Academic journal article The Journal of Rehabilitation

A Positive Approach to Rehabilitation Research and Practice

Academic journal article The Journal of Rehabilitation

A Positive Approach to Rehabilitation Research and Practice

Article excerpt

The Positive Psychology movement is gaining ground and starting to shape psychology research. According to Seligman (2002) the primary mission of the positive psychology movement is to "catalyze a change in psychology from a preoccupation only with repairing the worst things in life to also building the best qualities in life" (pg.3). When Seligman's statement is applied to therapeutic interventions and psychological services, the focus shifts from a model that stresses pathology to a model built on strengths. At a broader discipline level the positive psychology approach suggests that psychologists and psychology researchers should shift their focus from policy decisions based on the diagnosis and assessment of human deficiencies to policy decisions based on a balanced approach that incorporates both the deficits and strengths of the individual and environment (Wright & Lopez, 2002). To achieve this goal researchers need to expand their focus to incorporate human strengths, resources, opportunities and deficiencies in the environment.

For the broader field of rehabilitation the concepts of the positive psychology movement are not new. Many of the positive psychology tenets have provided the foundation for the growth and development of rehabilitation. Research in the area of psychological adjustment to disability and attitudes toward individuals with disabilities are firmly rooted in positive psychology constructs (Wright, 1983; Wright, 1988). …

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