This evening we have the fourth class in this series. The main topic is problem solving. I have posted the plan for the class and will post some notes later. So check in before the class. I will of course go over everything. I’ll also send an email to the Life Long learning Centre with some notes on Shadow Work from last week’s practice session. Looking forward to tonight.
This exercise is inspired by a story in a book by Jonathan Haidt, an American Behavioural scientist. The Book is called The Happiness Hypothesis. This is a good book for those who like a good read with lots of research evidence.
- Think about an interest that means a lot to you?
- Now answer the following questions:
- what is the story about how you became involved?
- how did the story unfold?
- Write something about the history of your interest?
- Do you have any friendships arising from your interest?
- How has it affected your confidence?
- Vital engagement is about your relationship to the world that involves both flow and meaning.
- Have you achieved vital engagement in the activities that surround your interest?
- Has your interest connected you to a like-minded community?
- Has your interest become a source of flow, joy, identity, effectance and relatedness?
My attempt at answering these questions, Martina
Think about an interest that means a lot to you?
I took up creative writing as a hobby about ten years ago. My youngest son was 17 and I wanted to find some new hobbies that I thought I might enjoy. At the same time I took up hill-walking, which changed my life in interesting ways but that’s another story. Creative writing has continued to play an important although evolving role in my life.
what is the story about how you became involved?
I started with a Google search for creative writing in Dublin and found that there was an open and free writing workshop at the Irish Writers’ Centre in Parnell Square. This was a lunchtime, one hour workshop. I decided to go along and found it to be really enjoyable. I wanted to continue going to the workshop and although I found myself unmotivated to do any creative writing at home, I found I could write short poems to the prompts from week to week. So, you could say that I got into creative writing in order to participate in the workshop from week to week.
how did the story unfold?
At the Irish Writers Centre, I met John Kierans, a very interesting writer and translator. I mentioned doing a ‘word’ project for an art installation in the Polish House in collaboration with an artist. In the course of the conversation, I shared one of the ‘poems’ with him. It used wording from historical documents organised thematically. He told me about conceptual poetry and about a conceptual poet who was performing at the Irish Writers’ Centre on a Friday evening and then was giving a full day workshop on the Saturday. I was fascinated and later at home I googled ‘conceptual poetry’. I signed up for both events and that drew me deeper into creative writing by linking it to my interest in the arts. I continued to go to the workshops every Saturday and to the Friday night event in the Centre which was on once a moth.
Write something about the history of your interest?
Shortly after joining the Saturday workshop I was invited to join a writers’ group who met in the Irish Writers Centre on Tuesday evenings. After a short time I became involved with the group. The membership overlapped with the Saturday workshop, the core group was the same. After the workshop on the Saturday we would go for something to eat and often a few of us would go for a drink afterwards. Friendships were formed and soon the group were organising evening dinners in restaurants around Dublin. At one of the dinners, someone mentioned that they were going the Berlin for a holiday. Several others had been thinking about Berlin and next thing we knew five of us were booking a writers’ holiday for a week in Berlin. We had a fantastic time and on the Tuesday night we Skyped in to the Irish Writers Centre and joined our writers’ group for the evening. We also had a fantastic week in Claddagh and I joined a few people two years ago for a weekend in Listowel. Slowly we all moved on, although some are still there running workshops as volunteers at the Centre since funding has been greatly reduced and the culture of the Centre has changed. A couple of years after joining this group I heard of another group through the network, the Dublin Writers Forum who meet on a Thursday night in the Workman’s Club on Wellington Quay. I absolutely love this group and have learned so much about writing from them. It’s a free event, organised and run by volunteers who are well established published poets. Through the network I was also introduced to an open mic called the Sunflower Sessions that on every third Wednesday of the Month. This is very popular, also free and organised and run by volunteers. After a while I began to go to some of the popular annual literary festivals at Bantry and Listowel and the poetry festival in Bailieborough.
Do you have any friendships arising from your interest?
