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What is a Positive Psychologist?

Before delving in to what is a positive psychologist, let me first answer a number of questions to put positive psychology in context.

First of all let’s take a brief look at the question “What is psychology“. Psychology is the science of how humans behave.  It typically looks at how a broad number of people behave in a particular situation.  “Interventions” can be tested to see whether they have any impact on the majority of people.

Why Positive Psychology?

Positive-PsychologyFor many years, psychology had developed a reputation that it was based on illness: mental disorder from stress and anxiety through to depression.  Whether that reputation was deserved is a matter for debate as there was always a large number of researchers who either looked at more neutral or more uplifting aspects of psychology.  For example motivation, strengths, flow, and finding the answer to the million dollar question, what makes us happy?

When Martin Seligman became the Chair of the APA (American Psychological Association), he challenged the Psychological community to focus on the aspects of psychology that are more uplifting.  This spawned research into happiness, motivation, flow, strengths, mindset and well-being.

My journey to become a Positive Psychologist

I’ve always been interested in “success”.  Initially for my personal gain, then around 20 years ago I began managing graduates at IBM.  I found that I was thrilled by their successes.  I continued my personal forays into different “technologies” that support success, including NLP.  Within IBM I changed roles and was thrilled to accept a job in their training department, training soft skills and leadership development courses.  One of the soft skills courses was that of reducing stress at work.  With continual cuts on training budgets, IBM (understandably) wanted more “evidence” that the stuff we were training really works.

I decided to complete a Masters degree in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) at the University of East London.  It was the BEST thing I did.

I was able to combine my corporate training with the latest research from positive psychology.  I wrote a book: Great Days at Work bringing the latest research into the hands of employees in a more corporate setting.  The book was aimed at people who wanted “proof” and are not willing to take suggestions at face value.

What is a positive psychologist?

I work with individuals and teams enabling them to THRIVE.  I provide coaching and training, both one-to-one and as part of a group.  I’ve run workshops on having GREAT DAYS, and I often present on reducing stress in the workplace.

I have a number of presentations for you to use on Slideshare.  For example you might be interested in From Stressing to Thriving

If you would like an initial, no obligation conversation about how a positive psychologist could enable you or your team to grow and flourish, give me (Suzanne Hazelton) a call on 0779 555 7623