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Fourthly, a positive psychology perspective seems relevant to working within the South African context. Through identifying, facilitating and working with psychological strengths, such as hope, gratitude, kindness and leadership, in disadvantaged communities, much could be done to enhance both individual and group well-being in our society. Finally, integrating positive psychology in professional training could contribute to widening the scope of practice of psychologists to include capacity building and prevention. Knowledge of and training in positive psychology could thus generate psychologists with a broader skills set, one that grants them greater professional flexibility.
Therefore, it could be argued that more attention should be given to incorporating positive psychology into all levels of education in psychology truly to develop the notion of a balanced psychology in South Africa. Despite these preliminary findings, however, there are certain limitations to the study that need consideration. Firstly, there was a particular connection between the researcher and the students, often referred to as 'backyard research' Creswell, , which could have influenced the students to provide biased or compromised data.
And, secondly, documents were used as data, which could be incomplete in the sense that there was no opportunity to ask the participants to elaborate on their responses; this could have provided more and richer data. Neither can the findings be generalised to the experiences of students in other training programmes. It could therefore be valuable to explore the experiences of students in subsequent training programmes at this university and to follow these students' professional development over a few years.
By including quantitative measures on these students' levels of psychological well-being, information in terms of the possible positive effects of including a positive psychology approach in the education and training of psychologists could be collected. Examples of hypotheses for empirical investigation include the following: Are there statistically significant differences between the therapeutic outcomes of psychologists who practise from an integrated pathogenic and positive psychology model and those who practise from the pathogenic model only? Are there significant differences in terms of psychological well-being in psychologists who practise from these two models?
By providing our students with opportunities to identify and enhance their clients' as well as their own psychological strengths and psychological well-being, we could leverage the development of a professional psychology in South Africa that could do much more for the people we are to serve. Ahmed, R. Reviewing clinical psychology training in the post-apartheid period: Have we made any progress?
South African Journal of Psychology, 34, Bacon, S. Positive Psychology's two cultures. Review of General Psychology, 9, Blocher, D. The professional counsellor. London: MacMillan.
A neuroscience agenda for counseling psychology research.
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Therapist's Guide to Positive Psychological Interventions - 1st Edition
What is the prevalence of narcissistic injury among trainee counselling psychologists? Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 76, Holloway, I. The status of method: Flexibility, consistency and coherence. Qualitative Research, 3, Howard, F. Managing stress or enhancing well-being? Positive Psychology's contributions to clinical supervision. Australian Psychologist, 43, Ingram, R. Clinical training for the next millennium. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 61, Jordaan, I. Emotional stress and coping strategies in South African clinical and counselling psychologists.
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American Psychologist, 6, Kottler, A. Rites of passage: Identity and the training of clinical psychologists in the current South African context. South African Journal of Clinical Psychology, 34, Krefting, L. Rigor in qualitative research: The assessment of trustworthiness. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 45, Linley, P. Counseling Psychology's positive psychological agenda: A model for integration and inspiration. The Counseling Psychologist, 34, Positive psychology: Past, present and possible future. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 1, Lopez, S.
Counselling Psychology's focus on positive aspects of human functioning. Striking a vital balance: Developing a complementary focus on human weakness and strength through positive psychological assessment. Snyder Eds. Washington: American Psychological Association. Mahoney, M. Training future therapists. Ingram Eds. New York: Wiley.
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Hill, III Eds. Group well-being: Morale from a positive psychology perspective. Applied Psychology: An International Review , 57, Rashid, T. Positive interventions in clinical practice. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 65, Seligman, M.
Positive psychology: An introduction. Positive psychology progress: Empirical validation of interventions.
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American Psychologist, 60, Smith, E. The strengths-based counseling model. Snyder, C. Twenty-first century graduate education in clinical psychology: A four-level matrix model. A positive psychology field of dreams: 'If you build it, they will come. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 19, Balancing psychological assessments: Including hope and strengths in client reports.
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Studia Psychologica, 41, Standing on the shoulders of giants: Notes on early positive psychology. South African Journal of Psychology, 35, Tilson, C. Positive psychology and psychotherapists' beliefs. Truell, R.