Positive Psychology Coaching-Personal and Professional Portfolio

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Carnegie Mellon University
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Over the last couple of years, psychology has been understood as a discipline that tries to help out people who are being faced with issues and try to fish them out of the situation or rather bring a lasting solution to the issues at hand. In other words, psychology was all about fixing the client rather than putting thoughts on other factors that can be established about the client: putting all focus on their weaknesses of the client. The work of the psychological therapists was that of fixing the client by trying to establish the pathology signs in the best way they could rather than redirecting the attention to what the client is good at and trying to enhance and improve the strongholds of the person who comes for help.

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Despite the client having some pressing issues and problems that force them to seek the intervention of a therapist, there are quite a number of good and right things about them (Sin & Lyubomirsky, 2009). However, there have been remarkable changes in the recent years in the discipline of psychology. The tremendous reforms that have been put in place have recorded positive changes that have been enjoyed by many people. The shift established from putting a lot of focus on social and psychological problems, better known as the dark side of humanity, has been redirected to the well-being and the nourishment of the human beings. The core purpose of psychology is to ensure totality to human happiness, and that has been recently achieved through positive psychology as well as the change in the attitudes that people have held strongly in relation to psychology matters.

Positive psychology is the technical study of the strong point and strengths that help individuals and populations to thrive and flourish (Williams, Edgerton, & Palmer, 2010). The core belief on which positive psychology is founded on is that people aim to lead and fulfill meaningful lives as well as cultivating the best in themselves and boost their proficiencies of play, love and work. To enhance the positivity in psychology, there has been a partnership between the positive psychology and coaching. The two allies, positive psychology and coaching, have common concerns of improving the optimum well-being and functioning of the humans, arguing against deficiency-based methodology to performance progression, and also challenging the old-fashioned conventions about the nature of human beings (Keyes, 2010).

Contrary to the outdated psychological approach of trying to fix clients, both positive psychology and coaching work towards identifying what is rightfully positive about the client who has come for help and then works even harder to enhance the customers positive traits. Here, the work of the psychology is not necessarily fixing the client, but helping them identify what is right about themselves and working on achieving it. Nonetheless, despite the solid facts and evidence established that show positive psychology has become an essential coaching world fixture; few attempts have been made to incorporate concepts of positive psychology to coaching professionals.

Regardless of the number of coaching journals, papers as well as the coaching conference keynotes that show the benefits of the partnership of the two disciplines and concepts, it still has received a negative response from some of the coaches who feel that it is unsuitable for the particular industry clients. These opposing coaches fear competition in the job market as they feel that the new established positive psychology has a great effect and impact on people who seek psychological therapists help. They dismiss the many empirical studies and theories that have been considered valuable by coaching professionals and that have proved useful as toolkits for translation of concepts into acts in the best way possible (Snyder & Lopez, 2009).

Established and Novel Positive Psychology Interventions

Gratitude Diary

One of the beliefs that people who do not believe in positive psychology have is that this concept only works for those people who are not experiencing distress. By that they mean that this kind of intervention only work to people who are happy, such that it aims to increase happiness level of people with no distress (Allen, Iezzoni, Huang, Huang & Leveille, 2008). Regarding gratitude, this misperception implies that gratitude makes privileged people feel much more gratified for their bucks. Conversely, empirical research and testimony from people who put the positive psychology into the action of gratitude debunk these claims and prove otherwise. Gratitude is impactful in such a way that it makes the adverse experiences in our lives less harmful. It is more of a managing mechanism which helps people transform antagonistic effects into insights, reframe their reminiscences, as well as reducing the impacts of the adverse effects in life (Seligman, Ernst, Gillham, Reivich & Linkins, 2009).

Though hard at times, it is good to try and express gratitude for events in our lives as this transform the manner in which the event will be coded in our brains. Thus, on retrieving such an event in the future, we are most likely to remember the gratitude part of it, rather than the negativity it caused in our lives. On a personal analysis and evaluation of positive psychology use, I would say gratitude has proven more than helpful in my life. I once had gone for adventurous hiking activity with my friends. As we were climbing the mountain, I accidentally missed my step, lost hold of the rock I was hooked on, and then is started rolling down the mountain. Lucky enough, the tour guide was fast enough where he managed to get hold of my climbing rope; hence I did not roll to the bottom of the mountain.

