Positive psychology keynote

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2. Positive Psychology School Psychologists Association of WA Annual ConferenceSeptember 2011 Dr Suzy Green Clinical & Coaching Psychologist POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY INSTITUTE CPU, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY [email_address] 3. Welcome back A year ago: An introduction to Positive Psychology This morning: Revising and renewing interest! This afternoon: Reflecting on PP for yourself & your school Committing to action! 4. Where Im coming from As a Clinical Psychologist Treatment and prevention of clinical disorders As a Coaching Psychologist Promotion of mental health, mental fitness and psychological well-being As a Scientist-Practitioner Science, Research and practice 5. Introducing PPI 6. About PPI Our vision: Tosignificantly improve well-beingwithin the global community Our mission: To research, practiceand promote the science of optimal human functioning to enhance the well-being of individuals, communities, educational institutions ,organisations and governments. Our structure: Individual, Educational, Organisational 7. Positive Introductions!

  • Turn to the person next to you
  • Tell a story about a time in your role as a School Psychologist that showed YOU at your very BEST!
  • Take turns.
  • Dont allow modesty to stifle the truth!
  • As a listener, listen appreciatively.
  • Respond in a way that builds on what has been said.

8. Review ofPositive Psychology? 9. Review of Positive Psychology

  • What is Positive Psychology?
  • Positive Psychology is astrengths-based psychologythat works to promote optimal functioning across the full range of human functioning, from disorder and distress to health & fulfilment (Linley & Joseph, 2004)
  • It is thescience of optimal functioning(Gable & Haidt, 2005)

10. Applied Positive Psychology?

  • Application of positive psychology research for the facilitation of optimal functioning;
  • Includes evidence-based coaching!
  • Individual, Group, Organisation, Community & Society Levels!

11. Review of Positive Psychology

  • 4 Main Imperatives:
  • Rise to lifes challenges, making the most of setbacks & adversities;
  • Engage and relate to others;
  • Find fulfilment in creativity & productivity;
  • Look beyond oneself and help others to find lasting meaning, satisfaction and wisdom in life.
  • Keyes & Haidt, 2004

12. Review of Positive Psychology?

  • Founded on the belief that individuals want to leadmeaningful & fulfilling lives , to cultivate what is best within ourselves & to enhance our experiences of love and work.

13. History of Positive Psychology

  • Rogers (1951) The fully functioning person
  • Jahoda (1958) Mental Health
  • Allport (1961) Mature Individuality
  • Erikson (1963) Stages of Development
  • Maslow (1954-1971) Self Actualisation
  • Vaillant (1977) Positive Defenses & Exceptional Performance
  • Deci & Ryan (1985) Self Determination Theory
  • Csikszentmihalyi (1990) Flow Optimal Experience
  • Ryff & Singer (1996) Psychological Well-Being
  • Seligman (1991-2006) Learned Helplessness, Optimism, Authentic Happiness

14. FundamentalValues & Assumptions

  • Implicit within Positive Psychology is the idea that human beings have the potential for good and thatwe are motivated to pursue a good life
  • (Linley & Joseph, 2006)

15. FundamentalValues & Assumptions

  • Involves a shift in mindset:
  • Growth-mindset, rather than fixed mindset
  • Solution-focused, rather than problem-focused
  • Strengths-based, rather than weakness-based

16. The scientific study ofWell-Being?

  • What is Well-Being?
  • Well-being refers to positive and sustainable characteristics which enable individuals and organisations to thrive and flourish
          • Institute of Well-Being, Cambridge University

17. 2 approaches

  • Subjective Well-Being
  • Psychological Well-Being

18. Key Constructs

  • Character Strengths
  • Happiness, Meaning & Purpose
  • Positive Emotions & Psychological Well-Being
  • Positive Leadership
  • Citizenship
  • Forgiveness
  • Gratitude
  • Creativity
  • Wisdom
  • Hope
  • & many others..

19. Proactivity, not Reactivity! 20. Self-Actualisation! 21. Feeling Good &Doing Good! 22. PP Theories

  • Authentic Happiness/PERMA
  • Self-Determination Theory
  • Hope Theory
  • Broaden & Build Theory
  • Any others?

23. Authentic Happiness Theory Seligman (2003)

  • 3 Roads to the Good Life.
  • The Pleasurable Life
  • The Engaged Life
  • The Meaningful Life

24. How well are you travelling? 25. Approaches to Happiness www.authentichappiness.org 26. PERMA

  • Positive Emotions
  • Engagement
  • Relationships
  • Meaning
  • Accomplishment


  • Self Determination Theoryis a developmental theory of motivation and personality;
  • One of the most widely researched theories in psychology;
  • Identifies reasons why people pursue their goals!
  • Identifies three psychological needs:autonomy ,competence&relatedness

SDT 28. SDT Example:4 Reasons Why You May Pursue your Goals Autonomous (internally motivated reasons) IntrinsicIdentified I really enjoy it I value it, meaning ________________________________________________ Controlled(externally motivated reasons) Introjected Extrinsic I should do it Ill be penalised,guilt! or receive recognition 29. Self-Determination Theory

  • Self-Concordant or Authentic Goals
  • Research shows that those pursuing self-concordant or authentic goals have greater goal attainment and well-being

30. Hope Theory(Snyder, 1991)

  • Hope reflects an individuals perceptions of their capacity to:
    • Clearly conceptualisegoals;
    • Develop the specific strategies to reach those goals ( pathways )
    • Initiate & sustain the motivation for using those strategies ( agency ).

31. Hope Theory(Snyder, 1991)

  • Can be trait or state, general or specific.
  • Variability between individuals in levels of hope ie HIGH vs LOW HOPERS!
  • High Hopers do better at school, athletics, have better health, problem-solving ability and are better adjusted psychologically. )

32. Broaden & Build Theory of Emotion(Frederickson, 1998, 2000)

  • Asserts that positive emotions evolved as psychological adaptations that increased our human ancestors odds of survival and reproduction.
  • Negative emotions narrow peoples behavioural urges towards specific actions
  • However positive emotions widen the array of thoughts and actions

33. Broaden & Build Theory

  • The benefits of broadened mindsets build a variety of personal resources, like social connections, coping strategies, environmental knowledge.
  • Reserves that we can later draw on to manage threats (mental health prevention).

34. Positive Emotions Professor Barbara Fredrickson

  • Joy
  • Gratitude
  • Serenity
  • Interest
  • Hope
  • Pride
  • Amusement
  • Inspiration
  • Awe
  • Love

35. Triangle or Squares? 36. What is Positive Education?

  • Applied Positive Psychology in Education
  • Positive Education utilises the research base from the field of Positive Psychology to enhance the optimal functioning of students, teachers, staff and the whole school
  • Involves the application of PP research on topics such as wisdom, mental fitness, virtues & strengths, mindfulness, flow, positive emotions, purpose and meaning + much more.

37. What is Positive Education?

  • Seligmandefines it as. education for both traditional skills and for happiness
  • Positive Psychology Instituteincorporatesevidence-based coachingas a methodology thatenhances the transfer of education and training in Positive Psychology into everyday practice
  • Over 20 years of research shows that personally meaningful goal-striving is highly correlated with well-being!
  • Upcoming Harvard Research:PPI vs EB Coaching?

38. Positive Education Clarification Point

  • The termshappinessandwell-beingare still being used interchangeably
  • Seligman states happiness is too worn and weary a term to be of much scientific use
  • Fredrickson says it is semantically messy