What Positive Psychology Means To Me

For over 20 years an inner voice called for me to study and learn; there was unfinished business in my education and development. I started to use strengths assessments for team development and recruitment in late 2006; this was my first glimpse at a topic which was part of a science that would draw me back in to formal study and the pursuit of a Master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology.

Wise Words

A very wise man once told me that the key to lifetime development is interest. That wise man was my paternal grandfather and my interest now had a name, positive psychology. From the concept of developing our best selves to the positive organisational tools of Appreciative Inquiry, I was familiar with the guiding principle that if we can understand the best of ourselves we can engage, connect and perform in a way that is authentic, meaningful and highly productive. I have been a positive psychologist all of my life, although I have only had a label for it for the last 9 years.


For me psychology is neither positive nor negative, however the traditional medical models and research in psychology have focused on the reduction of pain and suffering in those presenting with mental illness or disease so I guess for now the label is rebalancing. However, I hope that in time the need for a signpost of ‘positive psychology’ disappears as the discipline embraces the continuum of psychology which is part of us all.

A Gift

I have both a personal and professional relationship with positive psychology. My professional self works as a coach, consultant and trainer specialising in Leadership and Career Development. My work is centred in the technology and health sector although the challenges faced by leaders and executives seem increasingly universal, how do I achieve more with less with increasing demands on my time and little resources or energy left over for personal development? As a result, my work often focuses on small, positive, changes that have a fundamental impact to well-being, team engagement and organisational performance. If I could give my clients a gift it would be a bag of full stops; affording people a moments to pause and present their best response to a situation opposed to their instinctive reaction.


My research interests are in wholehearted leadership and the behaviours which allow some organisations to succeed even in the most vulnerable of times, I hope to be able to share research findings later this year (Sept 2015). It was my personal journey that led to research of vulnerability and how some are able to experience a ‘wondrous day’ when most experience a ‘perfect storm’ when the conditions of vulnerability, being uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure (Brown 2012) present themselves. In time I hope to unlock the darkness that has been the source of so much personal pain and suffering, my black dog, chronic melancholic depression.

For me positive psychology is about opening the ears of my heart and listening to the master inside.


About The Author: Dean is a UK based Coaching Psychologist with over 20 years’ experience in building, recruiting and training high performing teams. Dean has qualifications in HR, Career Management, Strengths-based Coaching and Applied Positive Psychology. He has worked with 400 people in over 1,000 hours of coaching since 2010 and has published two books. www.DeanWeller.co.uk

‘We Are The Positive Psychology People’


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