SPP at the World Congress on Positive Psychology

By Joslyn Trivett, SPP Network Manager

Dr. James Pawelski welcomes the crowd to the conference hosted by the International Positive Psychology Association

Dr. James Pawelski welcomes the crowd to the conference hosted by the International Positive Psychology Association

In late June, I attended the third international conference on positive psychology in Los Angeles. There were 1,200 participants with numerous representatives from every continent. Both the participants and the programming represented a huge diversity of expertise. I made friends with a psychiatrist from Australia, a corporate-culture specialist from the Gap, and a community college teacher. I heard the latest research on how love improves physical health, how strength-based coaching transformed a hospital unit’s job satisfaction from the 1st percentile to the 86th percentile within a year, and the benefits of aging on creativity.

It was gratifying to confirm that SPP’s philosophy and practice are very much consistent with positive psychology in practice. I presented an overview on SPP’s positive outcomes—social, economic, and environmental—and heard delighted responses from those attending.

On the topic of environmental sustainability, I attended a panel discussion on how to reduce humanity’s ecological footprint. The panel included John Fraser, our associate at New Knowledge Organization, and he and I challenged the group to pursue societal agendas that are compelling at the same time as pro-environmental. Dr. Fraser suggested SPP programming as a model for a societal shift of this kind: such a welcome compliment!

The starting place for a discussion on reducing human’s global footprint: how to acknowledge real biological limitations and pursue positives leading to sustainability?

The starting place for a discussion on reducing humanity’s global footprint: how to acknowledge real biological limitations and pursue positives leading to sustainability?

Thank you to Mark Hurst, a member of the Evergreen faculty, who invited me to present at the conference. He impressed me with his own programming in western Washington prisons; new data (from Kim Huynh at Seattle Pacific University) from his eight week, strengths-based intervention with incarcerated men show excellent, sustained increases in optimism, hope, and life satisfaction. Thank you also to SPP Co-Directors Carri LeRoy and Dan Pacholke for encouraging me to attend the conference and helping to frame my presentation.

To support the positive work of SPP, please donate or get involved; our innovative work can always use your help and support.

 

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