“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
– Helen Keller
One of the most important movements in psychology in the last two decades has been called “Positive Psychology.” Traditionally, clinical psychology was based on a medical model which looked at what was “wrong” with people—it foccused on trying to “fix” them. Positive Psychology helped clinicians look at what’s “right” with people, and how to help them build on their strengths and interests in order to overcome problems and create satisfying, meaningful lives.
Many of psychotherapy’s greatest clinicians began to focus on people’s strengths and resources long before Positive Psychology came along. But its emergence as a specific branch of psychology marked the beginning of the serious scientific study of such questions as:
- What makes human beings happy?
- What makes for a “good” life?
- What are the most effective environments for developing our strengths?
- What is “Peak Performance” and how can we move towards it?
- How can we experience the “Flow state” more often?
Therapists who draw from Positive Psychology are concerned with cultivating and developing individual strengths, talents, inclinations, and innate resources that lead people toward rewarding, purposeful lives.