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Positive psychology & the pursuit of “happiness” Helen Murphy Director / Psychologist.

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Presentation on theme: "Positive psychology & the pursuit of “happiness” Helen Murphy Director / Psychologist."— Presentation transcript:

1 Positive psychology & the pursuit of “happiness” Helen Murphy Director / Psychologist

2 Positive Psychology? * Positive Psychology is: as much concerned with strength as with weakness as interested in building the best things in life as in repairing the worst as concerned with making the lives of normal people fulfilling as with the healing of pathology * © Martin E.P. Seligman Used with permission

3 Three Pillars of Positive Psychology * Positive Emotion –The Pleasant Life Positive Character (Traits) –The Good Life Positive Institutions –The Meaningful Life * © Martin Seligman Used with permission

4 The Pleasant Life & How to Enhance It * Past –satisfaction, gratitude, pride, forgiveness, contentment Future –optimism, hope, trust, confidence Present –Pleasures (bodily senses) “savouring”, “mindfulness” –Gratification (absorbing activities, flow, use of “signature strengths”) * © Martin Seligman 2002 & Used with permission

5 The Good Life & How to Build It * Flow –deep, effortless involvement; intellectual, social or physical engagement or absorption –time stops, “self” vanishes Eudaimonia –contentment, flourishing –activities of noble purpose Signature Strengths & Virtues No short cuts * © Martin Seligman 2002 & Used with permission

6 The Meaningful Life & How to Attain It * Use of Signature Strengths in the service of what is larger than ourselves Positive Institutions * © Martin Seligman Used with permission

7 Relevance “ Authentic happiness comes from identifying & cultivating your most fundamental strengths & using them every day in work, love, play & parenting ”. Seligman (2002) Applications? Organisational (selection, team work, leadership, conflict resolution, E. l. …) Vocational (career decisions, job satisfaction, job search resilience… ) Educational (learning, resilience, optimism, social intelligence, …) Relationships (satisfaction, resolutions) and more

8 The 24 Character Strengths


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