Positive Psychology


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Slides from Miriam Akhtar\'s presentation May2012

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  • What is the ultimate goal of PP – to help people to flourish. Flourishing - ‘Adults with complete mental health are flourishing in life with high levels of well-being. To be flourishing, then, is to be filled with positive emotion and to be functioning well psychologically and socially. Adults with incomplete mental health are languishing in life with low well-being. Thus languishing may be conceived of as emptiness and stagnation, constituting a life of quiet despair that parallels accounts of individuals who describe themselves and life as “hollow,” ”empty,” “a shell”, and “a void” (Keyes, 2002, p210).’
  • So let’s go a bit more deeply into happiness and what the research has shown us over the last 10-15 years… Two types – hedonics – abundance & peaks of pos emotions Eudaimonic – functioning well… how you are when you’re at your best, realising your potential, playing to your strengths. Here are some of the formulae for happiness – your teaser Qs. Did anyone crack the code? SWB – subjective well-being = satisfaction with life, the way you rate your happiness, satisfied, + PA – Positive Affect – the sum of your experience of pos emotions – NAS – the sum of your experience of neg emotions. H = S + C + V – Happiness, Set Range + Circs + Voluntary… So if we look at that as a pie chart it’s like this…
  • This is the key to PP coaching… there’s a virtuous cycle involved. Happiness & success - a business selling-point for you. That there is a virtuous relationship btn happiness and success. Success leads to happiness and happiness leads to success.
  • Coaching is the main process we use in PP. Coaching is a tool of the health model… This is a definition of PP coaching PPC is scientifically-grounded coaching drawing on the body of theory, research and tools from PP, evidence-based coaching psychology. Science provides an evidence-based framework, higher quality for the coaching because of scientific grounding. Coaching is the tool of the health model whereas therapy operates more in the disease model. It’s about the destination, the goal, where you want to get to. It’s an action-oriented approach based on behavioural mentoring rather than therapy which is more about emotional understanding to obtain a cathartic release from suffering. Abstract Coaching is a practice without limits on its scope, lacking theoretical foundations and meaningful accreditation, one that has yet to develop a significant empirical base. The discipline of positive psychology can provide coaching with an evidence-based framework and a defined scope of practice. Further, positive psychology can provide a range of valid measures, evidence-based interventions and a reference point from which to develop meaningful training and accreditation processes that will help set the boundaries of responsible coaching practice (Seligman, 2007) Coaching is a ‘natural home’ for positive psychology, coaching is ideal vehicle thru which the science of PP can be applied. PP coaches attempt to weave the strands of the research into the practice of coaching. - Two main branches to PPC – WB (positivity, happiness) and Performance (strengths) - PPC differs from ‘pure coaching’ in that the knowledge is shared. In pure coaching the answers lie in the client and the job of the coach is to elicit those solutions from the client. PPC is different in that the coach holds expertise in the scientific research, has the knowledge as to what works. Coach advises ‘describes’ & ‘prescribes’ – describes what the research tells us and also prescribes evidence-based PPIs. Not wholly prescriptive but certainly not as neutral as in pure coaching. PP provides an evidence-based framework to coaching.
  • This is a summary of some of the key aspects of PP coaching, reflecting two main branches to it.
  • One of the main areas of research in PP is that of PEs like these – PEs based on the past like… PEs in the moment… and PEs based on the future like hope, optimism… One of the greatest discoveries in PP is that PEs don’t just feel good, they do us good too…
  • Best of all is this… the Positivity Ratio… So in coaching we’re looking to help our clients reach the PR. And the science has validated a number of tools that help ppl do that… the first and best known is this… Aim: To increase positive emotions, helping the client to spiral upwards towards a state of flourishing. Tipping point is the Positivity Ratio – 3:1 positive to negative emotions. Frequency of positive emotion counts more than quality. The Science Bit Positive emotions broaden our thinking and attention, enhancing creativity & productivity Build 4 types of resources – psychological, intellectual, social, physical and resilience Undo stress PP coaching to overcome the negativity bias
  • Best known PP tool… And that is to name 3 things that are good in your life, that you’re grateful for or have gone well. Activity – let’s do that now… I’d like us to go around 3 times and each time to name one thing that is good, grateful for or went well… So I’ll kick off now… One thing that is good is that I’ve come to Coventry… I’ve only been here once in my life and this is where my father proposed to my mother… Let’s say it’s the scene of my pre-conception… Go around 3 times…
  • V powerful technique for producing PEs – family of interventions that go under the title of Gratitude – felt sense… that’s when it becomes powerful… Powerful technique assoc with all these good things… Training the mind to notice what’s good. Here are some of the key ways to do it… I use this as a way of checking in with a coaching client, resourceful state… What’s been good… Seligman’s early studies – he got ppl to do 3GT for a week… benefits were felt up to 6months later, increase in happiness and reduction in depression.
