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Positive Psychology And The Training Of Psychologists: Students' Perspectives

Tharina Guse
Published 2010 · Psychology

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Orientation: The development of positive psychology interventions have burgeoned internationally and are relevant to the professional training of psychologists Research purpose: The aim of this study was to explore the personal and professional impact of including positive psychology in the professional training of clinical and counselling psychologists. Motivation for the study: It is not known how students previously educated in a pathogenic paradigm experience the exposure to positive psychology, and resultant paradigm shift, as part of their professional training. Research design, approach and method: A qualitative research design was implemented. Data consisted of written documents submitted by the participants and was analyzed by means of thematic analysis. Main findings: Integrating positive psychology in the professional training curriculum was valuable and enriching on both a professional and personal level. The participants reported an experience of positive emotions and increased sense of self-understanding and psychological well-being. Professionally they experienced a sense of increased self-efficacy. Practical/managerial implications: Positive psychology should be considered as part of the basic training of psychologists since it may enhance the development of trainee psychologists’ professional self, enhance aspects of psychological well-being as well as prevent stress and burnout. Contribution/value-add: This is the first South African study to explore the impact of including positive psychology principles and interventions in professional training.
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