In December 2004, I sent out my own “top 10” list of positive
psychology books. (You can read past newsletters at the following address:
Since then I have compiled a list of treasured positive psychology internet
resources that I would like to share with you. Please do not attach any meaning
to this list other than that they are either my personal favorites or strongly
recommended to me by friends in the field.
Treasured Positive Psychology Websites By Ben Dean, Ph.D.
1. Website for Reflective Happiness
The most interesting new website in Positive Psychology is Marty Seligman's "Reflective
Happiness" site at www.reflectivehappiness.com.
For a nominal monthly fee, subscribers are given access to monthly exercises
intended to increase
happiness, question-and-answer sessions with Marty, newsletters, bookclubs
and more. But most valuable, is access to Marty's own constantly evolving
thinking about the field. He knows everyone in Positive Psychology and
thus is always at the center of the latest thinking and research. His
own thinking is always evolving as well. His highest signature strengths
his love of learning. So members of the Reflective Happiness community
get to share in the benefits of knowing Marty! If you care about your
own happiness and that of your clients; if you care about the white hot
of positive psychology itself, how can you not enroll in this program?
This site is described in detail at the bottom of this newsletter.
2. Website for Barbara Fredrickson’s Laboratory
Barbara Fredrickson is perhaps most famous for her “broaden-and-build” theory
of positive emotions. She maintains a very active lab at the University
of Michigan, and it is interesting to check in periodically to read about
latest research conducted by Dr. Fredrickson and her graduate students.
Many of her articles can be downloaded from the website.
3. The Positive Psychology Center Website
If you can follow only one link, start here. The Positive Psychology Center
at the University of Pennsylvania is directed by Martin Seligman. This
website provides lists of positive psychology books, information about
funding opportunities and awards in positive psychology, materials for
positive psychology, and links to positive psychology conferences. The
webmaster maintains a Positive Psychology E-mail Directory of individuals
who are doing
positive psychology work. You can view this directory (or add your own
name) by following this link: http://www.positivepsychology.org/ppemail.htm
4. The Positive Psychology Listserv
This is an active listserv for anyone interested in positive psychology
(not just academics). Sometimes the discussions get heated, so buckle up!
To request membership in this listserv, send an e-mail to Acacia Parks (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In your e-mail request, be sure to include your full name and the e-mail
to which you would like your messages sent.
5. Jonathan Haidt’s Website
You may recognize Jonathan Haidt’s name from my newsletters about
strengths because I often borrow his creative ideas on building individual
strengths. Dr. Haidt is a psychologist at the University of Virginia whose
research focuses on morality and emotions. You can download papers written
by Dr. Haidt and other members of the lab. Be sure to check out this article
which wins the prize for most intriguing title: “Affect, Culture, and
Morality, or Is it Wrong to Eat Your Dog?” Also be sure to note Dr.
Haidt’s personal list of recommended readings.
6. The Official Site for Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman
Definitely spend an afternoon at this site if you have not already done
so as this is truly a remarkable resource. After registering on the site,
you can take 18 different surveys related to positive psychology. I recommend
starting with the VIA Strengths Survey (if you have not already taken it)
to receive feedback about your highest strengths. Also fascinating is the
Approaches to Happiness Questionnaire which assesses whether you tend to
pursue happiness via pleasure, engagement, or meaning. The website stores
your previous scores so that you or your clients can track changes over time.
While you are poking around on www.authentichappiness.org, be sure to subscribe
to the newsletter and check out the newsletter archives:
7. Website of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation
Here is an excerpt from the Foundation’s mission statement:
Established in 1995 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, The Random Acts
of Kindness Foundation is a resource for people committed to spreading kindness.
We provide a wide variety of materials on our website, including activity
ideas, lesson plans, project plans, teacher's guide, project planning guide,
publicity guide, and workplace resources on our website at www.actsofkindness.org – all
free of charge.
While you are exploring the website, be sure to visit the discussion boards
and sign up for the Kind Times Newsletter.
8. Website for Julie Norem’s The Positive Power of Negative Thinking:
Using Defensive Pessimism to Harness Anxiety and Perform at Your Peak
Julie Norem is a psychologist at Wellesley College who is widely respected
for her research on Defensive Pessimism, a strategy of always imagining
the worst that could happen in any given situation. Although this is technically
not a “positive psychology” resource, I think it provides some
balance to the list and will round out your positive psychology library nicely!
Be sure to take Norem’s Defensive Pessimism quiz on her website.
