This week I will be presenting a workshop called "Positive Psychology Interventions for Adults and Children with ASD" with Dr. Katherine Dahlsgaard and Tim Wilson at the Pennsylvania Psychological Association's annual convention. The convention serves psychologists and psychology students in Pennsylvania.
As the title indicates, our workshop will focus on using positive interventions in working with individuals and groups on the autism spectrum. Positive interventions (based on positive psychology, the scientific study of strengths: http://www.ppc.sas.upenn.edu/) are tools that can help a person think more creatively and more openly, enhance mood, and build self-esteem. For example, one of the interventions we talk about is simply monitoring positive moods--taking the time each day to pay attention to positive moods when they occur (even if they are fleeting) and focusing on what they feel like physically (the stretch of a smile on your face) and internally (slower, clearer thoughts; flow of creative ideas).
Positive psychology and positive interventions often seem very simplistic in explanation, yet when they are exercised they can be profoundly effective.
What do you think of the notion of focusing on the positive in therapy (not exclusively, but sometimes)? What do you think about using these methods with kids, adolescents, and adults on the autism spectrum?