Monday, November 16, 2009

Finding a therapist: Do you see the glass half full or half empty?

Parade Magazine, Dr. Ranit Mishori explains why a positive attitude can be good for your health. In her article she suggests that most people know whether they are have a positive or negative outlook on life. In addition, she cites research that shows that people with a positive outlook suffer less from conditions such as heart disease then people who think more negatively. A popular field called "Positive Psychology" focuses on the benefits of positive thinking to individual and community health. Local University of Pennsylvania professor Dr. Martin Seligman is considered the father of the modern positive psychology movement. Dr. Seligman is also the Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

I like that positive psychology focuses on the strengths and virtues of individuals and that by pursuing these virtues, an individual is generally happier, open and connected to others. I would say that this powerful medicine is generally referred to as bliss. States of expansion and bliss are a natural part of life through which we can release the old and let in the new. Yes, we all need bliss in our lives!

When we get stuck in repetitive negative cycles (such as anxiety or depression), positive psychology can be a useful tool to help us move past these cycles. Seeking the support from friends and family also can help when moving through challenging times as well as the exciting times, too!

Just like birds expand and contract we all have positive and negative experiences in our lives. The cycle of life often goes through ups and downs and it is valuable to be open to all experiences. This is when you allow personal growth to happen and just as suggested in the Parade Magazine article, this process can take time and that it is important to recognize our thought patterns. Dr. Mishori adds that, “Resilience training usually requires work with an experienced therapist.”

Finding the right therapist can be challenging, but locating a directory that allows the patient to safely and confidentially review a therapist’s background and treatment approach will help speed along the process. Some directories (such as HealthPanda.com) allow you to search for all therapists by modality (such as Positive Psychology).

Raymond Bokenkamp

HealthPanda offers a therapist directory to help you find all types of Philadelphia therapists and psychologists. Find a therapist that fits all your needs in our fast growing directory today.

PS To see your strengths and virtues a test is available on the Positive Psychology website listed below.

Discussion Question:

Do you have unwanted negative patterns in your life? If yes, can you think of anything that you are prepared to do about it today?

Useful links:

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