Update Your Toolbox with Growth Mindset and Positive Psychology
Update Your Toolbox with Growth Mindset and Positive Psychology Christina Flanders, PsyD, NCSP Tari Selig, MEd, CAGS 3 Things You Want AGENDA Gratitude Gratitude/Happiness Activity
Happiness Solution-Focused Counseling 3 Things You Want Take a minute to think about the students you work with and even your own
children... ...Write down 3 things that you really, deeply, want for those children Positive Psychology What is it and how can I use it best?
Positive Psychology - definition and origin The aim of Positive Psychology is to catalyze a change in psychology from a preoccupation only with repairing the worst things in life to also building the best qualities in life. ~Martin Seligman
Positive Psychology - Big 6 Concepts Optimistic Thinking Characte r Strength s Happine ss
Serenity/ Mindfulne ss Gratitu de GoalDirected Thinking Gratitude
Gratitude - What is it? Gratitude is an emotion, an attitude, a stable trait and a character strength with 2 stages First, you need to acknowledge something positive in your life Then, understand that the source of the positive gift or experience is outside oneself Thankfulness Gratitude - Wheres the research? People who express gratitude on a
regular basis have better physical health, optimism, progress toward goals, well-being, and help others more (Emmons & Crumpler, 2000) Grateful people tend to be more helpful, supportive, forgiving and empathic towards others, more agreeable, less narcissistic and less materialistic (McCullough et al., 2002) Adolescents who developed gratitude
over 4 years showed more prosocial behaviors and less antisocial behaviors compared to youth with low gratitude (Bono, Froh, Emmons & Card, 2013) School satisfaction can be increased with gratitude intervention (Froh et al. 2008) Gratitude can be taught to children as young as 8 with lasting results (Froh et al., in press)
Activities to Promote Gratitude Gratitude Journaling Gratitude Visit 3 Good Things Personal Gratitude List Letting Go of a
Gratitude Journaling - A notebook or Google doc works fine - 15 minutes of undisturbed time to write - Write between 3 and 5 things over the past week youre grateful for (minor to major acts of kindness) - Try to focus on people and not things Research says -- related to more optimism and life satisfaction, fewer physical complaints, less negative affect, more school satisfaction posttest Gratitude Visit - Express gratitude to another through writing and
delivering a letter of thanks - Read the letter to them Research says -- Compared to youths who did not write a letter to someone expressing their gratitude, the youths in the gratitude condition who were low in positive affect reported more gratitude and positive affect at posttreatment and more positive affect at the 3 Good Things - In a notebook/journal, record three things that went well each day and beliefs about what caused the positive event
- Do it for a week and see the results Research says -- Positive results include more happiness and fewer symptoms of depression Personal Gratitude List - A student completes sentence stems that are designed to help them reflect on people and experiences for which they were
grateful - Example: Someone who helped me get through a difficult time Personal Gratitude List 1. ________ was kind to me today. 2. Today the thing I enjoyed most was ____. 3. I helped _______ today. 4. Today I learned ________. 5. In mistakes I made today, I learned
that _________. 6. This person made me feel important today. __________ 7. Something I couldnt do last week that I can do today is __________. 8. One simple thing that made my day good was ________. 9. __________ made me smile today. 10. Today my favorite taste, touch, smell, sight or sound was _________. Letting Go of a Grudge
- Think of a person youre holding a grudge against - Recall and write down as many things as you can about that person which you are grateful for Letting Go of a Grudge Plays with me at recess Shares toys with me
Chooses me to read with Calls me when Im sick at home Offers to help me
Is nice to me at school Letting Go of a Grudge - Write down the grudge youre holding on to on the same page Letting Go of a Grudge Plays with me at recess
Chooses me to read with Offers to help me Didnt get invited to friends birthday party Shares toys
with me Calls me when Im sick at home Is nice to me at school Letting Go of a Grudge -
Look at what youve written Do you feel any differently? Do you feel ready/willing to forgive? Are you in a better position to continue a relationship/friendship with that person? For This I Am Grateful - Bulletin board or poster - Students draw pictures (or other
media outlets) of things for which they are grateful - Can be a collage of words, photos, quotes, etc. that Gratitu de in Action The intersection of gratitude and happiness
Your Turn Gratitude Resources The Greater Good Science Center (Berkeley, CA) - conducts and consolidates research on gratitude (among other things) and creates tools for practitioners Thnx4.org - an online, shareable gratitude journal, sends you automatic reminders and asks questions before each session to assess your mindset before the session KindSpring.org - holds a 21-day gratitude challenge (among other challenges)
edX.org - free 8-week course The Science of Happiness offers an in- Happiness Happiness - What is it? - Subjective well-being - Components: life satisfaction, positive and negative affect - Not all negative emotions are bad: anxiety, fear, guilt Research says - Happiness leads to better physical health and recovery, longer life, stronger immune systems, more productivity and creativity in work, better social functioning and academic achievement (Suldo, Huebner, Savage & Thalji, 2011).
