Positive Psychotherapy

Happy woman sitting at table with laptop

What is positive psychology?

Positive psychology is a field that focuses on enhancing well-being rather than
attempting to address and improve symptoms. The aim of positive psychology interventions
(PPIs) is to enhance life satisfaction by fostering kindness and gratitude, promoting positive
relationships, and pursuing hope and meaning in one’s life. Positive psychology can be used on
its own, or complementary to other forms of psychotherapy.

How does positive psychology work?

Positive psychology works by digging deep into individuals and fostering the best parts
of human nature instead of dwelling on the bad parts. It can be utilized within many different
psychotherapy approaches, including CBT, and solution-focused therapy. Positive psychology
interventions enhance positive thoughts, feelings, and behaviours to relieve negative symptoms
brought on by mental health concerns such as depression. It can also act as a preventative
approach by encouraging strengths and cultivating resilience.

Techniques that are often utilized in positive psychology are:

  • Practicing gratitude (gratitude journals, counting blessings)
  • Practicing kindness/ altruism (volunteering)
  • Enhancing optimism (goal-directive thinking)
  • Improving physical health (healthy eating, physical activity)

The positive psychology approach differs from other forms of treatment by working as a
complementary intervention alongside other treatments. Unlike other interventions, positive
psychology focuses less on an individual’s past, and more on a hopeful future.

Practicing mindfulness through journaling or meditation is another example of a
positive psychological intervention that can help individuals gain insight into their lives to help
them recognize where they are going wrong. After gaining clarity, individuals can make
necessary changes to promote positivity and enhance their subjective well-being.

When considering positive psychology, it is important to note that you will not be
focused on discussing negative aspects of your life. It will focus more on fostering the positive
aspects of your life as well as your character.

Positive Psychology in Psychotherapy

Some ways to apply positive psychology in psychotherapy are through:

  • Strengths-based therapy
  • Quality of life therapy
  • Well-being therapy
  • Hope therapy

When is positive psychology used?

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Anger
  • Adolescent and teen issues
  • Personality disorders
  • Mental health disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Cognitive disabilities
  • Coping with pain
  • Coping with physical health challenges
  • Coping with mental health challenges
  • Conduct disorders
  • Dealing with an aging parent
  • Dealing with difficult people
  • Children’s mental health concerns
  • Developmental disorders
  • Gender identity
  • Emotional regulation
  • LGBTQ2S+ issues
  • Grief and loss
  • Postpartum depression
  • Phobias
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Family Issues
  • Impulsivity
  • Insomnia
  • Caregiver stress
  • Sexuality and intimacy issues
  • Men’s sexual issues
  • Women’s sexual issues

This type of therapy may be used to treat other conditions and concerns in addition to those listed
above. It may also be used in conjunction with other treatment methods. Your therapist will work
with you to determine the best treatment method for your individual circumstances.

You should be aware that there is no treatment method that is successful for every person. What
works for you, may not work for someone else.

What to expect from therapy?

To put it simply, you will get out of therapy what you put into it. It’s not a magic
solution that will solve all your problems. It may involve you doing some real work and being
open to trying new things.

Insight’s therapists are available for in-person, online, or telephone counselling at many
locations in Alberta. Contact us to learn more.

 

References

Bolier, L., Haverman, M., Westerhof, G. J., Riper, H., Smit, F., & Bohlmeijer, E. (2013).
Positive psychology interventions: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled
studies. BMC public health, 13, 119. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-13-119

Chakhssi, F., Kraiss, J. T., Sommers-Spijkerman, M., & Bohlmeijer, E. T. (2018). The effect of
positive psychology interventions on well-being and distress in clinical samples with
psychiatric or somatic disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Psychiatry,
18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-018-1739-2

Mgyar-Moe, J. L., Owens, R. L., & Conoley, C. W. (2015). Positive psychological interventions
in counseling. The Counseling Psychologist, 43(4), 508–557.
https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000015573776

 

Brooke Hendricks

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Assessments

Loriann Quinlan

Edmonton South, Edmonton West, Online

Adults, Seniors

Terri Mulveney

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Children (3-5), Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), LGBTQ community

Brandi Enns

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Families, Couples, LGBTQ community, Sexuality, Assessments

Sabrina Brady

Edmonton Central, Edmonton North, Online

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Seniors, Couples, LGBTQ community, Sexuality, Assessments

Karla Buchholz

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Seniors, Families, Couples, LGBTQ community, Sexuality

Nikesha Deenoo

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Seniors, Sexuality

Nicole Donovan

Edmonton South, Online, Sherwood Park

Adults, Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17)

Kathryn Maier

Edmonton North, Online

Adults, Children (3-5), Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), Families, Assessments

Cody Cobler

Edmonton North, Online, Sherwood Park

Adults, Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), Families, LGBTQ community

Dawn Doucet Banting

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Children (3-5), Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), Seniors, Families, Couples, LGBTQ community

Meghan Odsen

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Seniors, Families, Couples, LGBTQ community, Sexuality, Assessments

Chantelle Owen

Edmonton Central, Online, Edmonton West

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Families, Couples, LGBTQ community, Sexuality

Luke Suelzle

Edmonton South, Online, Edmonton Central

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Families, Couples, Sexuality

Kim Phua

Edmonton North, Online

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Seniors, Families, Couples, LGBTQ community, Sexuality, Assessments

Brilene Wohlgemuth

Edmonton South, Sherwood Park, Online

Adults, Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), Families, LGBTQ community, Assessments

Dr. Hendriatta Wong

Corporate Services

Shirley Leonard

Corporate Services

Tara-Lee Goerlitz

Corporate Services

Trina Wilson Orieux

Corporate Services

Adults

At this time, Insight Psychological does not have therapists who specialize in this specific area, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help you! Please contact us to talk with our Intake Personnel to find a therapist that is a good fit for you and your unique circumstances.