I tend not to have close personal friends beyond my family, unlike when I was young, but I now have lots of friendly acquaintances among the writers community in Dublin and throughout Ireland. I have become involved with the annual Dublin Writers Conferences and the Kilmore Quay Write by the Sea festival in Wexford. So I have lots of social events where I know people, and where I always feel welcomed. As a writer, I tend to be a bit of an introvert and like to spend time alone and to travel alone but I always have company wherever I go so that spending time on my own is a choice.
How has it affected your confidence?
I haven’t restricted myself to creative writing events. The warm friendly and welcoming reception I experienced among writers has allowed me to open up and find new interests and connections throughout Ireland and beyond, opening up more and more possibilities and connections. From a humble start of attending a one hour free workshop once a week at lunchtime on Saturdays, I have discovered a world of possibilities, made a few friends and have become involved in creative projects that take me beyond Dublin on a regular basis. I had the advantage of travelling with my work for many years, throughout Ireland and the UK. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel and spend a lot of time in Europe with my family. With the experience and knowledge I’ve gained it has become easy for me to travel and get involved wherever I go. This suits my personality very well. It’s hard to imagine now how quite I once was and restricted was my knowledge of the world and the possibilities. Nonetheless, I find myself quite attached to home where I have my favourite armchair and laptop and like nothing more than to spend time at home writing, knowing that this is a choice.
Vital engagement is about your relationship to the world that involves both flow and meaning.
Have you achieved vital engagement in the activities that surround your interest?
Yes, I have been drawn more and more to the interests I enjoy either on my own like writing and gardening.
Has your interest connected you to a like-minded community?
Yes, I have found several communities where I have a sense of belonging but I’ve also found a community of like-minded people where I have a closer connection because they share my worldview and values.
Has your interest become a source of flow, joy, identity, effectance and relatedness?
I’m happy to announced that my Psychology classes and workshops have moved to Zoom and will be available throughout the world. Here’s the link to my current course. A lot has been changing worldwide and also in my own personal life. This has transformed how I see psychology and the world. I believe we’re all having similar experiences as we adapt to the challenges and sometimes beautiful surprises. I’ve spent so much time alone in nature this year. I’ve also been doing creative writing and I’m starting up a creative writing healing circle. You can email me at martina.carroll@ucd if you would like to know more. Watch this space for more information. For now you might like to check out my psychology course AE-PN214 – Positive Psychology for Everyday Life The course starts with and Introduction on October 6th but if you miss the first session and decide to join us on the 13th Oct, I can arrange a Zoom call to catch you up on the Introductory session.
Wild Flowers from Tymon Park, Dublin
Check online for further information and details about the three scenarios below used as examples where obedience to legitimate authority appears to play an important role. There is also a link below to Zimbardo’s video about the nature of evil and the case of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
Real-Life Scenarios, examples used
The power of legitimate close at hand authority is dramatically apparent in stories of those who complied with orders to carry out the atrocities of the Holocaust, and those who didn’t. In the summer of 1942, nearly 500 middle-aged German reserve police officers were dispatched to Jozefow, Poland, in German-occupied territory. On July 13, the group’s visibly upset commander informed his recruits, mostly family men, that they had been ordered to round up the villagers Jews, who were said to be aiding the enemy. Able blooded men were to be sent to work camps and all the rest were to be shot on the spot. Given a chance to refuse participation in the execution, only about a dozen immediately refused. Within 17 hours, the remaining 485 officers killed 1500 helpless women, children and elderly by shooting them in the back of the head as they lay face down. Faced with the pleadings of the victims, and seeing the gruesome results some 20% of the officers did eventually dissent, managing either to miss their victims or to wander away and hide until the slaughter was over (Browning, 1992). But in real life, as in Milgram’s experiment, the disobedient were the minority.
Meanwhile, in the French village of Le Chambon, French Jews destined for deportation to Germany were being sheltered by villagers who openly defied orders to cooperate with the “New Order”. The villagers’ ancestors had themselves been persecuted and their pastors had been teaching them to “resist whenever our adversaries will demand of us obedience contrary to the orders of the Gospel (Rochat, 1993). Ordered by police to give a list of sheltered Jews, the head pastor modelled defiance: “I don’t know of Jew, I only know of human beings.” Without realising how long and terrible the war would be, or how much punishment and poverty they would suffer, the resisters made an initial commitment to resist. Supported by their beliefs, their role models, their interaction with one another, and their own initial acts, they remained defiant to the war’s end.
