What is Positive Psychology?

Julia Ruppert Uncategorised

Positive psychology is a branch of psychology that uses scientific exploration to understand and enhance optimum human functioning. It focuses on the factors that enable both individuals and communities to thrive – such as positive emotions, strengths, creativity, flow, spirituality and wellbeing.

Positive psychology evolved in response to mainstream psychology’s medical model that focused on the treatment of illness in clinical populations and the aim of returning clients to a  functional baseline. In contrast, positive psychology recommended a proactive and wellness-modelled approach that could respond to the flourishing, fulfilment and positive growth interests of non-clinical populations. As such, positive psychology interventions (PPI) are currently defined as interventions that promote wellbeing in non-clinical populations.

As research in positive psychology continues to expand, more and more empirically grounded PPIs are being developed and explored across a range of diverse disciplines. Examples include mindfulness meditation, gratitude and savouring activities, ‘best possible self’ and a range of strength, meaning and creative activity-based strategies.

Individuals delivering positive psychology interventions will generally have key professional expertise in areas such as coaching, management consulting, training or psychology. These skills are combined with graduate-level training in applied positive psychology and research-based experience in designing, delivering and testing a range of targeted and bespoke positive psychology interventions. It is this wealth of practitioner background and stringent scientific training that creates the diversity, quality and creativity that underscore positive psychology’s foundations and the skills of our members.