Psychiatry Research Seminar: Applying positive psychology with adolescents: Findings of two studies of a positive psychology program for high school students
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- Psychology has traditionally been a healing profession focused on alleviating and preventing distress and dysfunction. Over the last decade, the field of positive psychology has seen increased focus on developing strengths and enhancing wellbeing in conjunction with efforts to alleviate mental ill-health. The presentation explores the development and testing of a positive psychology program for adolescents. The 10-session program focuses on: strengths, positive emotions, savouring, gratitude, hope, meaning, and positive relationships. While findings are preliminary, there is promising evidence that positive psychology concepts are appealing to young people and effective in enhancing wellbeing, cognitive hardiness and personal strivings.
Jacolyn Norrish’s PhD is in positive psychology and adolescent mental health. Her thesis involved developing and testing positive psychology interventions for adolescents. This research was extended to a research trial funded by Harvard University that aimed to investigate the efficacy of school-based positive psychology and evidence-based coaching approaches. Jacolyn has taught positive psychology, mindfulness, and well-being courses at the university level. Currently, she is a senior associate at MindSetGo Psychology and also works as a Research Fellow at RMIT University.
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