Positive Psychology


Positive Psychology isn’t actually a therapy, per se, it is more of a philosophical way of looking at mental illness and mental wellbeing. Positive psychology recognises that mental health is not just the absence of mental illness, but also encompasses psychological wellbeing and positive functioning.

The rationale can be described like this... What would happen if you ignored all the warning lights and waited until your car stopped working before taking it to the mechanics? It would end up costing you an arm and a leg to repair. But if you took your car to the mechanic when the first warning light came on, or undertook regular maintenance, you would save yourself a lot of money and the car would probably last longer. Similarly, we have typically waited until a person shows signs of a mental disorder before providing them with treatment. Positive Psychology suggests that if we take care of our mental health proactively, and seek help from a psychologist when the ‘warning lights’ come on, mental illness can be prevented, or at least be less severe.

Positive Psychology provides the opportunity to shift perspective. This shift, even a small shift, can lead to significant gains in wellbeing and quality of life. Injecting a bit more optimism and gratitude into your life is a simple action that can give you a radically more positive outlook on life.

Positive Psychology is meant to complement, not replace, the previous hundred years of psychological research. It does not dismiss the very real problems that people experience. Instead, Positive Psychology studies thoughts, feelings and behaviours with a bias that focuses on strengths as much as previous research’s negative bias had focused weaknesses.

There are several online tests you can access to help you figure out your personal strengths. We use and recommend this one. Please bring the results with you to your therapy session if you take this test. Identifying and using personal strengths can lead to significant growth in happiness and satisfaction with all areas of life and the reduction of depression symptoms.

The psychologists at Bridge Street Psychology have experience using and teaching skills based in Positive Psychology for a variety of mental health and wellbeing issues. To find out which our psychologists would be the best match for you, call our friendly support team on 9876 1800 or email reception@bridgestreetpsych.com.au