Integrating positive psychology constructs in psychotherapy: therapist perspectives on flourishing and virtue
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Citation (published version)J. Coleman, J. Owen, S. Sauer-Zavala, K. Tao, N. Devor, H. Levitt, C. Gutner, M. Zanarini, S. Sandage. 2020. "Integrating positive psychology constructs in psychotherapy: Therapist perspectives on flourishing and virtue.." Society for Psychotherapy Research. Amherst, MA,
The term "flourishing" means to grow or prosper and refers to a holistic, developmental sense of well being (VanderWeele et a l., 2019). There is growing interest in the principles of flourishing in psychotherapy. For instance, there are 20 studies of positive psychotherapy with results on par with other bona fide treatments and emphasize aspects of flourishing as factors in clie nt progress (e.g., AEDP, ACT; Fosha, 200; Rashid & Seligman, 2018). Still, the concept of flourishing remains largely segregated from mainstream mental healthcare practice. The disease model dominance within mental healthcare employs a view of the human pe rson as "clusters of symptoms" with the goal of treatment being the reduction of negative symptoms rather than increasing flourishing. Little is known about how mental health treatments improve clients' flourishing, as most studies have focused on symptom reduction. To address these limitations, the current study facilitated collaboration among four clinical research teams representing different clinical sites and training perspectives (e.g., CBT, Psychodynamic, Integrated). In doing so, we conducted eight focus groups utilizing a grounded theory qualitative approach to explore the processes through which flourishing is fostered in psychotherapy and the training of mental healthcare professionals.