The School of Positive Psychology Open House 22 Nov 2014

Greetings!

TSPP Open House

You are cordially invited to join us at The School of Positive Psychology for our Open House on 22 Nov 2014, from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Always wanted to find out more about psychology, our courses, or experience our culture? Join us at the Open House as it is a great way to gather information, because you can:

  • View our premises- Attend course information sessions and specialised talks
  • Meet the faculty members and existing students
  • Participate in discussions with our faculty members
  • Enquire about career prospects

Thinking about enrolling for our courses? Students who enrol for our academic programs on that day are entitled to the following:

  • $150 waiver of registration fee
  • $300 course fee rebate*

Note: A minimum of $500 course fee payment is required.

*only applicable for Diploma, Graduate Diploma, and Professional Diploma

F.A.Q.

1. Do I need to register? Registration is required. We appreciate your help in making our planning easier! To register, email us at info@positivepsych.edu.sg or call 6884 5161.

2. Can I invite my friends and family? Of course! The more the merrier! Do inform us of their details (name, contact no. & email) upon registration.

3. Do I have to stay for the entire time? It is not necessary to stay for the entire duration of the event. Refer to the schedule below to choose when you would like to swing by!

4. Where can I park? Parking is available at the basement of Concorde Hotel. Carpark rates are at $2.14 for 1st hr; $1.39 for subsequent ½ hr.

5. How do I get to The School of Positive Psychology. The school is within walking distance from Dhoby Ghaut and Somerset MRT stations. It is located next to the Istana House; and the nearest shopping centres are Plaza Singapura and Centrepoint. We can be found at the hotel lobby level (#03-20/21), directly between the lobby and function rooms.

6. What payment mode can I use to register for the course? We accept several modes of payment such as semester payment (cash, credit card, NETS, cheque), credit card 0% instalment (UOB credit card), and education loan.

Looking forward to see you during the Open House!

Hypnotherapy Intervention

Hypnotherapy intervention is effective to facilitating progress in the lives of clients, especially those who have been suffering from anxiety, depression, a lack of self-confidence, stress, addictions, and even pain.

More frequent than we would like to admit, we experience feelings or emotions that are not positive or enjoyable, and our first response may be to brush them aside. There are various ways on how we can do so. For example, we can choose to ignore or avoid those feelings by distracting ourselves with external activities. Else, we can rationalize with logical arguments and render those emotions as irrational and invalid. And then move on with our daily lives.

Unfortunately, feelings or emotions do not dissipate just because we ignore, avoid or repress. They form our perceptions as they lie dormant in the core of our volcanic unconscious mind. Its volcanic lava can once in a while flow out into our daily lives unexpectedly, and we find ourselves in situations whereby we surprise ourselves with our reactions that we consider unacceptable or regrettable. If continued to be ignored, the heat and intensity of the dormant volcano can multiply and magnify, and eventually a volcanic eruption of the unconscious happens, in the various forms of psychological break down.

Although many other techniques can also be utilized to uncover the repressed emotions in an individual, hypnotherapy can do so effectively into the innermost depth of the individual. This is because, hypnosis targets at the bull’s eye, the unconscious mind, the storage database of the repressed information. This means, when you allow the unconscious mind to be the guide in therapy, you can potentially access to the most comprehensive data that is necessary for you to access in order to understand and progress from whatever form of psychological turmoil you are experiencing to a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

When hypnotherapy intervenes, the therapist elicits the feelings and emotions when this person is experiencing a specific event. And through these deeper emotions, the person can go deep into the core of his own volcano to uncover the boiling lava, and resolve the related issues there, and inactivate the living volcano, and eventually allowing living plants to grow on it as it has now become a fertile ground for living things to flourish.

To give you a clearer picture of what hypnotherapy can do: imagine a person who is highly anxious whenever he has to present an idea in a meeting. The anxiety is so strong that sometimes he is unable to present and this hurts his performance evaluation in his career.

Given the scene above, should the person come in for therapy, the therapist might utilize techniques to help this person overcome his anxiety, such as identifying and correcting erroneous cognitive thoughts, inserting positive self-talk to reduce anxiety or even create a kind of anchor to associate with confidence. This may well assist him, but not for the long-term. With time, he might realize that although his performance has improved, the feeling of anxiety can still very much be dominating his consciousness.

