Division 17 Section on Positive Psychology

Positive psychology is the scientific study of human strengths and virtues. It involves an attempt to move toward a more balanced perspective on human functioning that considers motives, capacities, and human potentials. Counseling Psychology historically and presently continues to be one of the few disciplines that highlights the values of fostering human capacities, satisfaction, and well-being. In some form Counseling Psychology always has been a vital part of promoting good health and preventing disease, including mental, physical, and social disorders for individuals and communities. It is in the context that this Section was formed. The aim of the this group is to focus on how Counseling Psychology fosters and builds human strength and well-being and in pursuing this endeavor, furthers the development of positive psychological science and practice. This site includes information about positive psychology research, teaching, and practice as well as events, strengths based books, and resources.

Positive Psychology: Theory and Application is the official newsletter of the Section on Positive Psychology. The peer reviewed newsletter is published several times a year and includes updates from section leadership, section events, and original articles by section members. Calls for submissions will be posted on the website and listserv several times a year. Below find our archive of past issues. 

The Fall 2017 Edition of Positive Psychology: Theory and Application is here. This issue includes the following articles and more:

  • Updates from the section
  • Keeping the candle lit: The role of hope in burnout
  • Using self-forgiveness to address moral injury in combat veterans
  • Connecting university students to reduce suicide risk through messages of hope
  • Affirmation notes: A small event with positive results
  • How positive psychology can help clinicians support social justice advocates in the current political climate

The Fall 2016 Edition of Positive Psychology: Theory and Application in here. This issue includes the following articles:

  • News from the Chair – Rhea Owens, Ph.D. Section Award Winners
  • Application of Micro-affirmations to Advising and Mentoring International Students in the U.S. – Hang-Shim Lee, Ph.D.
  • Understanding the Relationship Between Gratitude and Emotion Regulation Self-Efficacy – Rebecca Kinsey, M.A & Jacob Yuichung Chan, Ph.D.
  • Goal Focused Positive Psychotherapy in a High School Dropout Prevention Program – Michael Scheel, Ph.D., Collie Conoley, Ph.D., Kendal Cassidy, Zoe Chen, Alexandra Dahl, & Robert Byrom
  • Positive Psychology and Trauma: Understanding and Enhancing Posttraumatic Growth – Lara Barbir, M.S.
  • A Situated Approach to Chinese Well-being: Research and Application– Shu-Yi Wang Division 17 Positive Psychology Section: A Student Representative’s View  – Adam Fishel, M.S. 


The Spring 2014 Edition of Positive Psychology: Theory and Application is here. This issue includes the following articles:

  • News from the Chair by Rhea Owens.
  • Teaching Positive Psychology: Creating a Strength-Based CP Program Culture by Brian Cole and Michael Scheel.
  • Giving Hope Away by Shane Lopez.
  • How Does Mindfulness Work in Psychotherapy by Anna-Nina Lee and Collie Conoley.
  • The Relationship Between Posttraumatic Growth and Mindfulness by Adam Hanley, Alia Warner, and Vanessa Dabel.
  • It Helps to Help Others: A Review of the Relationship Between Prosocial Behavior and Well-Being by J. Brandon Waits and Guler Boyraz.