In the last few decades, many psychologists began to steer their efforts toward a different focus – exploring positive psychology. Perhaps one of the most beneficial practices associated with this field is positive psychology coaching. What is positive psychology? What is the purpose of positive psychology coaching? More importantly, how can positive psychology coaching benefit you?
What Is Positive Psychology?
Psychology, largely focused on the negative aspects of the mind and the resulting mental illness, began to take a turn in the 1990s. At the time, many psychologists were wondering if there was a better way to approach psychology to help people move in a positive direction. How could psychology move toward addressing human well-being instead of human dysfunction?
Positive psychology focuses on happiness and well-being rather than mental illness and its effects. In order to improve the well-being of people as a whole, positive psychologists strive to learn more about what leads to the success and optimal existence of high functioning people. Instead of focusing on how to eliminate the negative aspects of life, positive psychology encourages focus on how to reinforce and extend the positive.
What Is Positive Psychology Coaching?
When many people think of the term “coaching,” the image of an athletic coach comes to mind, walking the sidelines and pulling players aside to address strategies. Positive psychology coaches are similar to other types of coaches, in that they aim to provide feedback and insight on a person’s actions and experiences to guide the person toward a more positive outcome. However, unlike athletic and other types of coaching, positive psychology coaches choose to focus on what’s going right instead of mistakes made.
In a typical coach/client relationship, the client wishes to improve his or her life in some way. Perhaps he wants to set goals, or achieve some positive outcome. Or, maybe there’s a current situation he wants to improve upon to avoid negative outcomes down the road. A coach can ask questions and use tools that move the client toward the discovery of the change or outcome he wants. A coach can provide insight and assist the client in moving toward the self-awareness needed to achieve goals or general well-being.
How Can a Positive Psychology Coach Help You?
Perhaps you have experience with therapy or other forms of coaching. Unlike therapy, in which a therapist may focus on underlying issues preventing well-being, positive psychology coaches focus on the positive aspects and effective behaviors to continue to fuel positive change. While other types of coaching often promote the belief that clients have the answers within themselves if they only choose to find them, positive psychology coaching relies on the scientifically-backed research in the field that has been proven to assist clients in finding well-being.
In short, a positive psychology coach can help you use your strengths, the positive circumstances of your life, and science-based findings to begin a path toward wellness. If you have goals, positive psychology can help you move toward achieving them rather than focusing on surveying the damage of your past mistakes. If you believe in the benefits of using research-proven behaviors to maximize your strengths, positive psychology coaching may be right for you.