Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. It is founded on the belief that we want to live meaningful and fulfilling lives and want to cultivate what is good within ourselves to enhance all aspects of our lives. (M. Seligman, Positive Psychology Center).
Positive Psychology is a scientific theory that enables us to categorize, study, and apply positive psychology principles in the real world. The Positive Psychology Lab is focused on both scientific research and real world application. We strive to better understand how to use our strengths to overcome or minimize the impact of mental illness and how to improve well-being within individuals, families, and communities.
We are focused on the following subareas of positive psychology:
- Well-Being and the PERMA Model (PERMA stands for Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment)
- Character Strengths and Virtues
- Psychological Capital, including Hope, Self-Efficacy, Resilience, and Optimism (Often referred to together as HERO)
- Flow, Grit, Savoring, Gratitude, Self-Care, and Post-Traumatic Growth
- Broaden and Build strategies and Strength-Based interventions (including Solution-Focused Interventions)
The Positive Psychology Lab seeks to engage individuals, families, and communities in an exploration of strengths, resilience, and well-being. We are part of the larger mission at Antioch University Seattle to advance social, economic, and environmental justice.
Originally called the Positive Psychology and Strength-Based Interventions Research and Interest Group at Antioch University Seattle, our name was quickly shortened to the Positive Psychology Lab. This was much easier to remember and made for a better web address too.
We began in 2018, but we grew from an already present desire to better understand strengths to help overcome mental illness and minimize its impact. Initial projects revolved around training issues, including strength-based clinical supervision and application of a train the trainer approach with Positive Psychology and strength-based interventions like Solution-Focused Therapy.
Interest in strength-based approaches and positive psychology grew and students initiated more research projects, including dissertations and group projects. Focus areas included the concepts of optimism, flourishing, well-being, resilience, and self-care.
In 2020, especially in response to COVID-19, we began looking at new ways to continue our research and education initiatives. After securing the positivepsychologylab.com domain, we moved online. We started our positive psychology blog and began offering online trainings and continuing education related to positive psychology.
We work to achieve our mission through three overlapping activities:
Education and Training, including clinical supervision, supervision training, our positive psychology blog, and continuing education in psychology and related professions.
Research, including our current research projects, publications, and presentations.
We are a group of graduate students and faculty in the Clinical PsyD Program at Antioch University Seattle.
Chris Heffner, PsyD, PhD - Faculty Director
Ashley Turner, MSW - Doctoral Fellow (2020-2021)
Gracie Struthers, BA - Doctoral Fellow (2019-2020)
Kelle Agassiz, BA - Doctoral Fellow (2018-2019)