Positive Psychology Interventions (A Complete Guide) | OptimistMinds (2023)

The prime focus of Positive psychology is on behavior and character strengths which helps an individual to have a purposeful life.

In this article, we will briefly discuss Positive psychology interventions.

The foundations of positive psychology lie on three maxims according to a late researcher Christopher Peterson.

First one is, everything which ought to be good in life is as pure as what ought to be bad.

Secondly, something going good in life doesn’t necessarily mean that it is happening due to the absence of problems.

Lastly, an explanation is required for a good life, not simply in a theory of disorder stood sideways or flipped on its head.

Positive psychology emphasizes purpose not just stresses on temporary happiness.

Martin Seligman is thought to be the father of Positive Psychology has described three ways which lead to happiness: A life full of pleasures, a merely good life and a life which is aimed on to be purposeful.

History of Positive Psychology:

Positive Psychology provides a paradigm to lead a well balanced and happy life.

Maslow in his book “Motivation and personality” noted a conflict between a more realistic approach to help people lead a happy life and clinical psychology focused on mental health issues.

Now, more than 50 years psychologists have started using Artificial Intelligence and data collection to understand and study the factors which lead to contentment in life and their research application affects the way we understand the concepts of marketing, leadership and inspiration.

Pre-modern Cognitive Psychology:

Although, the Positive Psychology’s roots are found back in the year of 1908, William James came with a valid point.

He pointed out why some individuals lead contended lives while others don’t.

Earlier before this, some notorious philosophers including Socrates, Aristotle and Plato noted how it looks to live a virtuous life and how an individual can strive to live and attain contentment in his life.

Modern day psychology is now more concerned about scientific research rather than thought experiments in the late 19th century when a connection was built among particular motor skills and behavior.

Wilhelm Wundt, in 1874, published his work on Principles of Physiological psychology.

It took less than thirty years to psychology in shaping its form into scientific from which theories of operant and classical conditioning emerged which helped in shaping the structure of behaviorism in the early 20th century.

Modern Behavior:

Behaviorism states that all learned behaviors are learnt in response to a stimuli.

(Video) Positive Psychology Interventions: Enhancing Gratitude

Pavlov’s work on classical conditioning was published and then psychologists examined how infants develop and studied those factors which are involved developing their sensory motor skills, cognitive functions, language and as adults their emotional stability.

Modern behaviorists, Carl Jung and Skinner’s work give formation to how personality is perceived and discussed along with habit formation and self development.

Positive Psychology, in 1998, achieved the status of scientific area of study.

It’s been years that psychologists are studying the human psyche and classified groups of attitudes and behaviors into disease, disorder or illness.

Postmodern Positive Psychology:

The focus of positive psychology was turned to what works from what’s broken.

Christopher Peterson and Seligman stated that satisfaction with past, pleasure in present and optimistic behavior about future is three main foundation stones of positive psychology.

In modern times, positive psychology is now being used by clinicians in various fields of life.

Positive psychology has gained enormous attention from organizations which are using this tool for satisfaction related to job, employee engagement, to retain the talented staff and most importantly to find out the best possible person a job which suits his skill sets.

Positive psychology is now playing a pivotal role in almost every department and enabling the leaders to motivate their employees to better understand the concepts of happiness.

Three levels of Positive Psychology:

Positive psychology works on the basis of three different levels: subjective level, individual level and group level.

Subjective Level

Subjective level focuses on studying the positive experiences of life.

For example, joy, well-being, satisfaction, contentment, happiness, optimism and flow.

This level focuses on good feelings instead of practically following the good ways.

Individual Level

This level of positive psychology emphasizes identifying the key elements of leading a good life.

It also includes the personal attributes of a person are mandatory for a person to be good.

This is made possible by studying the strengths of people, their virtuous deeds, how they perceive future, capacity for love, their interpersonal skills, forgiveness, courage, perseverance, giftedness and originality.

Group Level

Lastly, the community or group level focuses on social responsibilities of a person, virtues, work ethics, tolerance, positive mindset, nurturance and many other vital elements which help in building good communities or citizenship.

Positive Psychology Interventions:

Positive psychology Interventions particularly focus on increasing the well-being, happiness, emotions and positive cognitions.

(Video) Positive Psychology Interventions: Boosting Optimism

Current research has shown that in past years the focus of psychologists was on treating the clients rather than preventions of the disease.

