This paper describes a broad study of the peer-reviewed literature linked to the positive psychology movement (Donaldsen et al, 2015). A systematic review selected 750 articles published in English between 1999-2013 (no review yet for 2014-2019) that were empirical tests of positive psychology theories, principles, and interventions. This review did not include a review of the scientific quality of the articles. That said, this growing body of evidence indicates positive psychology is based on a foundation of respected scientific methods and positive outcomes.
While well-being is defined and measured in various ways, the authors note that this literature suggests that it includes hedonic and eudaimonic components. The hedonic component is the affective experience of positive emotions and absence of negative emotions, along with the cognitive aspect of evaluating life satisfaction. The eudaimonic component is the search and attainment of meaning, self-actualization and personal growth.
The authors present five main conclusions:
Thirteen coaching studies (in the positive psychology field) were selected. They were informed by the “solution-based cognitive model” that includes self-monitoring, cognitive restructuring, and behavior modification to enhance goal achievement. The authors conclude that coaching interventions report significant improvements in goal attainment, depression, anxiety, stress, and quality of life.
Use both with your clients: coaching techniques based on positive psychology concepts as well as positive psychology interventions. You may even increase your well-being, especially eudaimonic, while you’re at it.
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