Chapter 1Applied Positive Psychology 10 Years On


The first edition of this handbook was published in 2004. The title of the introduction chapter was “Applied Positive Psychology: A New Perspective for Professional Practice.” In that chapter, the authors argued for the need for applied positive psychology. It had only been a few years since positive psychology had first come to widespread attention following Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi's (2000) special issue of the American Psychologist. Positive psychology was still a fledging discipline and scholars were beginning to coalesce around this exciting new idea. Applications of positive psychology were in their infancy.

A decade later, positive psychology is no longer new. The ideas of positive psychology have now firmly taken root within professional psychological practice. In the intervening years, there have been applications in the contexts of work, health, organizations, counseling, and coaching, as well as in professional disciplines outside psychology such as sociology, social work, education, and public policy. There seems little need 10 years on to argue the case for positive psychology. The notion that psychology had focused too much on the alleviation of problems with scant attention to what goes right in life is no longer controversial. It is now widely accepted that it is of equal value to attend to what makes life worth living as it is to what goes wrong, and it is important to look for ways to help ...

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