Advertisement

Positive School Psychology

Chapter
Part of the Positive Education book series (POED)

Abstract

Central to building a positive institution is the integration of psychological services into the daily operation of schools. While an ideal model would see the psychologist as a specialist staff member it also focuses on building organisational capabilities to strengthen the reach of psychological specialists. With current psychologist-tostudent ratios ranging from 1:1500 to 1:2000 across most Australian school systems (Faulkner, InPsych: The Bulletin of the Australian Psychological Society, 29(4), 10–13, 2007), the traditional welfare approach in schools typically reaches a minority of the population and does not necessarily help to raise the overall well-being of the student population. The two questions that must be addressed are, firstly, what are schools doing to support the students who don’t seek help, and secondly, what can schools do to further prevent mental illness? This chapter outlines the theoretical and applied shift of St. Peter’s College’s psychological and counselling services, from the welfare model to the integration of the well-being model. Welfare models in schools tend to be reactive and aim to reduce the risk, prevalence, and severity of mental illness and psychopathology (e.g. anxiety, depression), and treatment is usually focused on the individual’s deficits (Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi, American Psychologist, 55(1), 5–14, 2000). Building upon existing interventions in the school, the proactive well-being model uses a positive psychology approach and promotes well-being and resilience in the whole-school community. Using Caplan’s (Principles of prevention psychiatry, 1964) principles of preventative mental health to highlight the shift, traditional preventative approaches have been incorporated into the school’s well-being framework, creating change in the counselling setting and throughout the school, the full spectrum of mental health, from psychopathology, to the prevention of mental illness, and the promotion of well-being and flourishing for all students.

Keywords

Psychopathology psychological services School psychology Educational psychology Well-being 

