Positive Psychology is a latest branch of Psychology that studies factors that make people happy and flourish. This field was started by many Psychologists who were not happy with the way traditional psychology was functioning. The key individual who was a facilitator in making Positive Psychology a movement was Professor Martin Seligman, who said that the existential Psychology was more focused on "treating" mental illnesses (and fairly successfully!) but not so much on looking at things which worked well with people. Psychology was not studying those factors enough that were making humans thrive, stay content and happy. In nutshell, Positive Psychology is a behavioral science that is focused on human wellbeing. The question is why you should study positive psychology? I will give you seven strong reasons here;
- Positive Psychology is an overarching field that studies human well-being and flourishing. Irrespective of which field you are in, studying and applying positive psychology would give you different tools to elevate your life situations.
- People who are already studying other fields of Psychology can get kind of a "booster shot" by studying Positive Psychology concurrently. So, this would give them many choices for their career.
- For individuals in Human Resources this is an opportunity to create a more flourishing work-force. There are authors like Shawn Achor who have done great work in applying Positive Psychology at work and there are consultants available who can help the HR managers apply Positive Psychology powered interventions (I work with companies in this area myself!). It is also useful in Managing change.
- Individuals and organizations who undertake learning and development work can use Positive Psychology techniques in their training and performance enhancement work. There are areas like Diversity, equity and Inclusion (DEI) and culture practice where Positive Psychology can surely be useful
- If you are a medical professional and are interested in creating spaces of well being with your care-receivers (I hate the word Patient!), Positive Psychology can aid you with that.
- Coaches, Counsellors and Therapists can take many inputs from Positive Psychology and this science of well-being can compliment their existing know-how.
- Professors as well as School Teachers can pick up many relevant techniques through Positive Psychology. Positive Education, a subset of Positive Psychology is an astonishing field in itself.
- School of Positive Transformation (UK) offers accredited (CPD accredited) various interesting programs in Positive Psychology and Coaching. The Institute is having very high credibility and is started by Incredibly accomplished Positive Psychologist, Mindfulness Practitioner and a TED speaker, Dr. Itai IvtZan The Listing of few programs are as follows;
- International Institute of Positive Psychology offers Post Graduate Immersive programs (Graduate programs for US audience) in Applied Positive Psychology, as well as workplace Positive Psychology. These programs are offered through distance learning (with faculty support) while they have to submit learning journals, case studies and be part of a Positive Psychology lab (virtual). The listing of the programs can be seen here: Programs offered by International Institute of Positive Psychology