(Source: Charles G. Lord, Social Psychology, (textbook))
During the war in Iraq that began in March 2003, personnel of the United States Army and the Central Intelligence Agency committed a series of human rights violations against detainees in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. These violations included physical and sexual abuse, torture, rape,, and murder. The abuses came to public attention with the publication of photographs of the abuse by CBS News in April 2004. The incidents received widespread condemnation both within the United States and abroad. (Source: Wikipedia)
Social Psychologists have been actively studying how the presence of others influences thinking and behaving. Up until now, the focus of this course has been on personal development, including individual suffering and the psychologists who attempted to understand what people need to live happier more fulfilled lives.
An extraordinary thing about most individuals is how resilient they are, it’s amazing how many get up in the morning, despite their personal unhappiness, their suffering and sometimes health issues. They go to work, school or college and put on a brave face, often pushing forward through stress and pain, finding ways to manage quietly often without sharing their experiences with those around them. Do you think that’s inevitable, that life has its ups and downs and generally speaking, it’s okay to put on a brave face? Is this a widely held expectation?
This workshop is about exploring these ideas in small groups and more generally, discussing the psychology of social behaviour. Each group has a different research study or scenario to discuss among themselves. Then the discussion will be opened up to everyone. A few questions are included to help with your discussion. To read more about the psychology studies go to www.simplypsychology.org. Here’s a quote from this website.
“The term conformity is often used to indicate an agreement to the majority position, brought about either by a desire to ‘fit in’ or be liked (normative behaviour) or because of a desire to be correct (believing in the information), or simply to conform to a social role (identification).”
Psychology is very much about the individual (in context), although Social psychologists also study group behaviour. Psychology is about thoughts and mental processes, feelings and emotions, and actions and behaviours, but more generally, it’s is about the human mind and behaviour.
Regulations in most Western countries require those who identify professionally as Psychologists to have a recognised primary degree or diploma in Psychology. There are several other psychological professions for which a psychology degree is not a requirement such as Psychiatry (medical doctors who specialise in Mental Health and Mental Illness), Psychoanalysis (following a Freudian tradition), Psychotherapy (including Counsellors, some of whom are also Psychologists), Social Work, Psychiatric Nursing and so on. In other words, those who work in diverse psychological professions are typically practitioners and clinicians from an array of different professions. Psychologists work either in teaching and research or applied fields requiring graduate-level professional training such as Clinical, Educational, Forensic, Sports, and Business/ Organisational psychology, to mention just a few.
Psychology is a vast field with different perspectives and cultures, however, all are grounded in a scientific tradition of research into the human mind and behaviour, and, as with all scientific fields, it is often surrounded by controversy and debate. On a personal level, psychologists belong to different worldviews and political views, similar to others in scientifically informed fields such as medicine. Like medicine, there is a strong ethical code that requires a commitment to verifiable interventions and practice, generally regulated by professional associations such as the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI), the British Psychological Association (BPS) and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Introduction to the Course
Early influences on contemporary Psychology
The Psychology of Sigmund Freud
The Behavioural Sciences
Early studies of the Mind e.g. visual perceptions
Counselling and Psychotherapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Mental Health, Positive Psychology and Well-being
The Crisis of Meaning in everyday life
Cognitive Science and the nature of the Human Mind
Neuroscience and physical health and wellbeing
This is the handout for the first of the Free Talks about Psychology and Youtube in the Thirdspace Cafe on Culture Night 2019 20th Sept. Future free talks are on Oct 11th, Nov 15th and Dec 13th.
My reason for beginning with Jordan Peterson is that the controversy that surrounds him, which is hugely amplified by the internet, has triggered an array of different conversations across the globe. I see two types of conversation, on the one hand there are the polarising conversations which is the stuff of contemporary politics but also the nuanced (in-between) conversations that are stimulated by the controversy and relate to very real psychological issues that affect people in the world today. The Peterson controversy surrounds the issue of gender, highlighting this enduring matter for culture and society. Control of gender goes hand in hand with political and economic control. Fragmentation is a well worn strategy of dominance, better known as divide and conquer. The aim of this talks-series is to join those who have chosen not to become caught up in the polarising conversations.