References

  1. Akin–Little, K. A., Little, S. G., & Delligatti, N. (2004). A preventative model of school consultation: Incorporating perspectives from positive psychology. Psychology in the Schools, 41(1), 155–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2007). National survey of mental health and well-being: Summary of results. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics.Google Scholar
  3. Australian Psychological Society. (2010). Evidence based psychological interventions in the treatment of mental disorders: A literature review (3rd ed.). Australian Psychological Society. http://www.psychology.org.au/Assets/Files/Evidence-Based-Psychological-Interventions.pdf. Accessed 20 Jan 2015.
  4. Barney, L. J., Griffiths, K. M., Jorm, A. F., & Christensen, H. (2006). Stigma about depression and its impact on help-seeking behaviors. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 40(1), 51–54.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boniwell, I., & Ryan, L. (2012). Personal well-being lessons for secondary schools: Positive psychology in action for 11–14 year olds. Maidenhead: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Burton, C. M., & King, L. A. (2009). The health benefits of writing about positive experiences: The role of broadened cognition. Psychology and Health, 24(8), 867–879.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Caplan, G. (1964). Principles of preventive psychiatry. Oxford: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  8. Clonan, S. M., Chafouleas, S. M., McDougal, J. L., & Riley-Tillman T. C. (2004). Positive psychology goes to school: Are we there yet? Psychology in the Schools, 41(1), 101–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cohn, M. A., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2010). In search of durable positive psychology interventions: Predictors and consequences of long-term behavior change. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 5(5), 255–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cox, K. F. (2006). Investigating the impact of strength-based assessment on youth with emotional or behavioral disorders. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 15(3), 287–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dodge, R., Daly, A. P., Huyton, J., & Sanders L. D. (2012). The challenge of defining well-being. International Journal of Well-being, 2(3), 222–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Duckworth, A. L., Steen, T. A., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2005). Positive psychology in clinical practice. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 1, 629–651.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  14. Faulkner, M. (2007). School psychologists or psychologists in schools? InPsych: The Bulletin of the Australian Psychological Society, 29(4), 10–13.Google Scholar
  15. Fava, G. (1999). Well-being therapy: Conceptual and technical issues. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 68(4), 171–179.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist, 56(3), 218–226.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fredrickson, B. L. (2003). The value of positive emotions: The emerging science of positive psychology is coming to understand why it’s good to feel good. American Scientist, 91(4), 330–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fredrickson, B. L., Cohn, M. A., Coffey, K. A., Pek, J., & Finkel, S. A. (2008) Open hearts build lives: Positive emotions, induced through Loving-Kindness Meditation, build consequential personal resources. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(5), 1045–1062.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Harris, A. H. S., Thoresen, C. E. & Lopez, S. J. (2007). Integrating positive psychology into counselling: Why and (when appropriate) how. Journal of Counselling and Development, 85, 3–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Johnson, J., Gooding, P. A., Wood, A. M., Taylor, D., Pratt, N., & Tarrier, N. (2010). Resilience to suicidal ideation in psychosis: Positive self-appraisals buffer the impact to hopelessness. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 48, 883–889.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Joseph, S., & Wood, A. (2010). Assessment of positive functioning in clinical psychology: Theoretical and practical issues. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 830–838.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Karwoski, L., Garratt, G. M., & Ilardi, S. S. (2006). On the integration of cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression and positive psychology. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 20(2), 159–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Keyes, C. L. M. (2002). The mental health continuum: From languishing to flourishing in life. Journal of Health and Social Research, 43, 207–222.Google Scholar
  24. Keyes, C. L. M. (2006). Mental health in adolescence: Is America’s youth flourishing? American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 76(3), 395–402.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. King, L. A. (2001). The health benefits of writing about life goals. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 798–807.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Linley, A. L., & Burns, G. W. (2009). Strength spotting: Finding and developing client resources in the management in intense anger. In G. W. Burns (Ed.), Happiness, healing, enhancement: Your casebook collection for applying positive psychology in therapy. Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  27. Lopez, S. J., Edwards, L. M., Pedrotti Teramoto, J., Prosser, E. C., LaRue, S., Vehige Spalitto, S., & Ulven, J. C. (2006). Beyond the DSM-IV: Assumptions, alternatives, and alterations. Journal of Counselling and Development, 84, 259–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Maddux, J. E. (2008). Positive psychology and the illness ideology: Toward a positive clinical psychology. Applied psychology: An international review, 57, 54–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Magyar-Moe, J. L. (2009). Therapist’s guide to positive psychological interventions. New York: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  30. Maslow, A. H. (1954). Motivation and personality. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  31. McGrath, H. & Noble, T. (2011). Bounce back. A wellbeing & resilience program. Melbourne: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
  32. Noble, T., & McGrath, H. (2008). The positive educational practices framework: A tool for facilitating the work of educational psychologists in promoting pupil well-being. Educational & Child Psychology, 25(2), 119–134.Google Scholar