Activities to Promote Happiness Me at My Best Acts of Kindness Me at My Best - Reflect on times youve excelled at something, what were your inner qualities
that helped you succeed in those moments? - Should be entirely based on strengths Research says - Experiencing positive emotions creates an increase in cognitive capacity and behavioral flexibility that in turn has positive impacts on social relationships and well-being Acts of Kindness - Do kind things for others - Pick a goal of 1 or 2 a day and discuss them during class or small groups; how did that person respond? How do you feel?
- Pay it Forward Example: school activity involving acts of kindness and paying it forward Happiness - Resources World Database on Happiness - all things related to happiness research http://www.worlddatabaseofhappiness.eur.nl/ Livehappy.com - good resource for current articles and podcasts related to positive psychology in general and specific items related to Happiness Atmybest.com - for profit (some free options) resource to track Happiness using Strength Cards and engaging visual App and online tool to use with students
Positivepsychologyprogram.com - great resource (some free and some for pay) for finding specific activities to do with students and to explain concepts more in-depth Creating Positive Institutions Create a more positive institution: Emphasize the Importance of Praise Use Prompts Provide In-Class Performance Feedback Self-Recruiting Praise
Discuss the rationale for recruiting teacher attention with the student Instruct students on when, how and how often to ask for help Model the recruiting strategy using a think-aloud procedure a. Okay, ive finished about half of my math problems and want to know how Im doing b. Now I will look for the teacher c. Shes not busy, Ill raise my hand now Positive Psychology Summary
It (usually) doesnt cost anything and is easy to implement Improves self-worth and satisfaction with life and school (research-supported) Dovetails quite nicely with academic tasks Makes you feel good Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude Solution-Focused Counseling in Schools
Common Factors of Change Solution-Focused Counseling in Schools Client Factors- 40% of Change Everything that the client brings to counseling-strengths, interests, values, social supports, resilience, and other
resources Relationship Factors- 30% of Change Experience of respect, collaboration, acceptance, and validation from counselor Hope Factors- 15% of Change Clients positive expectancy and anticipation of change Model/Technique factors- 15% of
Change Key Assumptions of Solution-Focused Counseling in Schools If it works, do more of it. If it doesnt, do something different Every client is unique, resourceful and capable of changing Cooperative relationships enhance solutions
Client feedback improves outcome No problem is constant Big problems do not always require big solutions Tasks of Solution-Focused Counseling Establish cooperative, change-focused relationships
Clarify the problem and related details Develop clear and meaningful goals Build on expectations and other resources Change the doing or viewing of the problem Evaluate and empower process
Tools for SolutionFocused Establish Cooperative, Change Focused Relationships How is this a problem for you? I wonder what would happen if you tried something really different next time? No wonder youre so
upset about this? How did you manage to stay in there instead of Tools for SolutionFocused Clarify the Problem and Related Details What does ____ look like? What have you already tried and how did it
work? What needs to happen to make things better at school? Tools for SolutionFocused Develop Clear and Meaningful Goals Magical Question Lets pretend it is one month from now and
school is much better, and that you made some changes to make that happen. Tell me the first couple small steps or changes you made to turn things around at school Tools for SolutionFocused Tell me about a time when the problem did not
happen or was less intense Build on Exceptions and Other Resources How have you kept things from getting worse? What do you think would help turn things around at school?
Tools for SolutionFocused Change the Doing or Viewing of the Problem This doesnt seem to be working for you, but I dont have any better ideas. Im going to suggest the Do Something Different
Experiment, where you try something really different and observe the results Tools for SolutionFocused Evaluate and Empower Progress How did you manage to make these improvements?
How do your teachers treat you differently now that youve made these changes? What advice would you give to another 4th grader who has this problem? Positive psychology activities and solution-focused counseling are evidence-based interventions
easily transferrable to schools References Froh, J. J., & Bono, G. (2011, January/February). Gratitude in youth: A review of gratitude intervention and some ideas for applications. Communique. Bethesda, MD: NASP. Furlong, M. J., Gilman, R., & Huebner, E. S. (eds.). (2014). Handbook of positive psychology in schools. (2nd ed.). Routledge: New York, NY. Huebner, S. (2012, October). Ten ways to infuse positive psychology in the schools. Communique. Bethesda, MD: NASP.
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