Original Research

Positive psychology and the training of psychologists: Students’ perspectives

Tharina Guse
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 36, No 2 | a848 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v36i2.848 | © 2010 Tharina Guse | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 August 2009 | Published: 03 December 2010

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Tharina Guse, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

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.


Keywords

psychofortology; psychological well-being; professional training; psychotherapy; qualitative research

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