From shared roots to fruitful collaboration: How counselling psychology can benefit from (re)connecting with positive psychology

Steffen, Edith; Vossler, Andreas and Stephen, Joseph (2015). From shared roots to fruitful collaboration: How counselling psychology can benefit from (re)connecting with positive psychology. Counselling Psychology Review, 30(3) pp. 1–11.

Abstract

Content and focus: Counselling psychology has its origins in a positive orientation towards lifelong development, growth and prevention rather than pathology and cure. Along with the positive psychology movement, it shares its roots in humanistic psychology, and while US counselling psychology has embraced positive psychology explicitly, UK counselling psychology has been more reluctant to engage with this framework. This paper reviews the relationship between counselling psychology and positive psychology, tracing the roots of counselling psychology and its engagement with positive psychology as well as some of the barriers to fruitful interaction. We offer suggestions for how counselling psychology could beneficially (re)connect with positive psychology ideas and practices.
Conclusions: By reconnecting with its positive roots and engaging with the ideas and the research of the positive psychology movement, counselling psychology could develop more balanced and strength-oriented ways of working, rekindling its original commitment towards human flourishing and actualisation.

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