Browsing: positive psychology

Currents

I read, I review. I rarely comment. The difference? I offer glimpses into a book, noting
the content, the writing style, the potential impact on a reader, often sharing my personal
reactions to the material with a familiar first person writing style. An academic commentary
proposes both a different tone and approach. One that offered a challenge until I realized
that a commentary is just that, a personal reaction pinpointing part of the material that
potentially impacts either me personally or my field of study and interest, in this instance
psychotherapeutic interventions that offer clients and ourselves a way forward.

I read Ryan Niemiec’s newest publication, Character Strengths Interventions: A Field
Guide for Practitioners, with no background experience in positive psychology, no concept
of what character strengths are or how to integrate them into my life or my professional
work. I quickly learned that character strengths are positive traits that are core to our
being—our identity—and our doing, aka our behavior (pg. 2).

Reviews

Positive psychology is rooted in the idea that human beings want to thrive and engage in things that enrich their experiences and cultivate a meaningful life. In his 2014 book, Mindfulness and Character Strengths: A Practical Guide to Flourishing, author Ryan M. Niemiec discusses how practicing mindfulness can help individuals identify, understand, and apply their character strengths and create a pathway to a fulfilling life. He takes readers through Drs. Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman’s program Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice (MBSP), relays inspiring success stories about finding meaning via MBSP, provides useful handouts to guide readers through MBSP, and gives tips for practitioners such as how to apply MBSP to different settings and situations.

Mindfulness and Character Traits received praise for its revolutionary perspective. It reads like a self-help book, perfect for individuals who want to learn how to personally achieve mindfulness and discover their character strengths; however, it wasn’t written with the goal of teaching practitioners how to implement MBSP in their practice with their clients. With that in mind, Niemiec (2018) wrote his recently published book, Character Strength Interventions: A Field Guide for Practitioners for Practitioners. Additionally, he focuses more on the core of positive psychology, character strengths and less on how to achieve mindfulness. He educates the reader on the foundations of character strength interventions, relays evidence to support his claims about the usefulness of character strength interventions, and explains countless interventions step-by-step providing practitioners with a useful handbook.

Mind/Body/Spirit

“I’m so exhausted!” Emily sighed as she slumped into the rocking chair. “The store is driving me crazy!”

Congenial and generally upbeat, Emily juggles complex roles as manager of a profitable men’s clothing franchise: engaging saleswoman, savvy boss and compassionate housemother for her “kids” as she calls her staff. Emily handles the pressures with genuine warmth and contagious wit. Despite changing business requirements and the kids’ idiosyncratic quirks, Emily remains surprisingly happy in her job, often affirming, “My job is fun. It makes me feel really good.”

Yet, on this vibrantly sunny summer day, something was different. The energy with which Emily entered the room was visibly and palpably low, as if a cloud had blocked the light that had been beaming through the window. With a wan twinkle at the edges of her usually lively eyes, Emily recounted the latest list of stressors involving inventory, customers and the kids.

Mind/Body/Spirit

Vim reported sleep disruptions, irritability, anger and distorted negative self-cognitions. His negative affect states surfaced when he learned his department at a prestigious college where he had worked for over two decades was to be dismantled, absorbed into another program. At age fifty-seven, Vim enjoyed job flexibility and autonomy that allowed him to provide for his four-member household and work from home. With no recourse, he faced unavoidable unemployment within three months. He was understandably anxious, depressed and scared. He was also out of touch with his resilience.

Currents

Who am I? Why was I born? What am I meant to do? How will I do it? Your soul knows the answers to these questions and you can open to its whispers and wisdom. Come explore your soul’s essence, your heart call, and the next steps along your sacred journey to Self. The research-based science of Positive Psychology, in concert with intuitive awareness and spiritual guidance, offers tools to help you discover your unique destiny.