Prepare: Prior to completing this discussion question, watch the TED video titled “Martin Seligman: The New Era of Positive Psychology (Links to an external site.)” and read this excerpt (Links to an external site.) from Dr. Seligman’s book titled Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being from his website, Authentic Happiness (Links to an external site.). In addition, read the National Organization for Human Services’ Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals. (Links to an external site.)
Reflect: Building upon a client’s unique strengths and resources is a common approach in the fields of social work and human services. In this first discussion forum for the week, you will reflect upon a particular concept-positive psychology-and consider its application to a particular problem area with a client. Consider the essential aims of the Positive Psychology movement and Dr. Seligman’s evolving perspectives on happiness and well-being.
Write: Imagine that you are a human services professional working with a client facing a challenge or situation.. Choose the challenge or situation that this client might face and summarize the presenting challenge(s) and needs. Conidering the challenge or situation faced by your client, explain how you would utilize the Positive Psychology approach. Analyze cultural competence elements, as identified in the National Organization for Human Services’ Ethical Standards for Human Services Professionals, that direct practice professionals should integrate in the successful delivery of this technique (e.g., awareness of one’s own cultural background, recognition of multiculturalism, respecting cultural diversity, etc.).
Write: Imagine that you are an administrator leading a human services organization that is experiencing a number of challenges, such as high turnover among staff, poor lines of communication between employees, and overall low level of employee satisfaction with the current organizational culture. Describe this fictional organization (e.g., what it aims to do, and the clients you work with, etc.) and evaluate the impact that these issues may have on the delivery of services that are rendered. Select one of the four theories noted in Chapter 6 (Constructivist Self-Development Theory, Burnout Theory, Systems Theory, or Valuation Theory of Organizational Change) and discuss how you might apply it to these issues. How would you utilize it to make positive change? What obstacles or barriers might you encounter when making changes to your organization?