It has no relation to the self-help movement. Positive psychology filled the need for the classification and treatment of mental illnesses of soldiers returning from the First World War. Psychologist Martin Seligman explained in a 1998 American Psychological Association address, that positive psychology was founded to encourage the understanding and promotion of those qualities that lead to human well-being, optimal functioning and flourishing.
It has nothing to do with the popular culture of self-help by positive thinking. Self-help books depend heavily on anecdotal evidence, while positive psychology depends entirely on scientific research and data.
Positive psychology rests on the idea that humans have a psychological need, ability and desire to live a satisfying life based on happiness, fulfilment and a need to flourish. This gains value as psychology has the ability to measure flourishing and well-being.
Flourishing is the result of careful attention to five factors:
• positive emotions
– Martin Seligman
When psychology started applying effective interventions, it distinguished itself from the self-help movement.
Some people consider positive psychology as the new direction in self-help.
Positive psychology is focused on individuals helping themselves in a measurable way. It needs to be measurable to be able to be successful.
Positive psychology focuses on observing and describing flourishing in a concrete way without being prescriptive and dependent on recipes that need to be followed to attain success.
Flourishing means to live within an optimal range of human functioning which generates an emotion of well-being or satisfaction.
Positive psychology is the science of well-being, which can be applied across health, business and education. Through it, we focus on building your strengths, not your weaknesses.
It is these psychological facts that Virtuous Coaching uses when we help clients reach their best potential with our coaching.
Our coaching aims at enabling you to function optimally, rather than functioning in an ineffective comfort zone.