Putting It All Together

{Biswas-Diener, 2008. Invitation to Positive Psychology: Research and Tools for the Professional. A 6-week Course.}

As you read this article, you engaged in the activities and inquiries to acquire expertise in content areas such as happiness and optimism, learned about the merits of a strengths focus, and built the tools to apply these topics to your work.

You had the opportunity to absorb this fascinating new information, practice fundamental positive psychology skills with friends, colleagues, or family members, and use interventions with actual clients.

Since you completed the preparatory work, it is time to push yourself to new heights, integrate the skills and knowledge you have gained, and use them in your professional work.

It is important to periodically update your knowledge of new developments in positive psychology and seek to improve your skill set.

We encourage you to stay at the cutting edge of positive psychology and learn and use the tools introduced.

If you keep up with the content of this article and practice with the suggested exercises, you become ready to take positive psychology to the next level.

At the end of the preparatory work, revisit the questions in Section 1 to evaluate how much you have learned and how much skepticism you harbored toward positive psychology.

Consider your answers to these questions carefully; any unanswered questions have exciting avenues for further exploration.

Professional Development: Becoming a Great Positive Psychology Practitioner

Professional development involves learning new skills and updating expertise. Excellence in professional work comes from a combination of factors, including natural talent, professional experience, and innovation.

Considering the power of innovation and strategy for your practice is important when looking at professional development.

Innovation is a major part of raising the bar on professional work, aligning with positive psychology’s philosophical side.

People who set themselves apart in positive psychology take existing assessments and interventions and blend or use them in novel ways.

An example is the VIA strengths assessment, where people are encouraged to identify their top five signature strengths and then work with them.

However, this approach does not reflect positive psychology’s most cutting-edge practice.

Instead, people should focus on the next five strengths as potential or “latent” strengths, pay attention to particular constellations, and consider ways to use them with clients.

Innovation has the additional benefit of keeping work fresh and engaging for the client. Set aside time every week or every other week specifically to innovate. This protected time may be as short as a half hour.

Typically, an innovation session involves taking stock of new ideas, jotting notes, brainstorming, and letting yourself be creative without concern for realism.

Many professionals attend workshops and training, teaching new skills. Still, they often do not teach people how and when to employ their new skills optimally.

Practical wisdom is a meta-skill by which we learn how to employ our gifts and talents optimally.

Through accumulated experience, we will learn which aspects of positive psychology work best, with which types of clients, and when it might be a good idea to talk about weaknesses instead of strengths.

Keeping up with Positive Psychology

Positive psychology is a philosophy that emphasizes the importance of personal strengths and happiness, as well as a science.

New research findings are published monthly, theories are introduced, and applications are considered.

Staying abreast of the latest developments is important to use positive psychology effectively.

To do this, knowing where to look for information appropriate to your work and written in a language you can appreciate is important.

There are many good sources for connecting with others interested in positive psychology and learning about the latest developments in the field.

Marketing Positive Psychology Responsibly

People fall into two broad camps when it comes to positive psychology.

For the first group, positive psychology is a breath of fresh air and provides a language, philosophy, and hard evidence for the type of upbeat, positive living they value.

For the second group, positive psychology is somewhat skeptical and needs proof that it bears directly on productivity and the bottom line.

To approach this group, it is important to understand them as a market and know the outcomes they value.

To tailor the language to connect positive psychology directly to their values, it is important to remember that the research is on your side.

Based on the research in positive psychology, there is a compelling case to be made that these tools are effective.

In the End

Positive psychology is becoming increasingly popular, and more professionals are becoming aware of it.

You are in a great position to learn about positive psychology, tailor it to your needs, and apply it in dynamic new ways.

A community of bright and enthusiastic peers is eager to share their learning and ideas with you over internet forums and at conferences.

This article will introduce you to positive psychology and how to apply it to real-life situations.

It will help you to become more vigilant for strengths and success and to value happiness and optimism more.

Armed with powerful questions, a positive outlook, and scientifically tested interventions, you become ready to apply positive psychology to your work.

It is an exciting moment, and we wish you all the best.