Positive Psychology and Depression

3563 WordsNov 30, 201215 Pages
Positive Psychology in the Treatment of Major Depression Positive psychology is a strengths-oriented, positively focused approach to human behaviors and thoughts that is relatively recent to the overall field of psychology. Previous schools of thought had always focused on the abnormalities, weaknesses, and pathologies of people. Positive psychology is an exceptionally new branch of psychology and aims at making life more fulfilling, enjoyable, and happy instead of just tolerable; they wish to promote mental health and well-being instead of only treating disorders. This research paper will address the roles that hope, gratitude, forgiveness, resilience, optimism, and self-efficacy play in one’s life, and how these characteristics can…show more content…
Positive psychology, on the other hand, is primarily focused on creating and building-upon positive emotions, helping people find meaning in their everyday lives, and promoting an overall increase in mental health. Positive psychology has its roots in self-efficacy, optimism, and hope. Self-efficacy is the belief that you have the skills and self-control necessary to achieve the goals you set for yourself. This is a learned way of thinking, predicted by previous successes, observing others with high levels of self-efficacy, the ability to imagine oneself achieving a successful outcome, verbal persuasion by other strong and trustworthy individuals, and ability to control negative emotions. Optimism is a person’s tendency to look at a situation from the best possible point of view, or too expect the best possible outcome in any given situation (Merriam-Webster, 2012). Optimism can be predicted by a childhood environment which provided safety, coherence, secure attachments, and there is also a genetic component to optimism. Television, however, is one of the main culprits in promoting pessimism - the opposite of optimism. The final main building block of positive psychology is hope. Hope is the combination of the belief that one can reach his or her goals and has the ability to find alternate routes to these goals should they be presented with adversity. (Snyder, 2011) Key steps and aspects of combating major depression with
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