Strengths- A shift in focus for psychology
- Its a shift from explaing and treating disorder and illness to celebrating human character and how our authentic strengths can be developed to ensure we experience great life contentment
- Positive psychology recognises people want to think about there future, to become proactive in changing their destiny, and understanding they have free will over their emotions to acheive this.
- Martin Seligman (2000) was extremely keen to bring about a shift in thinking beleiving: The aim of positive psychology is to begin to catalyse a change in focus of psychology from preoccupation only with repairing the worst things in life, to also building positive qualities
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- Examples of application of the positive approach include; education, stress management, occupational psychology and therapy.
- The US army used positive psychology in its resilience traning, it is used to reduce symptoms of stress and suicide. The programme works by building mental toughness by identifying and developing signature strength.
- Positive psychology is used in education, with a number of schools adopting positive psychology curricula which involve intentional activities to increase overall well being. The US department of education rewarded a $2.8 million grant for postive psychology to be taught to ninth graders
- In 2007, the UK department for children, schools and families set 10 new targets to improve childrens well being by 2020 with the view of incorporating positive psychology into the curriculum.
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Strengths- Free will approach
- It does not propose a deterministic view of human behaviour
- Positive psychology is based on the notion that individuals are not pre-determined nor restricted
- Positive psychology questions the validity of some traditional approaches which display determinism
- Psychologists beleive recognise that humans are self regulating and not "victims" of their past, instead they posses character strengths and virtues that can be developed further to enhance life .
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