In 2009, Sin and Lyubomirsky states that the primary focus of positive psychology interventions is to arise positive feelings, thoughts and positive behaviors.

They have stated that there are two necessary key elements in all positive psychology interventions.

  • How to enhance happiness by using positive emotions and positive thoughts.
  • How to sustain its results for a longer period of time.

Many researches have shown that there are various sources of enhancing and sustaining happiness which include, social communication, sensory awareness, cognitive reformation and practicing gratitude.

All of these sources were brought together which then shaped positive psychology interventions.

These factors were used in a clinical setting for distressed and non-distressed people and a consistency in results was seen in both cases.

In 2013, Park and Biswas-Diener presented detailed definitions of positive psychology interventions.

They presented that PPIs are the ones that benefit people for a longer period of time, which are based on evidence and are proven scientifically, are having a proper paradigm to support their reliability and which address more than one constructs of positive psychology.

Types of Positive Psychology Interventions:

Following are the categories in which interventions of positive psychology are divided.

Savoring PPIs

These interventions emphasise on specific experiences and intend to the enhancement of their own effects for maximizing happiness.

Main focus of these interventions is to create encouragement in a person to catch tiny experiences, which may be, social, sensory, emotional or physical.

As, these interventions emphasise more on wholesome perceptions these interventions look like mindfulness strategies but it is not the case entirely.

The connection of savoring interventions can be made with everyday activities like, smelling, eating and observation with having a more focused approach about what we are consciously attending.

These PPIs are efficient in treating the patients with mood disorders and depression as these PPIs are a source of producing happiness and self-satisfaction.

Gratitude Interventions

According to Steve Maraboli “ if you are in pursuit of happiness in your life then you must find gratitude”.

Gratitude interventions exactly work on the basis of this statement. Gratitude can help people to create and realise the feelings of positivity.

There are two categories of gratitude interventions:

  • Firstly, self reflective practices. For example, writing a piece of work of gratitude which we keep in our possession and which can be used later for self expression.
  • Secondly, by interacting with other people where we can easily use and convey our gratitudes to them. For example, saying thank you, paying a goodwill visit or giving a token of appreciation.
  • Practicing gratitude has been proved beneficial for producing and increasing satisfaction and happiness.

Kindness Boosters

People who are happy are generally seen shown kindness to other people.

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Many studies has proved that kindness and happiness goes with each other and also compliments each other.

Interventions which focus on compassion or gratitude can be simple and straight acts of showing someone a little love, taking part in a noble cause voluntarily, making donations or helping someone in need.

Empathy Positive Psychology Interventions

The focus of these PPIs is mainly on strengthening the positive emotions in interpersonal relations.

It also emphasizes stronger social interactions at both levels of personal and professional which are necessary for creating happiness and inner peace.

Empathy based PPIs consist of activities like mindfulness strategies and self love meditation, where people are able to produce positivity for themselves and for other people as well by establishing their more mindfully connections with present.

Interventions which are based on empathy focus on creating bonds with other people by using effective communication, broadened perception and lessening the gulf between themselves and others.

The thinking behind this is to make us understand the perspective of other people and create a stronger relationship with them.

Optimistic Interventions

It is inferred that these PPIs are effective in producing positive results by keeping in view the realistic approach.

One of the most interesting PPI which is based on optimism is Life Summary Technique.

This technique was administered bySeligman, Rashid, and Parks in 2006.

In life summary technique it is assumed that the person is happy with his life and then writing down the summary of his life which would be based on that assumption.

Strength Building Measures

In positive psychology strength is known as internal values and capacities.

Many of the researches have proved that being aware and acknowledging the power is helpful in lessening depression and it helps in increasing self contentment.

Strength based PPIs holds the same message as a famous quote “It is within yourself that you will find the strength you need”.

Psychologists refer to these PPIs as practical wisdom and it enables us to make use of our strengths wisely.

Meaning Oriented PPIs

Meaning Oriented PPIs are helpful in making us understand that whatever is meaningful for us and how it is meaningful, and what efforts we can make to achieve whatever we want in our life.

An individual who has clarity of thoughts about his goals and achievements is more likely to be happier and content.

Maslow’s Theory of need hierarchy has highlighted that the most essential and upper teared need of an individual is self esteem and self enhancement.

(Video) 10 Brief Therapies and Brief Interventions

Both of them play their important role in giving true meanings to life. Meaning Oriented PPIs focus on finding meaning in life, setting our preferences and putting sincere efforts to accomplish our goals.

