Positive Psychology: a (very) brief introduction & history


Positive psychology is a recent branch of scientific psychology that studies the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities, who are not experiencing significant levels of distress, to thrive. The advantage of positive psychology is that it unites scattered and disparate lines of theory and research about what makes life worth living and provides a theoretical backbone for coaching psychology.

According to Martin Seligman, President of the American Psychological society and arguably the strongest proponent of Positive Psychology, positive psychology can be delineated into three overlapping areas of research referred to as “the Pleasant Life,”related to enjoyment, “the Good Life,” related to engagement and “the Meaningful Life,” related to affiliation. Seligman contends that for life coaching psychologists, practicing exactly these three endeavors may bring some order into chaos by limiting coaching’s  scope of practice and providing the solid research base with a strong theoretical backbone that coaching psychology desperately needs.

Demystifying Life Coaching – a (very) brief overview

Demystifying Life Coaching – A Brief Overview.

My life is exactly where I want it to be. I have overcome all of my faults, and found redemption. I am no longer afraid of death. I can handle any situation without stress or anxiety. And I am filthy rich. My family and friends are also perfect.  On top of that, I am, of course, really, really, really, ridiculously good looking.

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I almost forgot to mention – I have a sense of humor.  And  if you hadn’t guessed it already – that last statement is the only true statement so far.   The above list merely represents my brief attempt to come up with some silly stereotypes about life coaching Program.  Of course, none of these things are true of me (though the power of life coaching has got me much closer).  They are impossible.

What is Happiness?

Happiness is often associated with unrealistic materialistic achievements – for example – the iconic Hollywood impressions of life. Unrealistic and materialistic desires can motivate us toward action but can also set us up for feelings of inadequacy or even jealousy.

The pathway to happiness through the attainment of positive emotions is often temporary, and the more we achieve, the more we feel we need in order to be fulfilled. It is no surprise that we often do not reach a feeling of fulfilment.

According to positive psychology, there are two complementary pathways to authentic happiness. The first of these is the “engaged life,” which involves being fully involved in your daily life activities, relationships and work. In order to become happier through engagement, coaching can help to find out what is intrinsically rewarding for you.

I have so much great stuff to share with you. We are just getting started.

Check back regularly for exciting tips and strategies to maximise your psychological wellbeing. Watch this space next week for some top tips from my upcoming group therapy programs. Don’t forget to register your interest to be the first to receive an exclusive offer to the first session of this exciting new program, to be held soon in the Gold Coast. Register your interest on this site. Let me know what areas of your life you would like to work on.