  • So here is another of the evidence-based ways of increasing positive emotions – Savouring… If Gratitude is about noticing what’s good, this one is about enhancing the enjoyment of what’s good.
  • Savouring comes in a variety of forms – so for example what might you be savouring if you were basking in sth? Job well done? Sunshine? Marvelling – feat of nature, engineering… In BS I’m always in awe at the Clifton Suspension Bridge, IK Brunel.. Relishing Luxuriating Feasting Treasuring On this slide – hand around props…
  • So you can savour sth physical and also psychological using the steps… savour across time. So I’d like you to experience that… Write a list of 2 or 3 memories or things you’re really looking forward to… And then choose one of them to savour – take your time, stretch it out, reflect on the source of enjoyment, your metaphorical strawberry and your partner will act as a coach – what’s good about it? What else is good about it? Really luxuriate in the experience. Take your time… How was that? What was easier to savour sth past or future? So how might you use that? Pos reminiscence – if you’re working with someone who’s come thru a rough time, to help build resilience, reminder of past achievements. Anticipation – if someone is low… helps them to cultivate an appreciation of what’s coming up… Positive Reminiscence: - Ask client to reflect on a positive experience. Open questions directed to the positive – what was good about it? What was the best bit? What qualities/strengths did you demonstrate? Can use props as memory prompts eg. photos, awards. Builds resilience post-setback by reflecting on past achievements and boosts well-being. Reminiscence used as therapy for older people.
  • Explain first one – and suggest the experimental light nature of this. Pos emotions are fleeting, don’t cling. The first one is almost the meta-strategy for the others. Be open – positivity opens you up so be open to good things in life. Be open, light and experimental. Positive meaning – notice the good in things. Interpret positively.
  • That was your introduction to two of the most significant and practical branches of positive psychology. If you have any ?s or are interested in coaching/training, this is how you can reach me… A couple of resources which feature the PP tools that I’ve described today. PP has all the coaching tools we’ve covered today.
  • Positive Psychology

    1. 1. The Positive Psychology of http://stockfresh.com/gallery/PixelsAway Miriam Akhtarwww.positivepsychologytraining.co.uk
    2. 2. Psychological Eudaimonic Motivation & Positive therapy Coaching well-being approaches goal theories Happiness & Psychology Positive Flow well-being of time education Applied pos. psychology Hedonic Positive approaches Positive business Psychology Positive Positive Coping emotions coping with choice Creativity Wisdom & knowledge Emotional Positive Emotions Resilience ageing intelligence Strengths & Love & virtues Strengths of Post- Humour humanity traumatic temperance growth Strengths of Strengths of Strengths of transcendence courage justiceBoniwell (2006)
    3. 3. Well-being is…PERMA (Seligman, 2011)
    4. 4. Flourishing is… …high well-beingMental disorder Languishing Moderate health Flourishing The mental health spectrum (Huppert, 2005)
    5. 5. Happiness is? Hedonic v EudaimonicFeel good or function well SWB = SWL + PA - NA H=S+C+V
    6. 6. Where does happiness come from? Our Parents - 50% Our Circumstances - 10% Our Activities and Outlook - 40% (Lyubomirsky, 2007)
    7. 7. The Key to PP Coaching Happiness = SuccessHappiness generates success and success generates happiness Lyubomirsky, Diener & King, 2005 © Positive Psychology Masterclass
