Happy Happy, Joy Joy – there is a science to this!


For yet another thoughtful post on the science of positive psychology, you can’t go far wrong with taking a look at Jeremy’s PsyBlog for great summaries on this area of research.

I’m keen to find out more about positive psychology for use with people who experience persistent pain – it makes sense to me that we help people use existing resources that are well-rehearsed, already valued and almost ‘automatic’ rather than trying to get people to develop new skills that need all that spade-work before they become useful.
BUT, and it’s a big but, this ‘sense’ is what can get us all into trouble – common sense is not all that common, and therapists really need to *know* that what they’re using has a good evidence-base, or we run the risk of experimenting on people who are already vulnerable.

In looking to write this post, I stumbled upon a bunch of ‘Happy happy, Joy joy’ sites that promise all sorts of good things – like “I researched for two years to find the cure for my pain and now I’m ready to share it with you” (for a fee…); and “how to build confidence through [insert your favourite remedy and pay, pay, pay]” – sorry about the skepticism.

So Jeremy’s post is a great exploration of the potential of positive psychology science – both for shams to jump on the bandwagon, and for true research to be adopted as mainstream.
Keep an eye out for things that look too real to be true – they probably are – but also keep an eye out for further research in this area of psychology, it could just hold some gems that we can all use.

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