By Joslyn Trivett, SPP Network Manager
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!
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.