  33. Norrish, J. M., & Vella-Brodrick, D. A. (2009). Positive psychology and adolescents: Where are we now? Where to from here? Australian Psychologist, 44(4), 270–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2008). Positive psychology and character strengths: Application to strengths-based school counselling. Professional School Counselling, 12(2), 85–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Parks, A. C., & Biswas-Diener, R. (2013). Positive interventions: Past present, and future. In T. B. Kashdan & J. Ciarrochi (Eds.), Mindfulness, acceptance and positive psychology: The seven foundations of well-being (pp. 140–165). CA: Context Press.Google Scholar
  36. Pennenaker, J. W., & Segal, J. D. (1999). Forming a story: The health benefits of narrative. Journal of clinical psychology, 55(10), 1243–1254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A classification and handbook. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  38. Rashid, T. (2009). Positive interventions in clinical practice. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 65(5), 461–466.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Roy, A., Carli, V., & Sarchiapone, M. (2011). Resilience mitigates the suicide risk associated with childhood trauma. Journal of Affective Disorders, 133, 591–594.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Ruini, C., Belaise, C., Brombin, C., & Caffo, E. (2006). Well-being therapy in school settings: A pilot study. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 75, 331–336.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Seligman, M. E. P. (2005). Positive psychology, positive prevention and positive therapy. In C. R. Snyder & S. L. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology (pp. 3–9). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Seligman, M. E. P. (2011). Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  43. Seligman, M. E. P. (2013). Building the state of wellbeing: A strategy for South Australia (Adelaide Thinker in Residence 2012–2013). South Australia: Government of South Australia.Google Scholar
  44. Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55(1), 5–14.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Seligman, M. E. P., Steen, T. A., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology progress: Empirical validation of interventions. American Psychologist, 60(5), 410–421.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Seligman, M. E. P., Rashid, T., Parks, A. C. (2006). Positive psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 61, 774–788.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Seligman, M. E. P., Ernst, R. M., Gillman, J., Reivich, K., & Kinkins, M. (2009). Positive education: Positive psychology and classroom interventions. Oxford Review of Education, 35(3), 293–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sin, N. L., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2009). Enhancing well-being and alleviating depressive symptoms with positive psychology interventions: A practice-friendly meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 65(5), 467–487.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Snyder, C. R., Lopez, S. J., Shorey, H. L., Rand, K. L., & Feldman, D. B. (2003). Hope theory, measurements and applications to school psychology. School Psychology Quarterly, 18(2), 122–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Tarrier, N. (2010). Broad Minded Affective Coping (BMAC): A “Positive” CBT Approach to Facilitating Positive Emotions. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 3, 64–76.Google Scholar
  51. Tweed, R. G., Bhatt, G., Dooley, S., Spindler, A., Douglas, K. S., & Viljoen, J. L (2011). Youth violence and positive psychology: Research potential through integration. Canadian Psychology, 52(2), 111–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Vella-Broderick, D. (2011). Positive education: Creating flourishing students, staff and schools. InPsych, April, 10–13.Google Scholar
  53. Waters, L. (2011). A review of school-based positive interventions. The Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist, 28(2), 75–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Waters, L., White, M., & Murray, S. (2012). Towards the creation of a positive institution. International Journal of Appreciative Inquiry, 14(2), 60–66.Google Scholar
  55. White, M. (2014). An evidence-based whole-school strategy to positive education. In H. Street & Porter N. (Eds.), Better than ok: Helping young people to flourish at school and beyond (pp 194–198). Fremantle: Fremantle Press.Google Scholar
  56. White, M., & Alford, Z. (2013). Positive Psychology: pathology, prevention and promotion. Poster session presented at the 3rd World Congress on Positive Psychology. Los Angeles.Google Scholar
  57. White, M. A. & Waters, L. E. (2014). A case study of ‘The Good School’: Examples of the use of Peterson’s strengths-based approach with students. The Journal of Positive Psychology: Dedicated to furthering research and promoting good practice. doi:10.1080/17439760.2014.920408Google Scholar
  58. Wood, A. M., & Tarrier, N. (2010). Positive clinical psychology: A new vision and strategy for integrated research and practice. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 819–829.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wood, A. M., Taylor, P. J., & Joseph, S. (2010). Does the CES-D measure a continuum from depression to happiness? Comparing substantive and artifactual models. Psychiatry Research, 177, 120–123.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Wood, A. M., Linley, P. A., Maltby, J., Kashdan, T. B., & Hurling, R. (2011). Using personal and psychological strengths leads to increases in well-being over time: A longitudinal study and the development of the strengths use questionnaire. Personality and Individual Differences, 50, 15–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. World Health Organisation, (2008). The global burden of disease: 2004 update. World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  62. World Health Organisation. (2010). Mental health: Strengthening our response (Fact sheet No. 220). http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs220/en/
  63. Wright, B. A., & Lopez, S. J. (2002). Widening the diagnostic focus: A case for including human strengths and environmental resources. In C. R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology (pp. 26–44). London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Anglican Church of Australia Collegiate School of Saint Peter trading as St Peter's College 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St Peter’s CollegeAdelaideAustralia

Personalised recommendations