Archive report of meeting

Thursday 26th March 2020 Past notice

Solly-Abraham talk
Positive psychology and
personal happiness

A talk by Solly Abraham

.The history and traditional application of psychology focuses on the question of how to relieve mental pain, misery and distress.

From Freud to modern times its preoccupation has been mental illness with all its negative connotations. Thus psychology has neglected to consider the other side of the coin – not just the alleviation of the bad, but how to enhance the good

Which brings us neatly to the subject of the society's March 2020 presentation by long-standing JBS member Solly Abraham – Positive Psychology.

Positive psychology began as a new era of psychology in 1998 when Martin Seligman – widely regarded as the father of the modern psychology movement – chose it as his theme for his term as president of the American Psychological Association.

A much more detailed, comprehensive account of Solly's talk is available as a PDF attachment and the links to it are to be found at the foot of this page.

Solly began by examine how the positive psychology movement attempts to put the enhancement of happiness on as solid a basis from which we try to ease sadness.

Though Positive Psychology is not just about "positive thinking" much of the theory and practice derives from an approach which considers that happiness is enhanced when we engage in thought and activities which utilise our own individual strengths and preferences.

The diagnosis of these strengths forms the basis for identifying activities from all areas of life to reinforce authentic happiness and lead to a more fulfilling life.


Solly AbrahamSolly Abraham

has been a clinical hypnotherapist for over twenty years, taking a particular interest in depression and gastroenterological problems as well as social based phobias.
From 2002 to 2005 he held an honorary position at St Marks Hospital as hypnotherapist for a research project “Hypnotherapy in Inflammatory Bowel Disease” with Prof, Alistair Forbes team.
He is also a long-time member of the James Braid Society.


During his presentation Solly began by describing the theory behind positive psychology, explaining that the

Basics of Positive Psychology are:

• A focus on strengths rather than deficits and weaknesses.

• A change of emphasis in psychology
• A scientific investigation of the effectiveness of interventions designed to improve happiness.

•A set of assumptions about what a meaningful and enjoyable life might, or should, consist of.

Martin Seligman

The talk also examined some of the way these ideas that can be applied to everyday life and how this can give an understanding of our own individual strengths.

Our speaker concluded with an outline of various exercises designed to enhance personal happiness

And he explained how there are three mantras in Positive Psychology

1) Develop what's Strong rather than what's wrong

2) Simple but not easy

3) One size does not fit all

To download the PDF setting out Solly Abraham's presentation in greater detail please click the PDF illustration to the right.   pdf link
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