Dr. Martin Seligman is the founder and leading authority in the field of Positive Psychology. Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living. Dr. Seligman’s work primarily focusses on Positive Psychology, resilience, learned helplessness, depression, optimism, and pessimism. He is also listed as being a leader in interventions that prevent depression, as well as build strengths and well-being. Dr. Seligman is also from my hometown, Albany, New York.
Every aspect of psychology excites me. As I take more classes, and my exposure to different theories and perspectives as well as topics and fields increases, I want to know more. The possibilities and applications of psychology are endless. When I wrote about peace and positive psychology for a career paper in an English class, my thoughts on psychology's impact expanded. Influenced by humanistic psychology, positive psychology focuses not only on the health or unhealthiness of an individual, but his or her potential to thrive and live a happy life. The prior theories have opened up the long-neglected opposite side of the spectrum of one’s psychological health. I am inspired by countless psychologists, but notably Abraham Maslow and Martin
Positive psychology serves as a preemptive strategy, helps the development of positive societal institutions, and makes students more successful in life on many levels, both personal and societal. Finally, Seligman would argue that positive education has more of a lasting impact by the way of and constructive changes in student behavior.
In Professor Seligman’s TED Talk he presents to us the state of psychology today. Just what is the state of psychology today? According to Seligman it is good, not good, and not good enough. In the “good” update for psychology today, it is beneficial that psychology is progressing forward. Once what was an extreme science of finding out what is wrong with someone has progressed forward into also finding out how to improve one’s life quality. Seligman states that just sixty years ago no disorder was treatable. However in today’s world of modern psychology not only are fourteen disorders treatable, but two are even curable. In the terms of not good, in Seligman’s opinion, there has been too much of an extreme focus on mental illness. Seligman believes that psychology has gone a pessimistic route and in turn forgotten about improving “normal” lives to make people less miserable. He believes that there should not only be interventions in terms of treating mental illness, but also interventions to make people happier. Seligman lists a few different ways that positive psychology could improve itself to go this route. The main idea is that psychologists should be concerned with both strength and weakness of people, therefore building strengths and repairing weakness. From further research in modern positive psychology has sought to answer just what are happy people and what makes them happy? Seligman explains that
The pursuit of happiness is the universal search for a life an individual can feel content and satisfied with. However, as stated in class, happiness is a fleeting emotion rather than a prolonged state. Once an individual achieves a sense of happiness it is only a matter of time before they return to the starting point of their quest. Therefore, happiness alone is not enough to elicit a good life. On a similar note, in 2004, Professor Martin Seligman gave a TED talk that addressed the current direction of psychology. He believed the extent of psychology had become the ability to “make miserable people feel less miserable” rather than “[making] relatively untroubled people happier.” As a result, he and his colleagues developed positive psychology, a branch of psychology that promotes the components of happiness, well-being, and fulfillment to achieve a satisfactory life. The purpose of this project is to learn about your well-being and discover ways to increase the quality of your life through positive psychology.
In a true clinical setting, a patient is free to express feelings and experiences to facilitate self-healing through positive intervention techniques. With the data available on positive psychology, many clinicians may be tempted to utilize a particular positive intervention with the belief it will make a tremendous impact on the patient. However, this may be unhealthy for the patient who may need to experience negative or difficult emotion to work through the issue they are dealing with. Nonetheless, positive therapy has a definitive useful role in psychological treatment and “adds a deeper dimension to the treatment setting” (p. 404). Therapists who use this type of therapy, however, should remember not to “become a slave to the ‘tyrannies of optimism’” (Seligman, 1990, p. 292; as cited in La Torre, p. 404).
In class on Monday, we had a very engaging presentation on positive psychology and how flourishing shapes our perspective to be the successful young adults we are today. Positive psychology is the study of promotion for successful functioning. Building enabling conditions for a life worth living is vital to being satisfied with our lives and within ourselves. A few enabling conditions for a life worth living for my own perspectives is my resilience, my supportive buffers, and using my signature strength to help others.
The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.” (Chuck Palahniuk). The first concept I learned is positive psychology, and unexpectedly I have applied this concept throughout my life for the last sixteen years without realizing it until this course. People who employ positive psychology are those who make people happy throughout the course of their life and are optimistic during difficult times to cope with the challenges (Franzoi, 2014, pg. 8). People who incorporate positive psychology into their life have less stress and are tend to be happier and healthier. Positive psychology brings similar effects to positive emotions like happiness and pleasure as clinical psychology that treats depression and anger (Max, 2007).
