has revealed to us much about man’s shortcomings, his illness, his sins, but little about his potentialities, his virtues, his achievable aspirations, or his full psychological height. It is as if psychology has voluntarily restricted itself to only half its rightful jurisdiction, and that, the darker, meaner half.” (Maslow, 1954).
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Therapy tool

Language

Assertive Communication

Communicating assertively is an essential skill for maintaining healthy self-esteem and strong relationships. This information handout describes the k ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/assertive-communication/

Information Handout

Gratitude Journal

Cultivating gratitude is an evidence-based positive psychology technique. This information handout describes reasons to cultivate a grateful attitude ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/gratitude-journal/

Exercise

Values

Meaningful activity is value-driven. This ACT-informed worksheet explores the key domains of values and encourages clients to reflect upon what is imp ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/values/

Exercise

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness meditation is a traditional Buddhist practice. It is now commonly taught as a practice helpful in the management of a variety of mental he ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-is-mindfulness/

Information Handout

Information

THE PERMA MODEL

Seligman’s PERMA model proposes five elements to psychological well-being:

CHARACTER STRENGTHS AND VIRTUES

Character Strengths and Virtues is a systematic attempt to classify positive traits. The framework describes six classes of virtues which encompass 24 character strengths. The virtues are argued to be considered good in the majority of cultures and throughout history and that these traits, when practised, tend to increase happiness.

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