Archives for April, 2012

Character Strengths

Re-discover Happiness with Laughter and Humor

 
I used to lead a laughter group a few times a year for clients at a psychotherapy clinic. The group was interactive and educational. The purpose was to highlight the therapeutic benefits of laughter. Participants were encouraged to bring jokes, funny stories, and come dressed in costume. There was one main rule: You have to laugh. Laughter was not an option, it was a requirement!
This...
Continue Reading

Character Strengths

Your ROAD-MAP to Strengths Use

When you are exploring your character strengths or attempting to help someone connect more with their own, it is useful to have some guideposts. In other words, everyone needs a “road map” at one point or another, and the phrase “road map” can also serve as an acronym for ways that you can dig deeper into your character strengths.
Each of the following "action verbs" can be applied to any of the 24 character strengths...
Continue Reading

Anxiety

Mindfulness and Strengths for Anxiety

A few years ago, I worked with a middle-aged man (I’ll call him “Jim”) who was legally blind and suffered from social anxiety disorder (social phobia). Jim also experienced panic attacks. He wanted to learn to manage his anxiety better and to not have to take his anti-anxiety pills.
One day I asked Jim: “How did you make it here today?”

“The usual way – by bus,” he said. “Actually, 2 buses, a little...
Continue Reading

Character Strengths

Depression? Turn to Your Strengths!

Using your top strengths – your signature strengths – has been shown to be effective to increasing happiness and decreasing depression. Several scientific studies have shown this.

As a psychologist for many years helping clients with depression, I focused heavily on what was wrong. I asked my clients about the frequency-intensity-duration of their problems, the triggers to their conflicts, family issues, work struggles, and on and on. So many questions!

Like most psychologists, I spent...
Continue Reading

Character Strengths

Tiger Woods: A Man of Character?

In the midst of the most prestigious golf tournament of the year, the Masters, Tiger Woods is trying to solidify his comeback. He needs a major championship in order to seal the deal.

A few years ago, he lied. He cheated on his wife. Repeatedly. He let down fans. He hurt many people, especially his family and friends. Former fans and spectators claimed Tiger was a man without character. Similar...
Continue Reading

Character Strengths

What are the Signature Strengths of Katniss (from The Hunger Games)?

Signature strengths are at the core of our identity. They are our essence…they are what make us glow. Maybe you shine when you express kindness or hope? Or perhaps when you use humor or creativity? Whenever we express a signature strength we are probably at our best – authentic, strong, and real.

When you think of Katniss, the star of The Hunger Games, what strengths make her glow?

I asked this of a...
Continue Reading

Character Strengths

Build Your Courage by Learning from The Hunger Games

How can the movie, The Hunger Games, possibly teach us something about developing character strengths?

This movie can teach us ways to increase our courage.

No doubt the premise of The Hunger Games is awful and disturbing – a society in which children must kill other children until there is only 1 survivor. It’s a society in which the authoritarian Capitol tries hard to glorify this process and make...
Continue Reading