About Positive Psychology
What Is Positive Psychology?
Positive Psychology is an umbrella term for various bodies of theory and therapeutic approaches designed to bring out the best in people, the social groups to which they belong such as families and work teams, the settings where they spend their time such as workplaces and neighbourhoods, and most broadly the global community.
It is defined as the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive.
Traditionally, psychological science has been dedicated to understanding the causes and cures of “failure to thrive”, or according to the model below, languishing. Positive Psychology as a scientific discipline does not disregard these states, but challenges us to broaden our understanding of what leads to higher states of wellbeing, known as flourishing. Even for people struggling with severe mental disorders, enhancing quality of life by boosting psychological resources to improve overall life satisfaction has a positive effect on not only their subjective experiences of ill-health, but also makes better health sustainable and builds resilience to cope more adaptively to adversity.
Over the past decade there has been an explosion of research that has led to the emergence of unprecedented understanding of how the brain, mind and body work synchronistically generate thoughts, emotions, and behaviours.
Along with this fundamental science many new theories have emerged to extend our understanding of how we can effectively build people’s capacity to reach and grow beyond their potential, to heal troubled emotions and dysfunctional patterns of thinking, and to build resilient and meaningful relations with others.
This is known as the science of neuroplasticity, and it provides a fundamental basis for all the work we do as agents of change working to improve the subjective experiences of people whether that be in a clinical setting, schools and other learning institutions, workplaces, communities, and globally.
Positive Psychology brings together past and contemporary theories informed by empirical evidence that provides us with the toolbox to make positive changes with people and the settings in which they live, work and play. It is a rich and complex science that is continually extending our understanding of the essential building blocks for “positive mindset” and the many ways we can train the brain to achieve this.
Increasingly, evidence is showing that promoting a positive mindset improves physical health, performance in many areas of life, builds stronger interpersonal relationships, improves overall life satisfaction and extends lifespan.