Throughout time, psychology has worked on trying to understand what is wrong with us (why do we get depressed? why do we feel anxiety or stress?) in order to help us recover our wellbeing.
However, the same thing has happened to psychologists as to doctors, and that is that, in their haste to help us recover our health, they have forgotten to define it. That is to say, to explain what exactly health and mental health are, so that we can know when we have it or have lost it.
In this way, psychologists have not worked enough on studying the positive aspects of people, such as emotional intelligence, creativity or happiness, which is exactly what people want to achieve when they come to the doctor’s office.
For this reason, positive psychology was born just at the time when psychologists have left aside the “healthy”, as the study of the positive signs of the mind, behavior or emotions. But what exactly is positive psychology?
What is positive psychology?
Positive psychology studies through science the good mental health of human beings. Contrary to traditional psychology, which focuses on how mental illness is produced and how to treat and cure it, positive psychology concentrates on health and its objective is to know what works in the mind and how to enhance it.
On the other hand, it should be made clear that traditional psychology and positive psychology are neither antagonists nor substitutes. In fact, both try to help us to be happy, although traditional psychology focuses on resolving the negative and positive psychology focuses on enhancing the good aspects.
If I have anxiety or depression, can positive psychology help me?
Yes, current research has proven that psychotherapies and interventions with positive psychology are good for improving well-being and for reducing or improving symptoms of anxiety or depression.
More than 20 positive therapies or psychotherapies have proven to be effective in the treatment of anxiety and depression, so it can be concluded that they are a valid alternative to treat these problems.
When can I opt for positive psychology?
If the signs of anxiety or depression are mild and other therapies have not been effective, you can opt for positive psychology. If you have some symptoms of anxiety or depression, such as tiredness, restlessness or lack of concentration, using positive psychotherapy may be a great option.
If other therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or contextual therapies have not achieved results, a good alternative would be positive psychotherapy.
On the other hand, if you suffer from moderate anxiety or depression, it is better to opt for a traditional psychotherapy, since there is more experience in its use and its effectiveness is higher.
For more information, consult a specialist in Psychiatry.