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CMC July18_Positive Psychology Strengths and Virtues_Final

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>> Hey, there. Great to see you again. Have you ever heard of a positive psychology? Well, it's technically defined as the study of strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. Simply put, positive psychology is the study of happiness. Now you don't have to be a psychologist to use positive psychology. The concepts and ideas taught in this field can easily be applied to how you approach and empower your clients. In this lecture, we'll go over two key concepts of positive psychology, virtues and strengths. But first, let's take a quick walk through what exactly positive psychology is, and what makes it different from traditional psychology. Positive psychology asks questions like, how can the average person become more happy and fulfilled, what does optimal functioning look like, and what key components are needed for a person to flourish. You may have noticed that tradition psychology centers around dysfunction. It looks, primarily, at what's wrong with a person, what disorders or limitations they have that may keep them from thriving. Traditional psychology is based on a model of weaknesses. Positive psychology, on the other hand, is strengths-based. It doesn't ignore the fact that people struggle with challenges or disorders, but rather addresses people from the perspective of potential and possibility rather than what's missing or lacking. This fascinating field of psychology was pioneered by a man named Martin Seligman, the same guy who came up with the theory of learned helplessness. Later on, in his career, Seligman became tired of being in a field that looks at what's wrong with people and decided to start looking, instead, for what's right. He set out to conduct research around the world, across cultures and time, to figure out if universal strengths and character virtues exist, and if so, what they are. From this research, Seligman developed a list of six virtues or core characteristics that have universal value. Now I could just tell you what they are, but I want to see if you can guess. Grab a pen and a piece of paper, pause this lecture for a minute or two, and answer this question. What do you think are the six virtues that people from all around the world value? Okay, all set? Let's see how your list matches up. The six character virtues are humanity, courage, wisdom, justice, temperance, and transcendence. Did any of these appear on your list? I want to point out that these six virtues are equally valued, there's no hierarchy in this list. After narrowing down these virtues, Seligman identified 24 strengths that make up each of these virtues. Let's take a look. The strengths that surround the virtue of humanity in an individual are kindness, love, and social encouragement. The strengths that make up courage are honesty, bravery, persistence, and zest. Wisdom is a collection of curiosity, creativity, judgment, perspective, and a love of learning. Strengths that accompany the virtue of justice are leadership, fairness, and teamwork. The virtues of temperance include humility, forgiveness, self-control, and prudence. Lastly, transcendence involves the strengths of hope, gratitude, appreciation for beauty, humor, and spirituality. According to positive psychology, a strength isn't just something that you're good at, it's something that energizes you. For example, a person with an abundance of strengths that correlate with the virtue of wisdom isn't just a good student or a learner, they're also a person who is energized and excited to create, explore, and learn. They feel passionate about obtaining knowledge and do it because they love to, not because they're just naturally inclined to do well in this area. When working with all of your clients, regardless of whatever issue or health problem they have or the goal they want to work on, it's important to look at how you can connect them to their strengths, so that they can feel lighter, more aligned, and more capable to do whatever it is that they need to do. How can you draw upon what they're already good at and find creative ways for them to use this to their advantage? The 24 strengths outlined by positive psychology are said to be possessed by everyone, just in varying degrees. For example, we all posses creativity, and we all posses forgiveness. Let's use clients A and B as examples. Creativity flows naturally for client A, whereas forgiveness is something that takes effort for them. Then there's client B, who is able to forgive other easily while a creative project leaves him stumped and scratching his head. For both client A and client B, the process of helping them is the same. What you want to do is help them identify their dominant strengths and then leverage these to help cultivate the aspects of themselves that come less naturally to them. Essentially, any type of goal achievement is about using our dominant strengths to help us build up our lesser strengths, which require more of our dedicated effort and energy. People often think of these lesser strengths as weaknesses or things they don't possess at all, and it's this perspective that sets people up for failure before they even begin. But if we take a positive psychology approach and notice the possibilities that already exist within us, we're talking about cultivating more of something we already have instead of something that we just don't posses. Let's revisit client A, who is high on creativity, low on forgiveness. As her coach, you can help her do all sorts of wonderful things with her creativity, like starting a business or cultivating a harmonious living space. But let's say she also struggles with her relationships, maybe she holds grudges, which negatively impact her relationships. From a positive psychology approach, you could work with her to nurture and grow her strength of forgiveness by taking advantage of her abundant creativity and harnessing it in ways that will foster this growth. Can she express her feelings through art? By writing letters to those who she feels cross by? Perhaps, she can use her creativity to come up with a ceremonial act of forgiveness that utilizes visualization and symbolic release. The how is up to your clients to identify. Don't even worry about that because it will look different from the one person to the next. Your job is to help them identify and leverage their strengths by asking questions and listening. Taking a strengths-based perspective in helping others is incredibly powerful because it means finding ways to empower people, no matter who they are or what limitations they may have. You can empower your clients simply by helping them find and put to use their unique combinations of strengths. While you're at it, this is a great opportunity to discover and utilize your own strengths too. Every exercise we teach in this course is worth applying to your own life. The VIA Institute on Character is a non-profit organization in the field of positive psychology that's dedicated to helping people discover and utilize their unique strengths. Cool, huh? They've developed a scientifically validated survey based on the 24 strengths that make up the 6 core virtues, which is available online for free. This is a great tool to use, for yourself and with clients, to get the conversation going about what their signature strengths and virtues are. Be sure to check out the skill-building activities page for this module to access the link and take the survey for yourself. Then, be sure to post your result in the Facebook group page. To recap what we've covered today, we discussed the basics of positive psychology, which is the study of happiness and optimal leaving. At the core of this approach is the idea that there are six universally desired virtues that we strive for in our lives. These virtues are comprised of specific set of strengths, which vary from person to person. By identifying your client's unique set of strengths, you can take a positive approach to your work with them by leveraging what they're already good at and helping them to find greater life satisfaction by building the strengths that are important to them, but weren't further development. That's all for this lecture. I enjoyed sharing this information with you. Thank you so much for joining me, and I'll see you soon.

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Duration: 8 minutes and 20 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: integrativenutrition on Aug 21, 2018

Positive Psychology Strengths and Virtues_Final

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