One of the more interesting developments in modern psychotherapy is Positive Psychology. The focus is not on curing people of habits, attitudes and behaviour that diminish their joy, but on what people can do to increase their happiness.

(There have always been some therapies that have focused on this – especially the third force psychotherapies that emerged in the US after WWII, such as Carl Rogers and gestalt. However the overwhelming focus of psychotherapy has been on reducing or replacing the negative experiences of clients.)

The field of Positive Psychology is largely due to the initiative of Martin Seligman, beginning with his book Learned Optimism and then with Authentic Happiness. Since then it has spread rapidly and there are many involved.

One of the worries that people express about Positive Psychology is that it may be a recipe for caring only for ourselves. The research that has been done (and there has been a lot of very good research done) shows that it is people who have good relationships and care for others who have the most satisfying lives. Those who care only for themselves are generally less happy.

There is now a website where you can access some of the tools of Happiness Psychology. It is called Happier.com. There are quizzes to take as well as tools you can access and a blog.

The Positive Psychology movement is decidedly pragmatic and ‘scientific’ in its approach. It isn’t somewhere you look for deep discussions of philosophic issues or even the nature of the therapeutic encounter. Neither is it likely to lead to innovations in therapeutic practice. (The theory accepts scientistic assumptions and current social arrangements are not challenged.) What it does deliver is things we can do now to live happier lives in the world as it is. For something (like psychotherapy) that should be focused on therapeutic outcomes this is a great achievement in my view.

The website has resources for free as well as a paid membership option – which gives you access to a wider range of materials.

This is a great place to find out about Positive Psychology. It is also a great resources you can use to start changing your life so that you are happier. I’m very glad that this site exists; so I encourage you to go check out Happier.com.

If you like the post you might also like:
Awareness Cures
Positive Psychology and Gestalt Therapy
IMHO Gestalt is Best


Would you like to feel less stressed?
Could you do with more joy in your life?

The answer is living authentically. Buy the book or sign up for the course now from my Living Authentically website.

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3 Comments to “How to be Happier”

  1. Thanks for that link Evan. Very interesting stuff!

  2. Evan says:

    Glad you like it. Useful stuff I think.

  3. […] 10/1/09 – Evan at Wellbeingandhealth.net reviews our site in his article “How To Be Happier“ […]

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