9. Website for Division 32 of the American Psychological Association / Humanistic
Current research in positive psychology is rooted in humanistic psychology,
and much can be learned from this active division of the APA. Even if
you don’t join, you can read recent newsletters online. Be sure to check
out the Internet Resources listed under “Humanistic Study” on
10. Ed Diener’s Website
Ed Diener, Ph.D., is a psychologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
and is most famous for his work on subjective well-being. You can download
many of his articles directly from the website. He also provides a list of
resources organized according to topic and a helpful summary page of the
main findings produced by his lab.
11. Website for the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience (directed by Richard
Interested in positive emotion and the brain? Check out the webpage for
the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience. Be sure to download these articles:
Davidson, R. J., Kabat-Zinn, J., et al. (2003). Alterations in brain and
immune function produced by mindfulness meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine,
Davidson, R. J. (2001). Toward a biology of personality and emotion. Annals
of the N.Y. Academy of Sciences, 935, 191-207.
Also, read here about Dr. Davidson’s work with the Dalai Lama!
Hope you find these resources as useful as I do! Happy exploring--
Ben Dean, Ph.D.
Reflective Happiness: The World of Real and Lasting Happiness
Marty Seligman’s new website was launched only eight weeks ago and
has already received 2,200,000 hits! Why has there been so much interest?
For a number of reasons. Marty has designed a Happiness Plan for each member
that can accurately measure, improve and sustain their emotional well-being
for a more fulfilling and satisfying life. Then, too, the website has a unique
combination of Happiness Building Exercises (Three Blessings™, the
Gratitude Visit, Savor a Beautiful Day, Signature Strengths, Active & Constructive
Friendship & Love, and Meaning & Positive Service and others), Question & Answer
Sessions with Marty, Community Building forums, a Positive Psychology Book
Club, and a members-only newsletter covering the latest developments that
Marty has found in the field.
For example, March’s newsletter on "Rearranging Your Day" should
be useful to you and to your clients. Here Marty describes his latest thinking
on Day Re-arranging. He suggests that in addition to drugs and psychotherapy,
well-being might be increased by first charting daily events and mood systematically,
and then helping your clients (or yourself) re-arrange their days to produce
a higher level of happiness. He then presents a validated instrument for
day-charting and promises to share his initial findings on increasing happiness
in his April newsletter.
Also new this month, new this month: Marty will share his thoughts about
(1) the genetics of happiness and depression (2) pro's and con's of meditation,
and (3) insomnia, happiness, and depression. For more details, click on www.reflectivehappiness.com.
Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D., is the Fox Leadership Professor of Psychology
at the University of Pennsylvania, the founder of the field of Positive
Psychology, a Past President of the American Psychological Association
(1998), and the author of 20 books including his most recent best seller,
Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your
Potential for Lasting Fulfillment. With Chris Peterson, he is co-author
of the newly-released Character Strengths and Virtues: A Classification
and Handbook. He is the co-founder Reflective Happiness LLC and of Authentic
Happiness Coaching LLC.
Ben Dean Ph.D. is a psychologist and founder of MentorCoach (www.mentorcoach.com),
an internationally recognized coach training organization. He publishes two
free coaching e-newsletters: "The Therapist as Coach" for helping
professionals (www.mentorcoach.com) and "The eCoach Newsletter" for
interdisciplinary professionals (www.ecoach.com)." Based in Bethesda,
Maryland, Ben is a Master Certified Coach, the highest designation of the
International Coach Federation. With Dr. Seligman, Ben is co-founder of Authentic
Happiness Coaching LLC.
AHC Speaking Schedule
Marty will give the keynote address at the National Association of School
Psychologists Annual Convention on Wednesday, March 30, 2005, at the Marriott
Marquis in Atlanta, GA. Details at http://www.authentichappiness.org/Schedule.html
Ben has just been interviewed on Fox News Live on Happiness Coaching. He
will be speak on coaching and positive psychology at the Psychotherapy Networker
Symposium in Washington DC (March 19), and in Chicago (April 1), Detroit
(April 3), Orlando (April 22), and Boca Raton (April 24). Ben's Spring MentorCoach
Training Programs begin (via teleconference) on Tuesday, April 12, 2005 at
7:00 PM Eastern and on Friday, May 6, 2005 at 12:00 PM Eastern (New York
Time). See www.mentorcoach.com for details.
To read past newsletters, please go to the following address: http://www.authentichappinesscoaching.org/newsletter/archives.php
Ben’s Top 11 Positive
Psychology Internet Resources - Volume 2 Number 27