Why Positive Psychology Interventions are Important?

Positive psychology interventions can be effective in the enhancement of subjective and psychological well-being and may help to reduce depressive symptom levels.

In mental health care PPIs can be used in conjunction with problem-based preventive interventions and treatment.

This combination of interventions might be appropriate when clients are in remission; positive psychology interventions may then be used to strengthen psychological and social resources, build up resilience and prepare for normal life again.

FAQs about Positive Psychology Interventions

Q1. What is positive psychology?

Positive psychology emphasizes the study of positive aspects of human lives. Positive psychology focuses on both individual and social aspects.

Q2. What are the three basic levels on which positive psychology is studied?

Positive psychology is studied on three different levels.

– Subjective Level

– Individual Level

– Group Level

Q3. What are three pillars of positive psychology?

Positive experiences, positive individual traits and positive institutions constitute three main pillars of positive psychology.



(Video) Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness




What are examples of positive psychological interventions? ›

Many of these studies demonstrated the efficacy of positive psychology interventions such as counting your blessings [29,30], practicing kindness [31], setting personal goals [32,33], expressing gratitude [30,34] and using personal strengths [30] to enhance well-being, and, in some cases, to alleviate depressive ...

How many positive psychology interventions are there? ›

In 2005, Duckworth, Steen, and Seligman declared at least a hundred positive psychological interventions.

What are positive interventions in positive psychology? ›

Positive Psychology Interventions (PPIs) are intentional activities that aim to boost wellbeing, enhance positive feelings, behaviours, or cognitions Sin and Lyubomirsky (2009. (2009). Enhancing well-being and alleviating depressive symptoms with positive psychology interventions: A practice-friendly meta-analysis.

What are the 6 major intervention strategies? ›

Intervention Strategies and Techniques
  • Give plenty of feedback. ...
  • Continually monitor progress. ...
  • Clarify your objectives. ...
  • Direct instruction. ...
  • Have students rephrase your lesson. ...
  • Make sure those kids reflect.

What are the 5 pillars of positive psychology? ›

There are five building blocks that enable flourishing – Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment (hence PERMA™) – and there are techniques to increase each. Different people will derive well-being from each of these five building blocks to varying degrees.

What are the 24 Strengths positive psychology? ›

The 24 positive character strengths are split into six virtue classes:
  • Wisdom: Creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, love of learning, perspective.
  • Courage: Honesty, bravery, persistence, zest.
  • Humanity: Kindness, love, social intelligence.
  • Justice: Fairness, leadership, teamwork.
May 13, 2022

What are the 3 pillars of positive psychology? ›

The Three Pillars: Positive Psychology has three central concerns: positive experiences, positive individual traits, and positive institutions. Understanding positive emotions entails the study of contentment with the past, happiness in the present, and hope for the future.

What are the three types of interventions? ›

attachment-orientated interventions. Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) parent–child interaction therapy (PCIT)

What are the 4 pillars of positive psychology? ›

The four pillars of happiness are loving and engaged relationships, a sense of purpose, an attitude of optimism, and a connection to spirituality. All four pillars support a happy life.

What are the 3 components of a successful intervention? ›

A successful intervention depends on proper planning, presenting a cohesive message and viable solutions, and helping your loved one see the pain and suffering that the problem behavior is causing.

What are positive intervention strategies? ›

Positive behavior intervention strategies include designing routines, implementing silent signals, assigning tasks, and setting expectations. These strategies help encourage positive behaviors from individuals while simultaneously suppressing negative behaviors.

What are examples of interventions? ›

Some examples of useful interventions include building relationships, adapting the environment, managing sensory stimulation, changing communication strategies, providing prompts and cues, using a teach, review, and reteach process, and developing social skills.

How do you write a positive behavior intervention plan? ›

5 Steps to Writing a Behavior Support Plan
  1. Step 1: Identify the behavior. Before writing any kind of behavior plan, you should always decide what the target behavior is. ...
  2. Step 2: Data Collection. ...
  3. Step 3: Identify Triggers. ...
  4. Step 4: Identify Strategies to Reduce Behavior. ...
  5. Step 5: Compile the Plan!

What is an intervention checklist? ›

The intervention checklist is a guide for preparing an intervention to get a person into appropriate treatment. It is designed to be used in conjunction with the book Love First or a professional interventionist. Don't plan an intervention using the checklist alone.

