Positive Psychology and Character Strengths: Application to Strengths-Based School Counseling

Park, Nansook; Peterson, Christopher
December 2008
Professional School Counseling;Dec2008, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p85
Academic Journal
The basic premise of positive psychology is that the happiness and fulfillment of children and youth entail more than the identification and treatment of their problems. This article provides an overview of positive psychology and the Values in Action (VIA) project that classifies and measures 24 widely recognized character strengths. Good character is multidimensional, made up of a family of positive traits manifest in an individual's thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Recent research findings are presented concerning the correlates and the consequences of the VIA character strengths for positive youth development. Character strengths are related to achievement, life satisfaction, and well-being of children and youth. Further, the implications and specific techniques informed by positive psychology are discussed for school counselors in the context of a strengths-based approach.


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