International Positive Psychology Association Conference 2015
The end of June saw the 4th International Positive Psychology Association Conference world congress in a spectacularly devised location, Disneyworld, Florida. The soaring temperatures saw well over a thousand-strong flock of positive psychologists from around the world arrive at the Coronado Resort to share their research, applications and ideas. We were well looked after by the organisers and volunteers. There were also dedicated discussions tables during lunch for domains such as education and more general areas such as well-being. For me, there were three things that really stood out.
An intense and satisfying learning experience
Firstly, the vast amount of people I chatted to who were thinking of moving into the field of positive psychology or seeking ‘that topic’ that just seemed to click well with them. It resulted in an air of child-like exploration and an atmosphere that was conducive with flow-filled conversation. All together, this made the four days an intense, satisfying learning experience. I found myself not just talking to academics or researchers thinking of exploring the field, but practitioners and organisational workers that wanted to begin to draw on positive psychology to inform their own work. I see it as of the upmost importance for the international positive psychology community to continue to facilitate this perspective of exploration for those just discovering the field. This will allow the work we do to be drawn upon and new ideas to be given the berth to be pursued animatedly.
My joy and humility at presenting
Secondly, I was overwhelmed by the enjoyment in being allowed to deliver a piece of my own research in a symposium entitled: Advancements in the theory and application of flow. I was humbled by the other presenters (Jef van den Hout, and Lucia Ceja Barba) and the quality of their work, along with the kindness of the chair (Orin Davis), the European Flow Researchers Network and my colleagues from Bucks New University. It was an absolute privilege to be part of the International Positive Psychology Association Conference and if you’re ever given the chance, I would highly recommend it, even just to tell your story!
The quality of the symposiums
Lastly, and similarly to that above, the quality and breadth of the symposiums across positive psychology deserves commending. Symposiums ranged from specific focuses on making applications more accessible, to vast topical sessions on current critiques of positive psychology. This does not just include the speakers, but those participating in the audience with their keen questioning around the topics. The academic rigour and extent of considerations in practice left me with the knowledge that this truly is a community with a living passion.
Positive psychology is alive and growing!
To sum up quite a general post, I suppose what I’m trying to say is that the International Positive Psychology Association Conference proved that positive psychology is very much alive, energetic, and growing in both breadth and depth. It is a wonderful time to be part of such a movement.