Positive psychology has been gaining quite a bit of momentum over the past decade or so, with more mental health professionals tuning into its tenets, and several international events cropping up to help grow the field. There’s little doubt that the area has vast potential to teach both professionals and their clients much in terms of a different approach to life, but there is also some contention over whether positive psychology is too dismissive of what some would term the “dark side.” As with many things in life, positive psychology is experiencing a call to become more balanced, and both proponents and critics are awaiting the outcome.
One call in particular has been made recently by Dale Floody of Wisconsin, a Viterbo University professor who believes that positive psychology has a lot to offer –as long as it remains true to reality. Noting that optimism and a proactive approach to life can be extraordinarily beneficial for people from all walks of life, Floody also sees the potential for the realistic handling of life’s less glorious moments to be of value. In his book published this spring, Balanced Positive Psychology: Where the Grass is Greener, Floody touches on a variety of topics within the greater topic of psychology itself and examines both how positive psychology has the potential to enhance lives and individual experiences, as well as how taking the negative into account can afford a more genuine outlook.
As positive psychology strives to make a firm place for itself among the many approaches being practiced and discussed today, the need for more consideration of negative emotions and experiences is bound to present a challenge. For the many professionals and clients who are working with positive psychology to create a greater well-being, there is hope that the challenge will be met with vigor and skill.
© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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