As a psychologist, I invite you to join me in a sense-making project where we can begin to open up a space for dialogue and conversation as sovereign individuals with personal lives and diverse points of view that converge on some issues and diverge on others. Psychology is a science, those who are professional psychologists are subject to a code of ethics and behaviour. Psychologists deal with many hard issues of human existence, the suffering and mental health issues that affect so many, the processes and practices through which we can thrive and flourish, and the kinds of human ecosystems in which we can develop our full human potential. Psychology, as a Science, aims to inform political debate. For this reason, Peterson is a good starting point as he attempts to inform the debate although sometimes adding fuel to the fires of our times.
This talk aims to assess the benefits of Peterson’s book ’12 Rules for Life: An antidote to Chaos’, to find what is of value in this book which has become so popular through the internet, and to move the conversation forward and discover the wealth of knowledge that exists in the diverse psychological movements that are quietly shaping the wellbeing of sovereign individuals in our increasingly complex world.
Handout, National Heritage Week, Psychology Lecture, UCD Belfield
(Please note that there is a link to UCD website at the end of this handout for more information about my upcoming course so feel free to scroll down and click).
Welcome to our Psychology Lecture for National Heritage Week. My name is Martina Carroll and I will be teaching two evening courses here in UCD. In October, there will be the ‘Introduction to Psychology’ course. I’ll talk mainly about that today. I’ll also refer to the ‘Positive Psychology and Creative Writing’ which is my Spring course in 2020. First, just a bit about the format of the ‘Introduction on Psychology’ course. I’ll begin each week with a lecture on a different topic, and after a short break, there will be a more informal session that will include questions and discussion, plus some further input from me linking the topic to everyday psychological matters.
The Introduction to Psychology course is for those who are interested in the kind of Psychology that’s taught in the UCD School of Psychology. It covers a lot of different topics from week to week. I make no claims to truth or fact, Psychology is a vast field with a diversity of traditions and practices. The Lifelong Learning Centre has offered this course for over 20 years. Things have changed a lot in that time and while the headings remain the same the content has evolved. For example, the significance of Freudian theory, which has always been controversial, is still relevant because of its influence on the psychological professions and on Western culture.
Psychology and the Psychological Professions
Here in UCD ‘Psychology’ is defined as the scientific study of the mind and human behaviour. Not all of the psychological professions in Ireland are governed by this definition. In addition to Psychologists, there are Psychiatrists, Psychotherapists, and Psychoanalysts, to mention the main ones. The core differences are in their Training and Professional development, although there are overlaps, for example, Psychotherapists often have Psychology degrees, though most have their core training in nursing, (sometimes Psychiatric Nursing), Social Work or related professions. Psychiatrists have their core training in medicine. Psychoanalysis is the name of the Freudian School of Psychology with its own professional training and professional associations. UCD has Schools with professional training in all these fields. Psychologists in Ireland are required to have a degree in Psychology and be members of the Psychological Society of Ireland. A diploma or degree in Psychology is required for professional training in all the different professions within Psychology such as Clinical Psychology or Educational Psychology
My training was in the School of Psychology here in UCD and I’m a member of the Psychological Society of Ireland. My field covers ‘Human Development across the lifespan’, the ecology of human development, and the ‘person in context’. I’ve specialised in theories of Creativity, Spirituality and Community, which are regarded as the core strengths for human development. I adhere to a strengths-based approach in human development, bringing together Creative Writing and Positive Psychology. Personally, I love literary and arts festivals. Between the creative events and the sporting events, Ireland has a rich culture. My work is now mainly in teaching psychology and supervising research, but I’ve also been involved as a psychologist in the arts in relation to community and also with homeless women.
