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The Implications of Positive Psychology on Psychotherapy. Noam Segal. Introduction.

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The Implications of Positive Psychology on Psychotherapy

Noam Segal


The history of mental illnesses and the treatment for them is a long one, dating back to the days of the ancient Egyptians up to modern day psychotherapy. Throughout the centuries and decades that have past the very essence of therapy has begun to shift dramatically towards positive forms of therapy, new ways to help the individual not only heal and cope, but also master his strengths to live a life of well being, happiness and contentment. In my work, I aimed to present this evolution of Psychological therapy, a process which began not too long ago and yet could dramatically transform the whole therapeutic field forever. This is the story of Positive Therapy.

The Past!

The Present..

Ancient Times

From the deserts of ancient Egypt to the castles of Medieval Europe, man has wondered what is the nature of mental illness and how to treat it

Positive Therapy

  • Based on Positive Psychology, new forms of therapy emerge displaying new models of treatment:

  • PREVENTION model

  • ENHANCING, not just FIXING

  • Short term fix to LONG TERM SOLUTION

  • Utilizing character strengths and positive traits

Present Day

The Mental Disorder

The mental disorder was viewed as anything from the disintegration of the relationship between man and god, split of the spirit and soul, the self and the body or devils and demons possessing us into a state of madness

End of 20th Century

  • Positive Psychology is being applied

  • Therapists are now using Positive therapeutic techniques and processes

  • Researchers and therapists are developing Positive Therapy literature and research

  • Clients are improving their wellbeing, not just Psychopathological symptoms

  • Positive Psychology is introduced



Early 20th Century

Classical Psychotherapy emerges with the works of Sigmund Freud and so begins the Psychodynamic Era, investigating the mind and behavior and treating human mental illness and disease for the first time

Cognitive Therapy

  • A slow process of disillusionment from

  • psychodynamic treatment

  • Focusing on Stimulus -> Thought -> Emotion, not the unconscious thoughts and psychopathological defense mechanisms

The Future?

Mid 20th Century

  • In the midst of the 20th century Philosophical movements such as Existentialism and Humanism rise and give way to notions later adopted in positive therapy such as:

  • our own ability to: CREATE MEANING

  • the ability to CHOOSE

  • becoming an ACTIVE AGENT

  • HEALTH model instead of DISEASE model

Late 20th Century – The Positive Shift Begins