Through his discussion with the therapist, this person might even realize that his anxiety though most prominent at work, has actually permeated other parts of his life. And such is common with emotions – they are seldom contained to one area of our lives. They usually permeate and leak into all other parts of our lives, consciously or unconsciously.

So in the subsequent therapy session, the therapist might want to employ “Age Regression” technique to provide an opportunity for this person to go within himself and discover the possible root cause(s) of his anxiety.

If we believe that who we are is an accumulation of our past moments, then this technique can provide an avenue for us to recover what those moments, which led us to this moment, could be. When a person regresses back in time, into past events, he can uncover events related to the anxiety that he has been experiencing. And the client can understand how those events might have had a negative impact in his perception formation, which can unconsciously be exhibited in anxiety. Furthermore, client can also have an understanding of the underlying turmoil that could have created various coping mechanisms in his life, such as avoidance, anger or isolation.

There are many reasons for anxiety, and there are many different expressions of anxiety, such as general anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive tendencies, and phobias. So, treatment for specific case and person will be augmented accordingly from the generic procedures above.

The common denominator in hypnosis is the feelings that are elicited, because they are effective guiding posts for the unconscious mind to refer to, which also means that hypnosis is not dependent on memory, but is dependent on consciousness of the unconscious mind. In other words, the unconscious mind can show the person what he need to know and learn with regards to the specific feelings, through the events that the unconscious mind is showing in Age Regression.

This powerful tool also has its limitations. Firstly, Age Regression is not meant for memory retrieval or reconstruction, cautionary stance must be taken when client and therapist discuss the events that are created during the age regression session. Events or images elicited during the regression can be due to the following reasons: (1) actual memory (2) genetic memory (3) created memory by the mind. Actual memory is straightforward, because the person can either remember the event or can verify with someone else. Genetic memory is memory that is passed on to the person from his ancestors through DNA.

Both genetic and created memory most likely, cannot be verified. In situations whereby verification cannot be done, then greater caution must be taken during the discussion between the therapist and the client who has just experienced regression. When the unconscious mind reveals events, they can be metaphors to communicate specific messages to the client. Or, the events can also be borrowed memory from the client’s daily life whereby he might have seen/heard/experienced such an event prior to the session – just like when we take what we watch on the media into the dreams we experience on the same night.

The vastness of the unconscious mind cannot be fully construed by the logical mind; thus, utmost caution must be exercised when one tries to interpret and make meaning of the experience. Therefore, events that are brought to the conscious realm through age regression are never meant for reconstruction of past childhood memories.

Secondly, therapists have voiced out concerns that because this technique encourages clients to re-visit emotionally challenging situations of the past that can be related to their present challenge, so it can possibly evoke a re-traumatization in the clients, especially if they have had traumatic past events such as abuse or war. Thirdly, other therapists also argued that revisiting the past is not a necessary step to resolve present challenges, including anxiety issue mentioned above. In fact, many challenges can be resolved by focusing on the present and future situations, and can be resolved through the alteration of thoughts and behaviours. Finally, clients who suffer from heart conditions or personality disorders are not advised to perform this technique, as it might worsen their conditions.

Age regression is only the starting point to unravel the past experiences that have impacted the client in such a way that they are affecting him negatively in the present. And the awareness and understanding of these emotionally hurtful events, can bring insights for the client to understand his present emotional and cognitive processes. And with additional therapeutic work, the client can emerge out of the past with a sense of direction to progress his life forward and move beyond the past.

In conclusion, Age Regression in Hypnotherapy is a powerful and efficient tool for many clients who have suffered various psychological disturbances due to their past; however, caution must be exercised when deciding to use this method, and completion of the therapy process must be duly performed. At the end of the day, it is a collaboration effort between the client and the therapist, and only they would know which method can work best for the specific therapy session. My encouragement is for you to explore your options to mental health, and be open to the possible alternatives to healing and wholeness.

By Caroline Purnomo

TSPP Graduate, Diploma in Hypnotherapy & Counselling

Reblogged from Hypnothing.