The term happiness continues to perplex psychologists. With the recent study of positive psychology or the study of happiness, psychologists have unintentionally attached a negative connotation to all other emotions. However, all emotions, even the ones coined as negative, are valuable to humans. An analysis of human emotions proves that feelings of sadness, anger, fear, and happiness are equally beneficial to human development because they allow for a safer and more open mind-set.
The field of Psychology has been an area of study, since Wilhelm Wundt did the first psychology lab in 1879 (McLeod, 2008), and since then we have come a very long way in discovering what makes up human behaviors and mental processes. It is important to learn about the field of psychology, especially in the field of Child and Youth care because, understanding how the brain works and understanding the actions, and or reasoning behind feelings may help with the cognitive therapy of a child in need. To begin, I believe having the correct knowledge and understanding how neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, dopamine, GABA, glutamate, norepinephrine, and serotonin affect the brain are important. As well as having the knowledge of the different parts of the limbic system such as the hippocampus (memory), amygdala (emotion), thalamus (brain directory), hypothalamus (breathing, hunger, thirst, sleep). Finally, classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is a way of teaching through stimuli and events (David G. Myers, 2014). We study psychology to gain more knowledge on areas of the brain, how they work, and how they may affect an individual. Three areas in the field of psychology that could improve my learning academics/ employment skills include classical conditioning, dopamine, and the amygdala.
Researchers theorize the use of positive psychology in the treatment of cancer patients can diminish or eliminate depression. Researchers determined a structured positive psychotherapy program, designed to address the psychological challenges that cancer patients traverse. Breast cancer patients are taxed with medical, physical, emotional, and psychological stresses, that consume their lives. The natural instinct to survive allows patients to override the emotional and psychological fallout of the disease and focus on the eliminating the physical attack of the cancer, with medical interventions. This time proves to be chaotic, overwhelming and stressful; with patients inundated with fear, medical jargon, choices,
Positive Psychology is defined as “…the scientific study of human flourishing, and an applied approach to optimal functioning. It has also been defined as the study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals, communities and organizations to thrive” (Gable & Haidt, 2005, Sheldon & King, 2001, as cited by Positive Psychology Institute). According to Martin Seligman, one of Positive Psychology’s pioneers, positive psychology consists of three major components- “pleasure and gratification”, “strength and virtue”, & “meaning and purpose”. He believes that the road to “lasting fulfillment” is a journey in which an individual must pass through each component in chronological order. (Seligman)
According to Seligman (2000), positive psychology is a science that “promises to improve the quality of life” through positive individual traits, experiences and institutions (p.5). Positive psychology plays an essential role and articulates a view of good life, which can show what actions of a person would lead to well-being and into positive individuals (Seligman, 2000, p.5). Seligman formed this focus of positive psychology to study the happiness and well-being of individuals. He believed this exclusive new focus emphasizes attention on individuals’ flourishment and their ability to thrive in their commonalities and institutions. Similar to Seligman, Gable and Haidt (2005) believed that positive psychology takes an aim to study “the other side of the coin”; the ways people express their emotions and build healthy relationship with their families and institutions (p.104-105). According to Linley, Govindji and West (2007), positive psychology has grown into the study of what is right for people, particularly within the topics of strengths and happiness (p.44-45).However the negatives in life are not forgotten it is simply overridden by the focus of what makes people thrive in happiness (Gable & Haidt, 2005, p.104).Therefore the focus of positive psychology alternated from pathology to forward growth of people to be simply defined as the “science of optimal human functioning” (Linley, Govindji and West, 2007
Positive psychology, which has emerged recently, is the scientific study of human thriving. Psychology traditionally focuses on dysfunction—on people with mental illness or other psychological problems and how to treat them. Positive psychology, by contrast, is a relatively new field that examines how ordinary people can become happier and more fulfilled. In his 1998 APA presidential address, Seligman, the founder of positive psychology, argued that psychology had become too focused on curing mental illness according to a disease model, and that, for all intents and purposes, it had become a “victimology” (Seligman, 1998). What was needed, he averred, was a new “science of human strengths,” a positive psychology (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000).
There are 3 ways of positive coaching introduced in the book, as Grant described coaching as “a collaborative solution-focused, result-orientated, and systematic process in which the coach facilitates the enhancement of life experience and goal-attainment” (2003, p.253). First is, Solution focused cognitive behavioural coaching are present and future orientated. It is focused on achieving goals and finding the solution. Secondly, Positive psychology coaching which main purpose is to help improve people’s well-being. Lastly, Self determination theory coaching which is focused on needs based theory. As like all the plants needs nutrition to live psychologically human needs nutriments such as competency, people need to feel competent at some stage, autonomy, need sense of choice and relatedness, need positive relationships with someone (Spence & Oades, 2011). There’s two types of motivation, intrinsic motivation which is doing it for own sake and extrinsic motivation which