The Psychology of Optimism, Hope, and Resilience
Accurate Assessment Includes Finding Strengths
Since my graduate school days I have wrestled with the way in which the field of Psychology has focused on the negative aspects of the person: illness, pathology, deficit, delay. While accurate assessment is important, I feel that a primary focus on pathology overlooks the inherent strengths every person, couple and family have -- even those who seem to be the most disorganized.
Strength-Based Approach Fosters Healing
I believe people get better faster when a positive, strength-based approach is taken. I didn?t learn much in graduate school about resilience, hardiness, hope, optimism or the power of intention ? but I have learned a lot about that from my clients over the years.
Martin Seligman and Positive Psychology
Martin Seligman has almost single-handedly defined the field of Positive Psychology, which emphasizes strength and potential. As president of the American Psychological Association several years ago, he launched initiatives to nudge the field in the direction of paying more attention to positive factors as we do our work. I am grateful for his leadership in this area.
Self Help Resources on Positive Psychology
These interesting self help books in the section on Positive Psychology apply the insights of the new Positive Psychology to improving functioning and quality of life.