Love, Marriage, and the Single Man/Woman


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“It is truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”  So wrote the inimitable Jane Austin in Pride and Prejudice.  Whilst unknown to her at the time, the years of research that have followed do suggest that Mr Darcy was likely to have been all the happier for having entered what his neighbours believed to be this highly commendable state.  Years later, Martin Seligman was able to write with some surety that “unlike money, which has at most a small effect, marriage is robustly related to happiness”.  Fortunately for us readers of romantic tales, Mr Darcy achieved both money and marriage and we can therefore rest easy in his assured happiness.

Positive Psychology research shows us that relationships, especially intimate ones, are considered the best predictors of happiness, with marital status often cited as one of the most well-established of these predictors.  Many of the findings relate to the range of benefits that marriage brings in terms of psychological and physical intimacy, companionship, sharing etc.

Yet love and the marital state, whilst still highly desirable in many cultures, takes more than having an old college photograph of yourself with a happy smile –  it is hard to find and hard to keep.  Simply put, it is hard work! Jane Austin herself never married, and judging from the number of single friends I have, it seems that the whole marriage thing is not for everyone.  So having read the research on the positive aspects of the marital status, should I be concerned that my single friends are condemned to a life of negativity simply because of their personal choices or that they have yet to meet the right life partner?

ABSOLUTELY AND RESOUNDINGLY NO!

For starters, research on relationship measures indicates that the unhappiest people are those in unhappy marriages, nor is being happily married the only component of positive well-being.  Instead I suggest following the maxim set out by Lucille Ball, “love yourself and everything else falls into line.”  After all, having good relationships with others is affected by how good a relationship we have with ourselves.  In her book, Love 2.0, Barbara Fredrickson examines love from the perspective of moments of human connectedness and the relationship between self-love and loving others, how our health, well-being and positive emotions can be enhanced when we extend our love towards all humanity – including ourselves.

Love can be gained and expressed in many ways, such as through gratitude, loyalty, passion, kindness, integrity and forgiveness.  All these gifts can be found within ourselves and our character strengths and further developed through positive interventions.  Furthermore the practice of loving-kindness meditation, endorsed by Fredrickson, which involves directing loving-kind thoughts towards ourselves as well as others, can help to generate a wealth of positive emotions and increased life satisfaction.

Ultimately I would suggest that love, relationships, marriage and happiness can be better understood through the words of Confucius: “To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.”

This Chinese New Year, if your relatives nag at you to tie the knot soon even though it isn’t on your cards yet, update them on what you’ve been doing for yourself that makes you happy. Marriage can wait – after all, if you’re happy, they’re happy, right?

 

References

Argyle, M. (2001). The Psychology of Happiness. New York : Taylor & Francis

Diener, E., Gohm, C.L., Suh, E.M., Oishi, S., 2000. Similarity of the relations between marital status and subjective well-being across cultures. Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology 31(4), 419–436.

Dush, C. M. K. & Amato P. R. (2005). Consequences of relationship status and quality for subjective well-being. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 22(5), 607-627.

Fredrickson, Barbara (2013). Love 2.0: Finding Happiness and Health in Moments of Connection. New York: Hudson Street Press.

Myers, D.G. (2000). The funds, friends, and faith of happy people. American Psychologist, 55, 56-67.

Seligman, M.E.P. (2002). Authentic happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment. New York: Free Press.

Style, C. (2011). Brilliant Positive Psychology. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.

Image credit: fine art america

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About the Writer

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Wendy Is a graduate of Psychology & Criminology with a Master of Counselling and P.Dip in Positive Psychology.  In addition to her role as a counsellor, she has diverse experience in training and facilitation and is a strong believer in mental health education as a means to break down the barriers of stigma as well as to help those experiencing mental health challenges to move forward with their life.  She is passionate about the field of Positive Psychology and helping others to use their strengths to flourish.

Moving Forward with Resilience and Perseverance

In last week’s episode of On the Red Dot, Puddleworld – a collaboration project in support of cancer by InHerShoes and TSPP – was once again featured alongside other commendable individuals.

Though each of them faced different challenges, they shared a common trait – they pushed forth instead of letting setbacks get them down. Knowingly or unknowingly, they had utilised resilience, a  major tenet of Positive Psychology. Their perseverance enabled them to make the most of what they had, and sometimes even achieve new heights.