    8. 8. What is positive psychology coaching? “A scientifically-rooted approach to helping clients increase well-being, enhance and apply strengths, improve performance and achieve valued goals” Kauffman, Boniwell & Silberman, 2009Positive psychology provides an evidence-based frameworkfor coaching…Coaching for positivity, strengths, optimism, resilience andtowards flourishing…
    9. 9. Positive Psychology Coaching for…Hedonic well-being Eudaimonic well-being‘Feel good’ ‘Function well’Happiness/Life Optimal functioning/satisfaction SuccessPositivity StrengthsPromote Well-being Improve PerformancePersonal development Professional developmentFit with life coaching Fit with executive coaching Flourish Flourish
    10. 10. Positive EmotionsPast Present FutureSatisfaction Joy HopeContentment Zest OptimismFulfillment Bliss FaithPride Calm TrustSerenity PleasureGratitude Ecstasy Curiosity Inspiration Love © Positive Psychology Masterclass
    11. 11. The Positivity Ratio: Positive to Negative Emotions 3:1 = Flourishing 2:1 = Languishing Losada & Fredrickson, 2005
    12. 12. Coaching for PositivityAim: To increase positive emotions, helping the client to spiral upwards towards a state of flourishing. Tipping point is the Positivity Ratio – 3:1 positive to negative emotions. Frequency of positive emotion counts more than quality.The Science Bit• Positive emotions broaden our thinking and attention, enhancing creativity & productivity• Build 4 types of resources – psychological, intellectual, social, physical and resilience• Undo stress• PP coaching to overcome the negativity bias
    13. 13. Towards the Positivity Ratio• What’s going right in life?• Identify what you love to do and do it - playlist• Engage wholeheartedly with positive experiences• Accept the fleeting nature of positive emotions• Quantity rather than quality for the positivity ratio• Keep some balance and accept negative emotions
    14. 14. Three Good Things The Classic Positive Psychology Intervention… What is good in my life? What am I grateful for? What went well?
    15. 15. Gratitude• “A felt sense of wonder, thankfulness and appreciation for life.” (Emmons & Shelton, 2002).• Gratitude associated with increased positive emotions happiness, life satisfaction, optimism, hope, enthusiasm, energy, spirituality, forgiveness. And decreased depression, anxiety, loneliness, envy, neuroticism and materialism (Emmons, 2007). Tools Three good things. ‘What’s been good?’ Gratitude journal. Expressing thanks eg. Gratitude letter or visit.
    16. 16. Savouring “The aim of life is appreciation” – G.K. Chesterton (1936)From the Latin sapere, which means “to taste”, “to have good tastes” or “to be wise”Savouring is “the capacity to attend to, appreciate and enhance the positive experiences in one’s life.” Bryant & Veroff,2007What for: To enhance a positive experience and overcome the negativity bias © Positive Psychology Masterclass
    17. 17. Savouring is a ProcessBasking, marvelling, relishing, luxuriating, feasting, treasuring, cherishing…All varieties of savouring• Savouring is a process not an outcome • Something we do; not something that happens • Requires active engagement © Positive Psychology Masterclass
    18. 18. How to savour3 Time Orientations• Past: Reminiscing• Present: Savouring the moment• Future: AnticipatingSavour across time. Write a list of 2-3 peak memories and/or things you’re looking forward to. Choose one to savour. Work in pairs. Partner acts as coach – ‘what’s good about it?’ © Positive Psychology Masterclass
    19. 19. 1. Be open & find positive meaning2. Savour positivity3. Ritualise gratitude4. Visualise your future5. Create high-quality connections6. Cultivate kindness7. Develop distractions8. Dispute negative thinking9. Find nearby nature10. Meditate mindfully11. Meditate on loving-kindness Barbara Fredrickson, 2009
    20. 20. Resources • www.positivepsychologytraining.co.uk • miriam@positivepsychologytraining.co.uk @pospsychologist • T: 0117 953 7100 M: 07973 742739• Positive Psychology Masterclass 20-21 June