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The aim of Positive Psychology is to catalyze a change in
psychology from a preoccupation only with repairing the worst
things in life to also building the best qualities in life.
—Dr. Martin Seligman
In the past two decades, Positive Psychology has emerged and grown, gathering optimistic steam as a bold new approach to studying (and treating) the variances of the human condition.
It began in 2000 when Dr. Martin Seligman, then-president of the American Psychological Association, challenged researchers to consider not only how to prevent and treat mental illness, but also how to help people thrive. The focus, he posited, should not be on deficits and problems but rather, human strengths and well-being.
Since that time, experimental and cross-sectional research has come to better understand the psychological processes that enhance human strength and resilience. These, in turn, help to foster a life characterized by significant engagement with the world—a life lived fully.
This online course takes a long and practical view of Positive Psychology. Through multimedia lectures, hands-on experiments, and small-group discussions, we’ll engage in a rigorous examination of the current research in the field, and investigate and share how these findings relate to our own life experiences—from triumph to adversity and everything in between.
Throughout the course, participants will gain a more profound understanding of the processes that specifically support human thriving and using this as a foundation, become more adept at employing activities that researchers believe increase life satisfaction, purpose, and meaning.
Amy Gunty, PhD candidate (Department of Family Social Science), and researcher (Institute on Community Integration), College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota, works to increase the possibility that individuals and families can live easier, better, and more fulfilled lives. Her current research focuses on the well-being of children with autism and their families, full community integration for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and the experience of patient-provider relationships in the context of life-altering illness and injury.