What is Positive Psychology?

Positive Psychology is the term used to describe therapy that places greater emphasis on assisting people toward achieving a fulfilling life than on identifying and treating pathology.  This group would fit more into this category that into a more pathology-oriented group therapy.

The terms for this pursuit vary, e.g.: Authentic Happiness, Search for Serenity, Flourish, Flow, Man’s Search for Meaning, Flourish. What these all have in common is the goal of achieving a fulfilling life – a sense of well-being.

In his book, Flourish, Martin Seligman attempts to define the elements that constitute this sense of well-being.  His suggestions:
1.     Frequent enjoyment of Positive Emotions
2.     Doing work that gives a sense of Engagement (e.g. loss of self/time in the activity)
3.     This engaging work had Meaning - serving some purpose greater than the individual’s personal sense of achievement (greater than lowering one’s golf score)
4.     Having in one’s life Positive Relationships with our fellows
5.     Working at something that in itself gives a sense of Accomplishment

Suggested Goals:  

·        Increased understanding of the elements that constitute a sense of well-being.
·        Looking at and discussing present challenges (arising either out of yourself or your circumstances) to increasing your sense of well-being.
·        Discussing changes you can make.
·        Developing some very practical steps you plan to take to bring about these changes.