What the Introduction to Psychology course is about:
Psychology as a science has its origins in the post-Darwin era of the late nineteenth century, generally based on a biological view of the mind. There were several different starting points. Sigmund Freud’s psychology was foundational for the way we think about mental health today. Social Psychologists and the Behaviourists focused on behaviour that was objectively observable or at least measurable. Neuropsychology focused on how brain injuries and strokes affected behaviour. The technological age after the second world war brought Cognitive Psychology, a new science about how the mind works. This was controversial at the time, however, it’s ideas and discoveries have proven to be essential in brain-imaging, Neuroscience and Cognitive Science.
List of Topics
- Introduction to the course
- Freudian Psychology
- Behavioural Sciences
- Cognitive Psychology
- The Humanistic School of Psychotherapy
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Mindfulness-Based Therapies
- Mental Health and Well-being
- Cognitive Science and the Nature of the Human Mind
- Neuroscience and Physical health and well-being
Sigmund Freud’s theory, about how the mind works, was the first scientific-like theory of the human mind. His ideas about unconscious motivations and desires and how they drive behaviour has inspired generations of thinkers across all areas of Western culture. His was the foundational psychological therapy, his work influenced every mode of therapy that came later. His school of psychology continues to this day, although in the mainstream it has been overtaken by the scientific school which incorporates a lot of different sub-disciplines.
Broadly speaking, Behavioural Science today integrates the study of both individual and group psychology, it focuses on objectively measurable behaviours providing a wealth of insights into human activities and responses. In my lecture, I’ll focus on 1) how unconscious behaviour is conditioned and often manipulated, even in adult life, 2) biases in social thinking that everyone should know about such as confirmation bias, and 3) group psychology which is fascinating.
In this session, I’ll introduce basics from Cognitive Psychology and also some of the topics that fall under this heading e.g. problem-solving. Cognitive psychology is about the science of how the mind works.
The Humanistic School of Psychotherapy/ Cognitive Behavioural Therapy/ Mindfulness-based Therapies (3 sessions)
The Humanistic School evolved out of psychoanalysis (Freudian psychology). Today it’s rarely practised in Ireland in its pure form as was originally developed, however, most modalities of psychotherapy incorporate some of its principles. This School leads us into topics such as ‘needs and motivations’, transpersonal psychology and spirituality, Jungian psychology and much more. It was the foundation of the culture of personal development and a forerunner to Positive Psychology.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has also hugely influenced the kinds of therapy and personal development that are relevant today. It was influenced by the rationalist movement, Psychoanalysis, Neuroscience, the early Behaviourist psychology and the philosophy of Stoicism. Some contemporary therapies integrate aspects of CBT, it plays an important role in coaching, including business and life coaching.
Mindfulness-based therapies are influenced by a Westernised version of Eastern spiritual and mindfulness practices. The Cognitive Scientist, John Vervaeke, who is interested in spirituality in the context of Cognitive Science, claims that we are going through a ‘meaning crisis’. Such ideas are often part of a wider response to the crises facing humanity in the twenty-first century. Major cultural changes have been brought about by social media and in response, there are attempts to use social media to connect communities around the world in a search for meaning and wisdom. Vervaeke’s lectures can be found on Youtube along with lots of interesting resources relevant to Psychology today.
Mental Health and Wellbeing/ Cognitive Science and the nature of the Human Mind/ Neuroscience and physical health and well-being
Positive Psychology overlaps with these three topics. The medical model of mental health that Psychology grew out of follows the trend of promoting personal responsibility for one’s mental health, not only for those diagnosed with a psychiatric condition or those who seek help for psychological, emotional or behavioural problems. Nowadays, personal development is more about evolving one’s lifestyle in ways that support health and psychological wellbeing.
After 150 years of Western Psychology, we have come full circle although with a lot more knowledge and with some answers to fundamental questions that challenge assumptions. The advances in Cognitive Science are hugely challenging, particularly for the Western tradition that gave birth to it. Cognition is about how the mind works. Cognitive Science overlaps with Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience. Questions arise relating to our ideas about human nature, especially in terms of finding solutions to human problems. The issues that face humanity in the twenty-first century is unprecedented. Despite the many theories and assumptions about the nature of consciousness and the widespread use of the word, it appears that we don’t really know what consciousness is, for example, are we conscious when we’re dreaming? How does hypnosis work? What is blindsight? What about mystical experiences? How do we make sense of our experiences? Why is that people sometimes say that life has no meaning when research suggests that ‘meaning’ is essential for wellbeing?
