Is Traditional Psychology Negative?

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“In 1998, Martin Seligman founded positive psychology when he asserted that psychology had lost its way. Psychology had become obsessed with pathology and the dark side of human nature, blind to all that was good and noble in people…psychologists had created an enormous manual, known as the ‘DSM’…to diagnose every possible mental illness and behavioral annoyance, but psychology didn’t even have a language with which to talk about the upper reaches of human health, talent, and possibility.” Quoted from The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

We received an inquiry from a lady who wanted to know what positive psychology was all about. Here is her response to our answer:

“Well, now, I’m impressed! Thanks for the explanation. I needed to hear that. My ex has a Masters in Psychology and is a practicing counselor and life coach…He has always been negative and it affected our family life. So, from having lived in that kind of life, I just thought the negative is what psychologists were all about.

Over the years he internalized all of the negativity of his clients and it affected our family life. So, I have a tendency to shy away or run from psychology majors.

Thanks so much for telling me there is actually a ‘positive’ side.

I was happy all the time and he was mad all the time because I was happy. I’ve never been happier now that I’m away from all of it. Most of all, I love to laugh.

Thanks for replying and thanks for listening.”


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