Handbook of Positive Psychology

Handbook of Positive Psychology

by C. R. Snyder
     
 

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Psychology has long been enamored of the dark side of human existence, rarely exploring a more positive view of the mind. What has psychology contributed, for example, to our understanding of the various human virtues? Regrettably, not much. The last decade, however, has witnessed a growing movement to abandon the exclusive focus on the negative. Psychologists from

Overview

Psychology has long been enamored of the dark side of human existence, rarely exploring a more positive view of the mind. What has psychology contributed, for example, to our understanding of the various human virtues? Regrettably, not much. The last decade, however, has witnessed a growing movement to abandon the exclusive focus on the negative. Psychologists from several subdisciplines are now asking an intriguing question: "What strengths does a person employ to deal effectively with life?" The Handbook of Positive Psychology provides a forum for a more positive view of the human condition. In its pages, readers are treated to an analysis of what the foremost experts believe to be the fundamental strengths of humankind. Both seasoned professionals and students just entering the field are eager to grasp the power and vitality of the human spirit as it faces a multitude of life challenges. The Handbook is the first systematic attempt to bring together leading scholars to give voice to the emerging field of positive psychology.

Editorial Reviews

Reviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: The premise of the field of positive psychology is to focus on the positive side of human nature without ignoring the traditional problem-focused aspect. This book integrates research with clinical practice, and concludes with searching for answers to one of the most important philosophical questions: What is the meaning of life? The first edition was published in 2002.
Purpose: According to the preface, the book is intended to help readers "look seriously at the positive in people and the world." In chapter one, the authors note, "Here, we try to make a more succinct case for positive psychology's value to the discipline and to society. We also discuss the need to enhance science and the science-practice integration over the next decade of positive psychology work.
Audience: The book would appeal to practitioners, although graduate students in clinical and counseling psychology would also benefit. Shane Lopez is research director for the Clifton Strengths Institute. C.R. Snyder, now deceased, was a professor of psychology at the University of Kansas for 34 years. The approximately 120 contributors represent an international authorship from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and South Korea.
Features: A history and introduction to the field of positive psychology begins the book. The editors and authors make an important distinction between positive psychology and the medical model or pathology-driven clinical work. Various theoretical approaches to positive psychology are introduced including emotional, cognitive, interpersonal, self-based, and biological. The book also mentions positive institutions such as schools and workplaces. It ends with thoughts about attaining greater happiness, as well as meaning and purpose in life. A shaded box with an abstract and keywords begins each chapter and discussion questions end the chapter. Tables and figures throughout help with understanding the material. This book is well written and challenges readers to see psychology in a whole new light, i.e. building on strengths and assets without ignoring problem areas. So many topics are discussed that most readers will be delighted in its breadth and depth. I particularly enjoyed chapter 52 on family-centered positive psychology and the guiding principles: family empowerment, acquisition of new skills and competencies, family-identified rather than professional-determined needs, use of existing family strengths, and strengthening social supports.
Assessment: This is an excellent book on a unique approach to psychology. The international authorship helps readers see positive psychology from many different vantage points. The book ends on a very hopeful note, talking about the importance of the work of therapists in helping clients and families find meaning and happiness — a point everyone can agree upon.
From the Publisher
"The Handbook of Positive Psychology provides a forum for a more positive view of the human condition."—Adolescence

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780190285616
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
12/20/2001
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

C. R. Snyder is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Graduate Training Program in Clinical Psychology at the University of Kansas. Shane J. Lopez is Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Kansas.

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