These and many more questions are likely to come up in the course in discussions following the weekly lecture. This handout very briefly touches on a lot of deep issues and complicated theories. However, my hope is that you will find the Introduction to Psychology course interesting and maybe consider the creative writing course in the Spring with its unique mix of psychology and writing exercises. I hope you’ve enjoyed this taster lecture today. To click on the big link below go to this handout online at www.martinacarroll.wordpress.com which will bring you the course on the UCD website.
Introduction to Psychology Course details: https://sisweb.ucd.ie/usis/W_HU_REPORTING.P_LAUNCH_REPORT?p_report=BP121&p_parameters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
Tomorrow you will have an opportunity to hear me speak about Psychology and about my courses on campus at University College Dublin (UCD), Belfield, Dublin.
UCD is offering a series of ‘taster’ lectures so if you are interested, my psychology taster is at 12 – 01 pm. Location is the Access and Lifelong Learning Centre in the Library Building, entrance to the right of the entrance to the library and the stairs.
Contact details for the Centre: http://www.ucd.ie/all/contact/
Here’s an interview with famous Carl Jung, still hugely influential today.
This week’s exercise in my writing class is to write a letter to your younger self. Someone mentioned that I said very little about music when talking about creativity. Serious omission! I come from a very creative family with plenty of musicians. My father played the violin both classical and trad (fiddle) my mother played piano and always sang in a choir. Two of my three children all adults now are also into music performance. Here’s a song, written and performed by my son Al Doyle that’s relevant to this week’s exercise. It’s called Brother and is written as a mature man to his younger self. The lyrics are both dramatic and metaphorical. Here’s a link:
I would love to spend a lot more time blogging but life can sometimes get in the way. Last weekend was my first at home for a month. In fact, sometimes during the summer, I’ve only been three days in Dublin with weekends often stretching from Thursday to Tuesday. For me, it’s been a fantastic year, spending time travelling throughout Ireland. Apart from a short trip to Warsaw in January, I haven’t left the island. Ireland is full to the brim with creative activities and people.
Something I would love is to develop the discipline to sit down, blog, and upload photos as I go. I plan to work on doing just that as I move forward. I take lots of photos but want to organise myself to sit down, connect to the internet, write my thoughts and share beautiful images. I also want to share my ideas about psychological issues and what I’ve found to make life extremely positive.
This evening is the second session in UCD. Last week we began with a writing exercise and this evening I hope we can pick up on writing straight away. When it came to talking about Psychology, I began with definitions. In the Universities and the Psychological Society of Ireland, Psychology is defined as the scientific study of the human mind and human behaviour. In my talk, I tried to pin down what’s considered central to science. It’s about finding out ‘how things work’. Science goes hand in hand with technology but in the world of psychology, it’s more about testing claims about reality with an emphasis on wellbeing and ethics. However, Psychology is not just about how mind and behaviour work, it’s also about what works for people. In other words, at its best Psychology is about what’s best for human flourishing, and individuals in the context of their everyday lives. Psychology has changed since it began in the late 19th Century with its emphasis on mental illness, but it’s still about the thoughts, feelings, actions, behaviours, and perceptions of individuals in the context of their lives.
Therapy is not at the centre of Psychology, with the majority of psychologists working in other fields such as education, research, teaching, business, sports etc. Counselling and Clinical Psychology are mainly concerned with mental health although their scope is much wider. Other mental health professions are Psychiatry (medical doctors who specialise in mental illness), Psychotherapy and Social Work.
This week I’ll focus more on Positive Psychology beginning with the theory of Martin Seligman, PERMA. This is an interesting framework and quite useful to know about. I also plan to focus on the ‘Creative Writing’. I look forward to seeing everyone in UCD this evening. I will post the Notes on a tab rather than as a blog post.
