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Treating Clients and Ourselves with Positivity

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Barbara Frederickson_photoAs psychotherapists, we spend considerable time on “negative emotions” – we help our clients to name them, tolerate them, understand them within a context, reduce their intensity, and change them. In this workshop, Barbara Fredrickson provides compelling reasons to focus on the “positive” in our clients’ lives and in our own. Drawing from her groundbreaking research on the hidden value of positive emotions, Dr. Fredrickson describes how unlike negative emotions, which narrow people’s behavioral urges toward fight or flight, positive emotions increase our resources in some surprising ways, contributing both to a momentary and a cumulative effect on our experience.

Barbara L. Fredrickson is Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology and principal investigator of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory at UNC Chapel Hill. She has published widely on emotions and positive psychology, including her broaden-and-build theory that explains how positive emotions can lead to novel, expansive, and exploratory behaviors that, over time, generate meaningful, long-term resources, such as knowledge and social relationships. Dr. Fredrickson has won numerous awards for her teaching and research, including the American Psychological Association’s Templeton Prize in Positive Psychology and the Society of Experimental Social Psychology’s Career Trajectory Award, and is regularly invited to give keynote addresses nationally and internationally. Her book, Positivity (2009), shares the science of positive emotions with a general readership with an emphasis on how to apply it to overcome negativity and thrive.