Positive Psychology – The Next Step After Therapy Calgary Residents Need to Know

by Psyguy on February 14, 2011 · 1 comment

in Therapy

Positive PsychologyBy Dr. Dan McKinnon PhD. (Education)

You may already know a little about one of the newer fields of study within psychology – Positive Psychology.  Actually, it is not really new, tracing its origins back to the days of the early Greek philosophers interested in learning the meaning of true happiness and the good life.  Psychologists in the mid 1950’s like Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow were also interested in learning what constitutes a meaningful life.  The term Positive Psychology was introduced as a means of emphasizing the need for psychologists to study not only what is wrong in human life, but what is right as well.  As such, Positive Psychology is not what many would call therapy.  Calgary residents need to know it represents more of the next steps to take upon completion of therapy.

In most cases, people seek therapy to relieve some form of suffering.  Job loss or relationship breakups can produce unbearable anxiety and stress.  For some of us, untreated anxiety can lead to severe depression.  The goal of therapy is to help the client deal with the psychic pain, either eliminating it, or reducing it to manageable levels.

But what then?  Suppose prior to the onset of the condition that led you to seek therapy, you led a life with which you were not altogether satisfied.  Does the elimination of pain through therapy yield greater happiness and greater life satisfaction?

Although some might argue that the alleviation of pain itself produces a sense of satisfaction and greater well-being in the short term, in the long run most would agree a life previously lacking in meaning will return to the same state.

Positive Psychology offers a series of steps to take after therapy Calgary residents can use to find real happiness and meaning in their lives.

Many Calgary therapists incorporate principles of Positive Psychology in their therapeutic approaches, helping clients identify and appreciate the positive aspects of their existing lives.  Positive thinking, hope for the future, and optimism are all necessary steps on the road to greater happiness and a meaningful life.

Researchers in the field have identified strengths and virtues characteristic of those who lead truly fulfilled lives.  Many of us already have some of these strengths that can be developed, while new strengths can be learned.

They have identified three roads to happiness – the pleasant life, the good life, and the meaningful life. All three are needed to reach maximum life satisfaction.  To begin the journey you need to know your starting point.

The University of Pennsylvania has become a major center of the Positive Psychology movement.  They maintain a website called Authentic Happiness with affordable website design that includes several self-assessment questionnaires to help you measure your current strengths and levels of satisfaction.

If you are truly interested in a more satisfied and fulfilled life after therapy, Calgary residents should definitely pay that site a visit.  The University also maintains a central website called the Positive Psychology Center.  It is an invaluable source of information and additional reference reading on the subject.

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