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date: 25 June 2017

Abstract and Keywords

Positive psychotherapy (PPT) is the positive psychology movement’s therapeutic extension that broadens the scope of traditional psychotherapy. Its primary premise is that building positive emotions, strengths, and meaning, in addition to undoing symptoms, is efficacious in treating psychopathology. Positive emotions, strengths, and meaning serve us best not when life is easy but when life is difficult. For a psychologically distressed client, having and using strengths such as optimism, hope, zest, and social intelligence become more important than in good times. This chapter explains the theoretical foundations of PPT, presents empirical evidence that supports accentuating positives as being clinically relevant, and outlines the structure and specific strategies of PPT. Finally, the chapter discusses the therapeutic process and mechanisms of change.

Keywords: clinical positive psychology, strength-based therapy, symptoms & strengths, character strengths, meaning, integration of positive and negative, post-traumatic growth

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