Congratulations to Bucks New University as this year was the 10th year of their Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP). I was fortunate to be a member of their very first cohort and I feel gratitude for having Applied Positive Psychology come into my life. Like many students on the course, I saw and am still seeing, a positive change in my own life as a result of studying Positive Psychology theory and experimenting with Positive Psychology interventions. As we know, Positive Psychology is not a spectator sport, to reap its benefits, Positive Psychology demands that it be integrated into our own lived experience.


10 years old

To celebrate the 10-year birthday, Bucks New University’s annual symposium returned, after a break due to Covid. I gave a talk at Bucks first ever symposium based on my dissertation which researched practical ways to bring Growth Mindset into the sixth form curriculum. At that time the symposium was a relatively small affair with a single talk being given at one time and running for just one day. Now it has grown into a 2-day event with parallel sessions being held, and researchers from different universities giving talking and running workshops.


Far-reaching impact

It was inspiring to see other students from later cohorts and witness their enthusiasm and hear about the positive impact of taking Positive Psychology out into their own specialist fields. This meant it was hard to decide which talks and workshops to attend as they were so compelling. The themes were varied and topical including talks on the impact of Covid and the role of Positive Psychology post-pandemic. It was wonderful to witness the way that Positive Psychology was being integrated into many diverse fields such as start-ups, poetry, education, neurodiversity, the armed forces, leadership and of course, coaching.


Respectfully adapt

One of the things that I love about Positive Psychology at Bucks New University is the way that researchers challenge existing theories. Remembering back to my time studying on the MAPP, a great deal of time was spent discussing the theories and how well they could be applied to life. When limitations were revealed, they were held with an appreciation of what this told us. Should some part of the theory be adapted? Or could the theory be applied in only certain situations? It was growth mindset in action, ‘what can I learn from this?.’


Adapting Positive Psychology

It is exciting to see the way that Positive Psychology is adapting as a discipline. The diverse research areas shared at the symposium showssvgfdg how Positive Psychology is being applied to the new challenges that we face as a society such as living in a post-pandemic world. It is also being applied to help people with their individual circumstances such as being neurodiverse or working in a particular sector.

Join me with a sense of anticipation, to look forward to seeing what new topics will be reported on in 10 years’ time, at the 20th Positive Psychology symposium.

Read more about Bryony Shaw and her other articles HERE


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