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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

It is in the applications of positive psychology that the area has the most potential to impact people’s lives. As such, it is here that the greatest rigor needs to be used to evaluate the claims of the potential of positive psychology approaches, lest they do harm, either directly or through crowding out existing more effective approaches. This chapter discusses the changes that have occurred in the area of positive psychology applications over the last 15 years and the issues that have emerged, including the initial enthusiasm, later criticisms, and the high potential for new research into positive psychology applications at the present time. Positive psychology can inform and readily sit within the current zeitgeist of a number of applied areas, benefiting itself from the win–win of interdisciplinary collaboration. The chapter concludes that the greatest potential is to remove the arbitrary separation of focusing on either the “positive” or the “negative” in applied fields. Such an approach is already gaining traction within clinical and health psychology, and there is potential for this to expand to other applied fields. The various positive interventions that have been developed are viewed as promising, but not yet meeting normal clinical standards of evidence. Such trials are strongly encouraged to be carried out to ensure that positive interventions are properly evidence based, and so that those that do work can be more widely used in evidence-based practice.

Keywords: positive psychology, positive clinical psychology, clinical psychology, happiness, interventions, applied positive psychology

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