Miraculously, none of my bones was broken although I was severely bruised. When this accident occurred to me, my first emotional response was not gratitude at all, as it was evident in retrospect that my life would have ended there and then. I pitied myself from the bruises that I had sustained all over my body or quite some time. After some time, my mother who was nursing my wounds saw how gloomy I had become over time, and she took it upon herself to help me overcome the situation, even I she was not a positive psychological coach like I am. She made me realize how much of life I missed for being gloomy the whole time, and it immediately hit me that I was not in control whatsoever and that far worse things could have happened to me like losing my life, ending up being paralyzed or even losing one or several of my body parts.

I acknowledged how lucky I was that the tour guide was around to save me in time, how I was lucky that I did not lose or sustain serious injuries on my body, and that I was still alive to see yet another day. All thanks to gratitude as it helped me cope with the situation as it dampened the emotions severity, diminished the time they lasted in my mind, decreased the impact of the whole scenario and also made me realize the goodness that existed in the whole situation. It is true that gratitude is not able to completely remove undesirable feelings from us like anxiety, anger, sadness or stress, but it helps us cope with the situation in a positive manner.

Creating a Beautiful Day

Everyones happiness is something that is entirely in their hands and capability. Activities involving appreciating and savoring the positive psychology are designed to reinforce good times and memories. Professor Seligman gave this example of a good day creation to his students where each one of them had to use their attributes and talents to create a perfect day for themselves. By this, he meant that each day a person should include in their to-do list schedule of activities that makes them happy and ensure that they take part in them so as to increase their happiness. Different people are interested in different things and activities like the love of knowledge, making friends, sleeping and many others (Schueller & Parks, 2012).

For my case, I love taking a nature walk and for that reason, I make sure that I trek home from college, where I ensure to pass through a nearby small forest which has a river flowing through it. The sound of the flowing water gives me a lot of satisfaction and contentment in my heart: It makes me get through the rough times I had that day and makes my spirit relaxed and calm. By the end of the day after one does the activities they love most, it feels such a great achievement that thought dominates the mind for quite some time, creating no room for the bizarre experiences that had occurred prior to the performance of the desired activity of the day. However, one should not use the good day intervention always to make other people happy unless that is what they love most, but the strategy should be applied on the basis of satisfying oneself.

Strength Cards

Research carried out by scientists devoted itself to studying the character traits of human beings and they were classified into virtues and strengths (Snyder, Lopez & Pedrotti, 2010). Among the virtues identified are wisdom, justice, transcendence, humanity and temperance, while on the other hand, the virtues include strengths that are universally and morally accepted and valued, encompassing the capacity we have towards helping others as well as ourselves in expressing positive impacts. Once we get to identify the constellation of our strength character, then that is the first step towards achieving happiness that we need in life. Strength cards price is much lower compared to the many advantages they give to the client who needs positive psychological help. Each and every card contains a powerful message or a picture which acts as a source of strength for the customer.

These pictures range from beautiful nature scenes like mountains to cute animals which feels satisfying to look at and much more pictures as per the clients interest. The cards are also important in that they are flexible, powerful, and they inspire a team or an individual through words to explore their full strengths (Corrie, 2009). Most of the times I buy these cards and insert them into my books that I frequently use, and when I flip through the pages, I can across them and feel strengthened each and every time I see them. Strength cards should be tools for managers, coaches like me as well as teachers and everyone else who has an interest in understanding positive psychology and also anyone who wishes to help others realize their full potential from this intervention (Landsberg, 2015).

Not only are the strength cards important on a personal level, but also important in running a team building session for any given company as the cards give them strength to realize their potential which is translated to the success of the business. It helps a team also to create a culture of appreciation within themselves as well as enhancing self-awareness (Ryff & Singer, 2008). This intervention is the cheapest that could be, yet it is a source of many advantages if properly realized and utilized.

Use of Questionnaires

It is advisable for people to use a different approach in assessing their strengths, and questionnaires are one of the different interventions that are applicable in this scenario. Being able to answer some questions about one is an important strategy for exploring oneself through critical thinking and being able to identify what one is good at. Being able to identify our strengths on our own gives us much happiness that lasts longer rather than when someone has to identify our strengths on our behalf (Cohn & Fredrickson, 2010). The questionnaires are tools that have been used by us professional coaches, managers and positive psychology therapists in he...

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