Said Simon Wong, founder of Puddleworld, “If we were given these positive skills at a younger age … it would mean that we would be able to deal with these problems when they happen.” Puddleworld was his way of equipping children with such skills.

Watch video here.

 

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Puddleworld workshop (Dec 2013)

In Defence of Christmas: A Positive Psychology Perspective

The route to TSPP has been a visual feast lately, thanks to Hitachi and their ornamental lights strewn all over Orchard Road. Like us folks at TSPP, you too might have noticed that the malls are crawling with Christmas shoppers.

Christmas is commonly celebrated by Christians and non-Christians alike, but it has drawn its fair share of flak for being nothing more than a highly commercialised holiday that, ironically, gives rise to feelings of competitiveness and inadequacy. After all, Christmas is a time of gatherings, when we meet up with our rivals acquaintances and compete compare share with each other what we have been up to in the past year.

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Christmas joy? That’s cute, kid.

Before we allow our feelings of jealousy to condemn the festivities, it’s worth a try celebrating the season for what it actually represents in our modern age – sharing joy with our loved ones.

Appreciating Christmas for what it is

We Singaporeans like keeping ourselves busy, and some relationships – be it with family or friends – inadvertently take a back seat amidst our pursuit of achievement.

As Christmas draws near, the general mood lightens up and we unconsciously reach an unspoken consensus to catch a breather. Hectic schedules and diet plans are thrown out of the window in favour of year-end parties with friends who we, at some point back in the day, used to be so close to. Finally being able to find a common time to meet up is something to celebrate isn’t it?

We are also one of the highest Christmas gift-spenders in the region, according to a survey done by Groupon last month, spending an average of $478 in total each season. Presents encapsulate our appreciation towards loved ones and vice versa. It’s understandable to feel disappointed when you receive something that isn’t what you hoped for, but don’t let that ruin a good thing! All the thought, effort and money that go into it is well worth feeling thankful for!

As well as for what it’s not

Christmas naysayers have a point though; large gatherings can also be breeding ground for jealousy and resentment, since we tend to compare ourselves with others. You might be familiar with frenemies coming up to you and asking “How’s it going?” as a prelude to broadcasting their good fortune. Even truly good pals can trigger jealousy when you see how far they’ve come.

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Oh, I just snagged 6 Grammy awards. How ’bout you?

The key is to recognise negative thoughts – jealousy, anger, even spite – as they come so that you act or react in the most effective and gracious way. Once you are mindful of such thoughts, you become more conscious of their underlying emotions, how you are behaving, and whether you should be acting any different. Seeing the situation from a third person’s point of view will help you objectivise unpleasant emotions as just that, without passing judgement, making those emotions easier to let go.

If someone is deliberately making you feel lousy by comparing their fabulous life to yours, remaining resilient to their mean-spirited behaviour will disappoint them. You might feel like life is unfair, but that’s what we expect from life; everyone is given a different set of obstacles and opportunities, but in the long run, what matters is that you make the most of what you have. It also helps to adopt the mindset of a survivor instead of a victim since the perception of an internal locus of control – as opposed to externalities such as fate and luck – is empowering.

In fact, some of the things people boast about might not be much to get envious over, if you think about it thoroughly. Instead of a true sense of satisfaction with life, some people seek solace and pride in the material goods they acquire, feeding off others’ envy. Just remember that keeping up with the Joneses will not make us happier than if we lead fulfilling lives. As Theodore Roosevelt put it, comparison is the thief of joy.

Love it or leave it

Minor but upsetting events such as sarcasm can be annoying, but you can take the high road and see these situations as your Positive Psychology training ground.

If being mindful, resilient, meaning-oriented person doesn’t help you beat the holiday stress, ditch the source! Parties are supposed to be fun, not stressful! You can either make an excuse to exit the next deprecating conversation or – if things aren’t going to well for you at the moment and you’re unwilling to share – use the holidays as an opportunity to go on a vacation. Making a choice to do things that are good for your soul is better than doing what you think you “should”, then stewing in toxicity afterwards!

On this note, all of us at TSPP wish you a blessed Christmas and a fantastic new year!

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Image credits: Mirror, salinacity