What are the four major interventions? ›

As stated above, there are four main groups of OD interventions: human process interventions, techno-structural interventions, human resource management interventions, and strategic change interventions.

What are the four major models of intervention? ›

The four intervention models defined in federal guidance for School Improvement Grants include: Turnaround, Transformation, School Closure, and Restart.

What are the nine strategies of basic intervention? ›

These nine crisis intervention strategies include creating awareness, allowing catharsis, providing support, promoting expansion, emphasizing focus, providing guidance, promoting mobilization, implementing order and providing protection and are based on the triage assessment the crisis worker makes upon initial contact ...

What are some behavioral intervention strategies? ›

Examples of Positive Behavioral Intervention Strategies
  • Define the problem.
  • Decide who “owns” the problem.
  • Think of as many solutions as possible to solve the problem.
  • Select a solution to try.
  • Use the solution.
  • Evaluate its success.

What are the main goals of positive psychology? ›

Positive psychology's main aim is to encourage people to discover and nurture their character strengths, rather than channeling their efforts into correcting shortcomings. Positive psychology highlights the need for one to shift their negative outlook to a more optimistic view in order to improve quality of life.

What are the 5 dimensions of happiness? ›

Seligman has identified five elements that are important for happiness- positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning and achievement. The acronym for these elements, PERMA, is the term that they are most often referred to.

What are the 6 core essential virtues? ›

The study of various writings of philosophers and spiritual leaders in China, South Asia, and the West led to the postulate of six ubiquitous core virtues, namely courage, justice, humanity, temperance, wisdom, and transcendence (Dahlsgaard et al., 2005).

What six 6 things does a strengths based approach to support focus on? ›

Page 1

What are the three greatest personal strengths? ›

You can say that your greatest strength is:
  • Creativity.
  • Originality.
  • Open-mindedness.
  • Detail-oriented.
  • Curiosity.
  • Flexibility.
  • Versatility.

What are the 3 C's in psychology? ›

Kobasa introduced the concept of psychological hardiness and suggested that hardiness moderates the relationship between stressful life events and illness. Kobasa characterized hardiness as comprising of three components or the 3C's: Commitment, Control, and Challenge.

What are the three C's psychology? ›

The mnemonic of “The Three C's” (Catching, Checking, and Changing) can be particularly helpful to children in learning this process. To engage children in treatment, therapists often frame the therapy experience as “becoming a detective” to investigate their thinking.

What are two basic themes from positive psychology? ›

1. Self-directed: a meaningful, value-laden life with purpose despite mistakes and errors, persistence, achievement, and resourcefulness. 2. Positive emotions balanced with negative emotions, e.g., optimism.

What is the difference between intervention and therapy? ›

Therapy involves movement (or an attempt at movement) toward change. Brief therapy concentrates particularly on investigating a problem in order to develop a solution in consultation with the client; brief interventions generally involve a therapist giving advice to the client.

What should you not do during an intervention? ›

Avoid giving in to emotion and manipulation, as difficult as it may be at the time. Don't be vague. This is not the time for qualifiers or wishy-washy statements. Be extremely specific about the subject's past actions that have harmed themselves and those around them.

What are simple interventions? ›

Simple intervention occurs when one individual, most often a friend or family member, confronts the person with the substance use disorder in some kind of neutral environment. The person performing the intervention will have better success if prior to actually doing the intervention, a professional is consulted.

What are the eight principles of effective intervention? ›

  • Eight Evidence-Based Principles for Effective Interventions.
  • 1) Assess Actuarial Risk/Needs.
  • 2) Enhance Intrinsic Motivation.
  • 3) Target Interventions.
  • a) Risk Principle.
  • b) Criminogenic Need Principle.
  • c) Responsivity Principle.
  • e) Treatment Principle.

What are the 4 key steps involved in designing of an intervention? ›

Main steps in public health intervention development
  • Define and understand the problem and its causes.
  • Clarify which causal or contextual factors are malleable and have greatest scope for change.
  • Identify how to bring about change: the change mechanism.
  • Identify how to deliver the change mechanism.

What is a Tier 3 behavior intervention? ›

At Tier 3, these students receive more intensive, individualized support to improve their behavioral and academic outcomes. Tier 3 strategies work for students with developmental disabilities, autism, emotional and behavioral disorders, and students with no diagnostic label at all.