I’m heading to Kilmore Quay in County Wexford, Ireland this weekend for the amazing writers’ festival called Write by the Sea at Kilmore Quay’. This is a beautiful picturesque village in the south-east of Ireland, complete with thatched cottages, fishing harbour and sandy beaches, not to mention the great community spirit that succeeds in bringing some fantastic experiences to the festival trail around the island of Ireland.
Below are the notes from the workshop I’ll be facilitating on Sunday. I promise to upload some photos over the weekend. Check out the festival https://writebythesea.ie/
Festival Workshop Kilmore Quay
9am to 11am Sept 30th 2018
The Role of Writing and Poetry in Positive Psychology
A. 9am to 9.30 Approx.
Where I’m coming from…
What is Positive Psychology?
The Role of Writing and Poetry in Positive Psychology
B. followed by Writing/ Feedback/ Discussion
Suggesting Video/ books relating to Positive Psychology
This Video by Psychologist Martin Seligman tells the story of Positive Psychology. His books played an important role in promoting the idea of a Positive Psychology but it’s not the full story. I recommend watching the video. I was lucky to get a ticket to hear him talk in Trinity College some time ago. Really enjoyed his presentation but I’ll leave it up to you whether you would like to read his books. They’re easy to find.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl – Great book with a positive influence in the field of Psychotherapy but most of all an amazing and inspirational story.
Modern Man in Search of a Soul by Carl Jung – Early 20th Century positive influence for Personal Development across life focussed on the welfare and wellbeing of people throughout their lives; plus great books/ ideas about the creative human mind, and the world of dreams, symbols and images, that continues to inspire creative minds today.
The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt – American Behavioural Psychologist with some great ideas and stories especially important for the idea of finding meaning in life (as opposed to the philosophical question ‘what is the meaning of life’). This brings us closer to the topic in hand which is about the role of writing and poetry in positive Psychology. The core topics Haidt writes about are meaning and accomplishment, work and love, positive relationships. Writers and poets know well how important it is to express the whole range of human emotions and experiences.
Workshop Notes – The Role of Writing & Poetry in Positive Psychology, by Dr. Martina Carroll
Positive Psychology – What is it?
A branch of scientific Psychology/ Originally about a science of happiness – 1990s, Now more focused on well-being and flourishing
-: It turns out that being happy is less important for some people than for others.
Storytelling/ Writing/ Poetry – a part of what it means to be human
Communities revolve around creative activities
Writers/ poets/ storytellers/ have always focused on the topics we associate with Psychology
PERMA Theory by Martin Seligman
The Elements of Wellbeing and Flourishing
Positive Emotion/ Engagement/Relationships/Meaning/Accomplishments
Influences on Positive Psychology Apart from Freud and the Study of normal behaviour and the mind within the field of Science
includes great writers like Carl Jung/ Victor Frankl/ Carl Rogers/ Jonathan Haidt about Meaning, Love, Work Accomplishment the subject matter of Positive Psychology but also about the full range of human emotions and experiences.
Jonathon Haidt suggests that Happiness comes from between ‘within’ and ‘without’, between our inner worlds and the outer world of people and places.
Creative Writing as something people love to do, a work of love, like writing a poem/ Nurturing and expressing our creative nature
The Happiness Hypothesis – the creative process experienced in the dynamic expression when the words and phrases emerge and just land on the page.
Writing Exercise 1 – about Writing
How and why did you Start Writing?
Say a little about how the story of your writing unfolded?
Do you have friendships from your interest in writing?
What about confidence – vital engagement/ involvement?
Note whether you have an ever thickening web of connections through writing.
Have you connected to a writing community?
Have you found a source of flow, joy, identity, effectance and relatedness within Writing?
Has writing changed you in any way?
If a story from your experiences comes to mind, continue writing about it
Writing Exercise 2 – Just writing for the sake of it…
Begin writing by describing anything that happened today or yesterday. Go where the story takes you. Whatever pops into your head, no matter how relevant or irrelevant it seems, just keep writing and find out where it takes you.
Love and Work The Happiness Hypothesis Love and Work
Vital Engagement The Happiness Hypothesis and Vital Engagement
Cross-Level Coherence Integrated Personality