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Applying Positive Psychology Coaching to Your Practice

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“If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.”Abraham Maslow 

It’s the quest of many clients to find purpose to their lives. For me, Positive Psychology Coaching (PPC) offers a toolkit enabling clients to increase their self-awareness and optimize performance to enhance their overall well-being and success.

PPC is defined as “a scientifically-rooted approach, helping clients increase well-being, enhance and apply strengths, improve performance and achieve valued goals.”

Science Based

For me, the science-based part of the definition is important, as it gives assurance that PPC stems from extensive research and proven interventions. PPC can be traced back to the founding days of psychology and its focus to enhance fulfillment in a person’s life. World War I and its war veterans created a need for psychologists to focus on mental illness.

It wasn’t until the new millennium, though, when the then President of the American Psychological Association, Martin E.P. Seligman, alongside psychologists Christopher Peterson and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi introduced the field of positive psychology, a science of what makes life worth living and how to achieve optimal human functioning.

Well-being

The second part of the definition relates to how positive psychology applied with coaching can increase well-being, which Seligman breaks down into five areas: Positive Emotion, Engagement, Meaning, Positive Relationships and Accomplishment (PERMA). Strengths can be defined as “positive traits reflected in thoughts, feelings and behaviors,” and this is an area I researched as part of my Masters of Science in Coaching.

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