What are the three types of behavioral triggers? ›

Here, I'll discuss three types of trigger: external, internal, and synthetic. These each have different strengths and weaknesses, and each can be used to design great behaviors that form lasting habits. Let's look more closely at each type of trigger.

What are four positive strategies for reducing challenging behaviors? ›

Five strategies for reducing challenging behavior
  • Change the setting. ...
  • Respond calmly. ...
  • Give your students choice. ...
  • Notice the positive, and offer students encouragement. ...
  • Practice consistency in your classroom.

What are Tier 3 interventions examples? ›

Examples of Tier 3 interventions might include: individual counseling, family counseling; or administration of a Functional Behavioral Assessment to provide concrete data to create an individual Behavior Support Plan.

What is an example of a behavior intervention plan? ›

For example: seating child near teacher with back to classroom when doing seat work; picture sequence chart on desk that outlines class schedule to help with transitions; allow for oppor- tunities to move around; nonverbal cues and signals. Targeted Positive Behaviors to Increase.

What does a behavioral intervention plan look like? ›

A behavior intervention plan (BIP) is a written improvement plan created for a student based on the outcome of the functional behavior assessment (FBA). The FBA should identify what is maintaining or causing a challenging behavior, and the BIP specifies the actions to take to improve or replace the behavior.

What is the first step in creating a behavior intervention plan? ›

The first step in the development of a behavior intervention plan is the creation of an objective and concrete definition of the behavior. You will need to ensure you understand when the behavior occurs and have a clear understanding of the definition.

What are the 6 approaches to psychology? ›

There are several major contemporary approaches to psychology (behavioral, cognitive, psychodynamic, evolutionary, biological, humanistic, sociocultural/contextual).

What are the different types of interventions in psychology? ›

Broadly, psychological interventions can be classified into behavioural, cognitive, psychodynamic, humanistic, systemic, motivational, disease, and social and environmental.

What are the Big Six in psychology? ›

Markers of six personality traits (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Openness to Experience, and Honesty-Humility) were assessed using the Mini-International-Personality-Item-Pool-6 (Mini-IPIP6; Donnellan et al., 2006; Sibley et al., 2011).

What are the 5 ways to practice positive psychology? ›

What are some examples of positive psychology?
  • Focusing on your strengths. ...
  • Recording your experiences. ...
  • Being grateful. ...
  • Showing gratitude. ...
  • Developing skills to increase positivity.

What are the 5 pillars of psychology? ›

These became known as the “five major perspectives” in psychology.
  • The biological approach.
  • The psychodynamic approach.
  • The behavioral approach.
  • The cognitive approach.
  • The humanistic approach.
Jun 6, 2022

What are the 3 key issues in psychology? ›

Psychology as a Science

Key features of science include: objectivity (all sources of bias are minimized); collection of empirical data to support or refute a hypothesis; and predictability.

What are the 7 principles of psychology? ›

7 Principles of Psychology You Can Use to Improve Your Leadership
  • The principle of authority.
  • The principle of social proof.
  • The principle of reciprocity.
  • The principle of likability.
  • The principle of scarcity.
  • The principle of consistency.
  • The principle of reinforcement.
Aug 10, 2022

What are the three 3 levels of intervention? ›

What are the three tiers of Response to Intervention (RTI)?
  • Tier 1: Whole Class Instruction.
  • Tier 2: Small Group Interventions.
  • Tier 3: Intensive Interventions.
Feb 8, 2022

What are the 4 steps to intervention? ›

An intervention usually includes the following steps:
  1. Make a plan. A family member or friend proposes an intervention and forms a planning group. ...
  2. Gather information. ...
  3. Form the intervention team. ...
  4. Decide on specific consequences. ...
  5. Make notes on what to say. ...
  6. Hold the intervention meeting. ...
  7. Follow up.

What is a Machiavellian person? ›

“Machiavellians are sly, deceptive, distrusting, and manipulative. They are characterized by cynical and misanthropic beliefs, callousness, a striving for … money, power, and status, and the use of cunning influence tactics.

What are the big 4 in psychology? ›

Results yielded scales consistent with the Big Four model of personality (i.e., Neuroticism, Conscientiousness, Introversion, and Antagonism) and not the Big Five as there were insufficient items related to Openness.

What are the Big 5 personality domains? ›

The five broad personality traits described by the theory are extraversion (also often spelled extroversion), agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism.


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