Positive Psychology on the College Campus

Positive Psychology on the College Campus

Positive Psychology on the College Campus

Positive Psychology on the College Campus

Synopsis

The field of positive psychology has blossomed over the past several years. A positive psychology course has become the most popular elective at Harvard, and leaders in many fields regularly draw upon concepts and strategies from the field's growing body of research. Because positive psychology provides a framework for enhancing individual, group, and institutional well-being, it is particularly relevant for college campuses, which are ripe for such strength-based interventions. Positive Psychology on the College Campus provides innovative strategies that can be employed with students to enhance both their personal development and educational experiences. The book also provides an overview of the state of college students' mental health and relevant developmental issues. Individual chapters, all written by experts in their fields, describe practical strategies for readers to use with students. Additionally, the authors explain how positive psychology can be applied in general to the college experience. With its wide-ranging topics and distinguished contributors, Positive Psychology on the College Campus is a must-have resource for all those who work with college students, including faculty, academic advisors, administrators, residence-life staff, counselors, and student-activities staff.

Excerpt

The idea for this book actually was first developed quite a few years ago, after the editors had all participated in a workshop at the American Psychological Association annual convention on applications of positive psychology in university counseling centers. Each of us was employed as a psychologist in a counseling center at that time, and the presenters in this workshop talked about different aspects of counseling center work. As we continued to dialog in the days after our program, we talked with enthusiasm about how positive psychology has applications beyond the counseling center and to almost all areas of student affairs work. Although an idea for an edited book came up right away, it took some time for the project to get off the ground. In the intervening time, other scholarly work on positive psychology applications on campus began to emerge paralleling our work and highlighting the growing interest in this approach.

The past several years also have been a uniquely challenging time for higher education, reflecting even larger economic and social issues in society, including strained budgets (for students and institutions), stressed students (and staff), expectations for measuring and promoting effectiveness, and meeting the needs of changing student demographics. We imagine most readers are well aware of the many factors that contribute to these issues that confront both university personnel and students. Of course, at any stage in the history of higher education there have been and will be challenges present, and many of the staff, faculty, and administration who work in higher education are often open to embracing the inevitable challenges and ready to work hard to find solutions. Those who view and manage problems as opportunities for growth will likely find positive psychology and its applications to be a welcomed approach.

Positive psychology offers a refreshing, valuable, and scientifically based perspective and strategies for meeting the contemporary needs and struggles within higher education. Positive psychology is often misunderstood by the public as being simply an updated form of positive thinking—basically choosing to focus on the positive and ignoring the negative. A much more accurate and certainly . . .

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