Positive #3: Lynn Johnson. There are very few people in Salt Lake that speak the language of Positive Psychology. One of them is Lynn Johnson. He goes about the country teaching mental health professionals about Positive Psychology. Yesterday we had breakfast together. We shared things we have learned recently, so we both learned something. He strongly encouraged me write up a report that proves (with scientific measurements) the effectiveness of Happiness 101 and submit it to the Positive Psychology community for publication. He stressed the importance of contributions not just made by academics but people like he and I that can offer a report from the front lines (so to speak). An amazing prospect and one I had never before considered. Honestly, more than anything, it was just nice to spend quality time with someone who gets it. Today I am thankful to have spent one-on-one time with Lynn Johnson.

Frank Clayton LPC

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Report from IPPA Conference, Day 3

Wow! What an absolutely amazing day! In case you’re just “tuning in”, today is day 3 of the 2nd Congress of the International Positive Psychology Association.
Here are the highlights:

  • Barbara Fredrickson (author of my #2 pick on Happiness, Positivity) talked about Love
  • Meeting Todd Kashdan and (what may be his last) talk at IPPA
  • Possible collaboration with positive psychologist and local, Lynn Johnson
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy with a Positive Spin
  • Positive Computing
  • Meeting Jane McGonigal and using her on-line game to enhance Happiness 101
  • How much you think you can do something effects whether (and how hard) you try *
  • The use of strengths in therapy – the intermediate lesson *
  • Gala and the National Constitution Center *

* I will report on these tomorrow.

It was much cooler today. A blessing for my walk to my third download of information in the realm of positive psychology, a.k.a. Happiness! As I walked through City Hall in (literally) the heart of Philadelphia, I hummed a little tune. I was distracted by the richness and variety of the people as I walked. Per haps distracted enough by the suits, the homeless, the street venders, the skaters and the provocative dress, the song’s lyrics did not bubble to the surface until in the shadow of the Downtown Marriott. I murmured, “All you need is love. Bump-ba bump-ba bump. All you need is love. Bump-ba bump-ba bump. All you need is love, love – love is all you need.” As I realized I was humming a Beatles standard, I also realized that the topic of Barbara Fredrickson’s talk was “Love: A new lens on the science of thriving” Continue reading Report from IPPA Conference, Day 3

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Report from IPPA Conference, Day 2

Day two of the 2nd Congress of the International Positive Psychology Association was simply amazing.  I learned SO much!  At one point I laughed to my friend “Teacher!  My brain is full!”  Here’s a report of the day’s events:

It began with Ed Deci speaking about self-determination and its relationship to positive psychology – in other words: the self-fulfilling prophecy.  He showed scientific proof that believing that you are doomed and things will never get better can actually bring that about.  Using a simple analogy (of my own), if one is drowning and they really don’t think anyone will come to rescue them, they can behave based on this belief by not paddling and dying before help could arrive.  But Deci really wowed the crowd when he reported that studies repeatedly proved that external rewards kill off intrinsic motivation.  For instance, when we try to control our children either by giving them a reward for doing well (the carrot) or punishing them when they do not do well (the stick), we inadvertently are hindering our child’s innate love of learning!  You can bet I will be blogging more about this. Continue reading Report from IPPA Conference, Day 2

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Click here to see the trailer

On April 4th, 2010, I had the pleasure of screening Lisa Cypers Kamen‘s documentary, The H-Factor at the Happiness Social. Though Kafeneio Coffeehouse is a big place, few seats were empty when the lights went down. There were 52 people there, hungry to learn even more about Happiness. They were well fed.

By Lisa’s account, The H-Factor is still a rough cut, the documentary packs a wallop. Weighing in just over 30 minutes in length Lisa interviews the homeless, celebrities, prisoners and Happiness experts covering what Happiness is and is not, why we are not as happy as we think we should be and most importantly, specific ways one can be Happier. I enjoyed the perspective from which she shot the film – that of her 9 year old daughter, Kayla. Together they traveled the world in search of the elusive, rare creature known as Happiness, only to find, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, that it was with them the whole time. Continue reading Review of The H-Factor, a Documentary by Lisa Cypers Kamen

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Something new in this semester of Happiness 101 is an emphasis on building upon core strengths. I decided to beef up this are of the class after my training last month with Lynn Johnson. This semester I asked students to go to www.authenticahappiness.com and take the VIA Survey of Character Strengths self test. It identifies your top strengths. This test is free to anyone that wishes to take it. Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology, maintains that we should spend time to strengthen and cultivate our strengths, rather than spending a great deal of time trying to correct our short-comings. One exercise suggested by Dr. Johnson was to identify a problem, then use one of your core strengths to address the problem. Today I want to express appreciation that this in-depth self-test has been developed to help everyone identify what is RIGHT rather than what is wrong.

Frank Clayton, the Happy Therapist

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I so enjoy a new crop of students to teach Happiness 101. I appreciate their willingness to come in to a room full of strangers and to learn something new. Tonight was very special to me. Since my training with Lynn Johnson on February 25th, I have an opportunity to draw from new material, making the class even more effective. There is nothing quite like looking at the faces of new students, knowing where they path will take them and just how much better their life is about to become. I feel so honored and blessed for the opportunity to be the messenger of hope and Happiness to the new students of Happiness 101

Frank Clayton, the Happy Therapist

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I am so glad I took the time to prep for tonight’s Happiness 101 class. I feel calm and ready to great 10 new students. I feel grateful to Lynn Johnson, whose training on February 25th taught me even more and gave me new material to present. I love teaching Happiness 101. In this moment, I feel like a kid on Christmas morning 🙂

Frank Clayton, the Happy Therapist

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