Sunday, June 13, 2010

is it time to be a bit more positive?

I have just come across a recent branch of psychology called positive psychology. Nettes got a couple of books out of the library that I read when I got the chance - Authentic Happiness and Flow.

Authentic Happiness not only describes happiness psychologically but also outlines some empirical research on it. . I liked the way Seligman uses such terms as forgiveness and hope when looking at aspects of happiness from different time perspectives. We were so impressed that we actually bought this book

Flow is about the experience of being absorbed in our work. Flow’s spiritual side is more to do with controlling our consciousness nevertheless spirituality does appear to be an important element in positive psychology.

I am also still reading Spiritual Intelligence  – which is written by Christian author Brian Draper and uses the term flow and appears very much in line with what positive psychology is saying.

Positive psychology books appear popular with life coaches and I also have noticed a link to a life coach on the Greenbelt site who recommends some of these positive psychology books.

This new school of thinking appears strong on application and it may be a good counterpoint to some recent thinking that takes a more post-modern or discursive approach. Understanding that each of us is a product of our culture and has a unique perspective is important. But I wonder if such a critical approach to psychology can leave us too cynical. If in the end it leaves you without anything that you can be sure of doesn’t it start to undermine any application? I think I prefer the approach of positive psychology.

I was also lent the book Human Givens which again we so impressed with that we brought. This is about a rapidly growing new approach to therapy taught at Mindfields College. This is the approach being used by in our area by Springs to Life in their All Being Well project. Some have called this approach ‘the missing heart of positive psychology.’

Is it possible to have a positive psychology overdose?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Pagan rituals and freemasonary? All in a day at Wirksworth Carnival

I’ve just got back from a great day at Wirksworth Carnival. This is an annual festival in the town where I grew up. It was good to see some old friends, see the fancy dress procession with the floats and look around the well dressings.

The Well Dressings are clay plaques decorated with petals that are placed around the town. The tradition is thought to date from medieval times when Christians were thanking God for clean water but they could easily date back further and come from ancient pagan rituals. Today they are simply a tourist attraction put on by local community groups to raise money for charity.

This year I noticed that the Freemasons had a well and that they also had their meeting place the Moot Hall open. So we took the opportunity to look around and have a chat about the history of the lead mining court that is also held in the building, as well as a chat about freemasonary itself. It was refreshing to see a group like this being so open about what they do and wanting to promote themselves in this way.