Sarah Monk

Sarah completed the MAPP course at Buckinghamshire New University in 2019. She has a degree in psychology from Southampton University and an MSc in Clinical Psychology from the University of Surrey. Her career in Clinical Psychology was interrupted 20 years ago when she burnt out and developed ME/CFS. She has learned to live well with an ongoing illness, Positive Psychology has been an important part of that journey and the well-being of people who work in healthcare is a keen interest.

Sarah is a Chartered Psychologist, well-being coach and a meditation and mindfulness teacher with a special interest in self-compassion, people with chronic health conditions and applying PP to marginalised groups. She is a part-time associate lecturer on the Bucks New University MAPP program. You can contact her at sarah@allweatherwellbeing.uk or visit her Facebook page @allweatherwellbeing.uk

Sarah’s Blog

Meaning and Well-being

Meaning and Well-being

Having Meaning in life is good for you Positive Psychology (PP) research consistently shows that experiencing high levels of meaning in life is associated with all sorts of positive wellbeing indicators such as life satisfaction, hope, optimism and resilience to name...

The Role of Novelty and Adaptation in Well-being

The Role of Novelty and Adaptation in Well-being

A change is as good as a rest? The old adage suggests “a change is as good as a rest?”. In this blog, I take a look at how Positive Psychology (PP) views the idea that both novelty and adaptation are important factors in well-being and what that might mean for us as...

The Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence

The Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence

A core strength The appreciation of beauty and excellence is described by the VIA Institute on Character (viacharacter.org) as one of the 24 universal core character strengths. In this blog I want to describe what that means and how developing this strength might help...

Global Pandemic

Global Pandemic

The world grew quiet, Streets were empty, The silence, eerie, not serene. People were afraid, Stalked by an invisible foe, Noise signalling threat. In isolation humanity retreated, An apocalyptic stillness. But the earth endured, The sun turned, While birdsong...

Compassion in the time of Coronavirus

Compassion in the time of Coronavirus

Yes, it’s my favourite topic! Those who have followed my blogs will know that compassion and self-compassion (SC) are key interests of mine. Perhaps then it is not surprising that I come back to them when the world tilts sideways and we all find ourselves in lockdown...

Balancing Positive and Negative Emotions

Balancing Positive and Negative Emotions

Positive Psychology’s relationship to emotions One criticism of Positive Psychology (PP) has been that it focuses too much on positivity and neglects the reality of suffering as part of human experience. This results from a misperception of what PP is really about....

Strengths Development in Context

Strengths Development in Context

A cornerstone of Positive Psychology A focus on strengths rather than weaknesses is a fundamental aspect of Positive Psychology. Research supports the idea that regularly using our strengths is good for both well-being and performance because capitalising on our...

The Positive Psychology of Pets

The Positive Psychology of Pets

Personal Experiences of Pets My colleague Kelly Seaward wrote a beautiful account (May 2019 blog) of her positive experience of living with her cat, Bella. I too have had wonderful experiences of pet ownership as a child and more recently with my cat Florence (see...

Forgiveness as a Strength

Forgiveness as a Strength

Knowing your strengths Knowing and developing one’s signature strengths is a core feature of Positive Psychology. Regularly using our top strengths, rather than focusing on our weaknesses is an evidenced based means of promoting well-being. That’s not to say we should...

Can Positive Psychology Enhance Your Holiday

Can Positive Psychology Enhance Your Holiday

Time for a break As the schools break up in the U.K. for the summer vacation, many people are focussed on their upcoming annual holiday. The nature of “the holiday” varies from something that people spend significant money on and involves travelling to far flung...

Can Your Job Make you Happy?

Can Your Job Make you Happy?

Job, Career or Calling? Most people spend a large part of their life at work. How can this significant investment of our endeavor contribute to our happiness? Seligman (2002) suggested that individuals can see their work as a job, a career or a calling and that which...

Self Determination

Self Determination

New Year, New You? January is typically a time for resolutions, reflection and new goals. Like many people, self regulation is near the bottom of my list of strengths, so self improvement can be a challenge!. Often, we know what we want to change but we just can’t...

The Possibilities and Perils of Change

The Possibilities and Perils of Change

Positive Psychology and Change The rationale of Positive Psychology (PP) in discerning the factors which promote wellbeing, flourishing and meaning in life, implies a call to change. Even positive and desired change can be problematic. The extent to which change is...

The Power of Silence

The Power of Silence

In the last six months I’ve had three experiences of silent retreats. This has given me the opportunity to reflect on the power of silence and the range of responses it elicits from people. Some people embrace silence. I am one of them. I live with my husband and our...

Caring For Carers

Caring For Carers

The Demand for Carers A number of societal issues mean that more people are living longer in different circumstances. An ageing population, the advent of the mobile phone (meaning emergency reporting is more rapid) and new and better health diagnostics and treatments,...

The Power Of Gratitude In Close Relationship

The Power Of Gratitude In Close Relationship

An Attitude Of Gratitude Research in Positive Psychology has consistently found that having a grateful disposition is associated with many well-being advantages including better health, lower risk of illness, improved performance in a variety of domains and enhanced...

Positive Psychology and Values

Positive Psychology and Values

In a recent conversation with a fellow MAPP (MSc in Applied Positive Psychology) student we found ourselves covering the full range of typical positive psychology themes; hope, resilience, love, gratitude, forgiveness, authenticity, growth, compassion. My colleague...

Hope In The Age Of Obesity

Hope In The Age Of Obesity

Snyder’s Theory of Hope Snyder’s (2002) Hope Theory assumes human behaviour is fundamentally goal orientated. Hope is seen as arising from two components: Waypower, which is the perceived ability of the person to generate pathways towards achieving valued goals and...

Self-Compassion

Self-Compassion

Self Compassion or self indulgence? We are all familiar with the advice that, “you can't look after others unless you first take care of yourself”. I have communicated this idea many times, in various forms, to others genuinely and helpfully, in the role of friend,...

Mindful Versus Mindless 

Mindful Versus Mindless 

The rise and rise of mindfulness Mindfulness is, in it’s simplest form, conscious awareness. It has become big business. The assistant head teacher responsible for pastoral care at my children's secondary school tells me he is overwhelmed with emails from businesses...