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Paperback : Hardback : Add to Wish List. Description Reviews Contents Subjects. One of the most significant differences between many other forms of coaching and counseling and one based in positive psychology is the focus on strengths instead of weaknesses. Positive psychology is based on the idea that building on our strengths is often a more effective path to success than trying to force excellence in areas we are simply not suited for. Well-being therapy. Positive psychotherapy. This therapy is similar to well-being therapy, but generally packages several techniques and exercises into one treatment.

Its focus is on building positive emotions, character strengths, and a sense of meaning in life. Twelve exercises are generally practiced in this form of therapy, including exercises on using your signature strengths, keeping a gratitude journal, making a gratitude visit Harvard Health Publishing, To read more about the power of putting positive psychological principles into practice, check out the aptly titled book, Positive Psychology in Practice , by positive psychologists P.

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Alex Linley and Stephen Joseph at this link. This book will walk you through the major facets of applying the relevant findings from the positive psychology literature, including:. Although positive psychology has been embraced by much of the psychology community not to mention much of society at large , there are some common critiques of the movement—many of which have some valid points. At the World Conference of Positive Psychology, some of the biggest names in positive psychology discussed a few of these criticisms.

Like any other scientific field, mistakes are sometimes made. This often seems to be due to excitement over the potential of findings in positive psychology; it can be hard to maintain objectivity when you feel a finding has both broad and deep applicability to the real world. However, this is no excuse for a lack of scientific rigor. Today, positive psychology has overcome some of the initial obstacles and growing pains inherent to a new field. More critical attention is being paid to the research, which gives us all more confidence in the findings.

This is certainly a valid point; much of the positive psychology literature is built on survey data. However, this emphasis on survey data is not exclusive to positive psychology, and positive psychology does not exclusively use surveys.

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Receiving feedback from those close to an individual is increasingly being utilized to corroborate or compare self-report data to, which increases confidence in data. Although positive psychology is not alone in this limitation, it is one that positive psychologists should continue to consider when planning, implementing and reviewing research. It is also true that positive psychology generally embraces a white, middle-class audience, in which injustice, poverty, and inequality are swept under the rug.

However, this bias seems to have been much over-hyped. Recently, more research from experts in non-Western countries and from a diverse range of backgrounds is being conducted and published. The recent establishment of the International Positive Psychology Association is one sign of this attempt at broadening the perspective of positive psychology.

Another valid point is that positive psychology focuses too much on the individual—on personal experiences, individual traits and characteristics, and intrapersonal processes and phenomena. Positive psychology does indeed seem to have an overly narrow focus on the individual and a lack of attention paid to relationships, teams, groups, organizations, and communities.

Some have argued that this focus on individuals leads positive psychology to victim-blame e.

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  5. Of the major critiques of positive psychology, this may be one of those with the least merit. As cited earlier, there are studies on the dark side of happiness and optimism and the benefits of thinking pessimistically.

    On the surface, it may seem that positive psychology is the study of the perpetually happy, but anything more than a cursory look will show you that the field is a rich exploration of all that which makes life good and a bit of what makes it difficult as well. Rather than struggling against these points, we should be open to considering them, thinking critically about the health of our field, and coming up with solutions for any big problems.

    Source: Gable, Shelly L. PDF , MichaelGeorge. Source: Wikipedia. It has also been defined as the study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals, communities, and organisations to thrive. According to Paul Wong, the underlying theme of positive psychology is that life can be made better for all people if certain conditions are met.

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    5. Source: Wong, Paul T. It is hard to deny that this entails an important question. In our attempts to answer the question, we have gained more understanding of many illnesses and have developed effective treatments for a wide range of problems. However, as an inevitable consequence of our focus on the negative aspects of well-being and health, such as distress and disease, we developed an almost exclusive attention to pathology. During the past 14 years, the number of scientific studies on positive psychology has increased tremendously.

      Positive psychology is a field with a huge potential for improving the lives of people around the world, and many impactful findings have already been discovered. What are your thoughts on the state of the field? Do you think there are bigger criticisms that are being ignored? Do you think the field is doing a good job at solving the problems it set out to solve? Please let us know in the comments section below.

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      Was this article useful to you? No Yes Share this article:. Courtney Ackerman , MSc. She is currently working as a researcher for the State of California and her professional interests include survey research, well-being in the workplace, and compassion. This is a breathtaking article on positive psychology, very educative, aa a counsellor i have been focusing on what is wrong with people and not doing much to tap on what their strengths are. I have taken a paradigm shift and will from mow henceforrh focus on positive psychology.

      I enjoyed reading this article full of helpful information. Positive psychology is very essential for in our daily life for a better productivity and surely we need it. Many thanks for sharing. Your email address will not be published. Courtney E. Ackerman, MSc. Aknin, L. Money matters, but less than people think, The Journal of Positive Psychology,4, Empathy towards strangers triggers oxytocin release and subsequent generosity.

      Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, , Some key differences between a happy life and a meaningful life. Journal of Positive Psychology, 8, Dispositional pessimism, defensive pessimism and optimism: The effect of induced mood on prefactual and counterfactual thinking and performance. The dark side of optimism: Unrealistic optimism about problems with alcohol predicts subsequent negative event experiences.

      What is Positive Psychology & Why is It Important?

      Spending money on others promotes happiness. Science, , Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network: Longitudinal analysis over 20 years in the Framingham Heart Study. The BMJ, Positive psychology in practice. Harvard Mental Health Letter. The mediators of experiential purchases: Determining the impact of psychological needs satisfaction and social comparison. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 4, — Is volunteering a public health intervention? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the health and survival of volunteers.

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      BMC Public Health, 13, The 5 most important findings from the science of happiness that apply at work. The Chief Happiness Officer Blog. Kindness counts: Prompting prosocial behavior in preadolescents boosts peer acceptance and well-being. The benefits of frequent positive affect: Does happiness lead to success? Psychological Bulletin, , What IS positive psychology? The benefits of positive psychology coaching. Positive Workplace Partners. What is positive psychology, and what is it not? Psychology Today. A multilevel field investigation of emotional labor, affect, work withdrawal, and gender.