I first came across positive psychology as a student, and it opened my eyes. I learned that in addition to psychopaths, psychotherapy, Freud and OCD, psychologists also study the positive areas of our lives. Positive psychologists want to know what makes us happy, motivated and cheerful. In other words, they are exploring what is going well and how people can create a good life.
After college, positive psychology has become an important part of my career. I explored stress management and ways to increase people's motivation, and I helped companies to show interest and motivation for their employees. Now, being an ADAPT certified functional health trainer, I use positive psychology every day in the work that I do with my clients.
Positive psychology and health coaching go hand in hand. Check out this article from Will Welch's health trainer to find out why. #changeagent #kresserinstitute
What is positive psychology and why is it important?
We offer excellent discussions of positive psychology here and here, so I will provide only a brief summary.
Positive psychology emerged as an area focused on what works with the human mind and behavior, rather than what is broken. Positive psychologists examine personal qualities and experiences, such as happiness, purpose, character strengths, and resilience. But they do not just study people.
They also study our relationships and how our communities can prosper. This includes topics such as “responsibility, caring, altruism, politeness, moderation, tolerance and work ethics”. (1)
As you can say on some of the topics listed above (for example, sustainability, moderation and responsibility), positive psychology is not just a constant positive psychology. He also focuses on how we respond to difficult circumstances.
When I step back and look at a wide range of positive psychology, it becomes clear that in this area there are many important things that can be said about what contributes not only to our happiness, but also to our well-being and health.
So, how can I use positive psychology as a health trainer, and why is it so valuable?
How positive psychology can help trainers prepare for training
Most of my training takes place outside of client sessions. The way I prepare for the session lays the foundation for successful coaching during the session. The training helps me to take the role of supporter and facilitator and gives my clients the opportunity to research and develop their own solutions to their health problems. Positive psychological concepts have a big impact on how I prepare.
Positive psychology focuses on people as whole, not broken
One question that I think about before each session is: “What is great about this client?” It helps me understand what works for him and where he made progress. If I start a session, considering the client as a whole person with an abundance of resources, then I lay the foundation for the session, where they can generate powerful solutions for themselves.
Positive Psychology Focuses on Growth
I also approach my clients with a growth mood. Based on the work of psychologist Carol Dweck, the growth of thinking in coaching considers any failures and difficulties of the client as a springboard for future growth, and not as a reflection of their abilities or character. (2) Failure is information and useful material for discussing lessons learned and next steps. The growth mentality also creates a culture of experimentation in the partnership between the trainer and the client. Customers who are not shy about experimenting can try out various solutions and find the ones that best suit them.
Positive psychology is motivation oriented.
One of my tasks as a coach is to help clients find a vision, goal, and weekly actions that they can master to achieve their goals. Goal and mastery are key components of motivation, and they are closely related to changes in vision and behavior. (3) When I am preparing for classes, I try to focus on how I can help clients realize their goal and master the skills that they want to develop to achieve their goals.
Health coaching is a successful and growing career. Download this free e-book to learn how you can build a career as a health trainer.
How positive psychology can help trainers ask the right questions.
Asking the right questions at the right time is part of the “art” of health coaching. What can positive psychology teach the right questions that lead clients to change behavior and help them achieve their goals?
Robert Biswas-Diener, Robert Biswas-Diener, one of the trainers in the ADAPT health trainer training program and a leader in the field of coaching positive psychology, describes how positive psychology plays an important role in the questions asked by trainers. The approach to clients with a positive psychological mindset consisting of abundance and success “can lead to the fact that you will ask a question of a different type than that which the client himself would ask. This, in fact, is what coaches offer clients, this is the outsider’s point of view. ”
Positive Psychology is Future Oriented
Another view of the questions posed by trainers is related to the difference between coaching and therapy. In coaching, we have a constructive view of the past. Reflecting on the past is something that customers can discover to help them move forward, rather than the reasons why customers are faced with current health problems. As a trainer, I want to learn how my clients can build on their past experience, rather than focusing on that past.
Positive Psychology is Resource-Oriented
Because positive psychology is people oriented and In their environment, trainers can ask clients questions about how their environment can support them. One of my favorite questions for clients is: “Who or what resources can support you when you work on this?”
For many years, researchers have argued that social support is an important factor in health and successful behavior change. (4, 5) With some of my clients, the key to success was finding other people with whom to work or try a new way of eating. They share what works for them, sympathize with each other and help motivate each other when changes become complex.
How Positive Psychology Can Help Trainers Listen
Coaches spend a lot of time listening. As a trainer, I am there to guide my clients and help them research goals and develop solutions. It’s not just important for me to listen to what they say; I also need to listen to how they say it and what they don’t say. What things do I listen to and where does positive psychology give recommendations for listening?
Positive Psychology is Strength-Oriented
Orientation to customers in general, capable people, of course, allows you to search for their strengths. We call it the “definition of strength," and it can be a powerful tool to help customers take steps to achieve their goals. When I study coaching topics with my clients, I ask them about when they have achieved recent goals or in important areas of their life.
Part of what I am listening to here is what character strengths they expect to succeed. They connect curiosity, bravery, adaptability, etc.? After I gained strength, I return to them to get their understanding, and then I ask them how they could use this power in the current situation.
An excellent assessment of the strengths is VIA. Try it and see what your signature strengths are.
Positive psychology focuses on solutions, not problems.
Another difference that I listen to in coaching sessions is how many problem-oriented conversations and problem-related conversations my clients use. Solution Oriented Discussion it is about what they want, not what they don’t want (that is, talking about problems), and it often generates goals, plans and actions of the client.
One example of a solution-oriented conversation that interests me is customers who want to lose weight. A conversation often begins with how to reset the number on the scale and by how much. The number on the scale is a problem, and it is a source of frustration for them. When the coaching conversation goes on to what they will gain from the process of losing weight and how they want their life to be the same as when they lost weight, clients often then generate ideas and ideas about their body, their life and how they want to feel what they had never thought before.
Positive psychology focuses on positive affect.
Positive effect is an outward expression of positive emotional states. It can manifest itself in tone, posture and facial expression. By listening and reflecting changes in tone, for example, that indicate optimism, hope, or enthusiasm, you can draw customer attention to these qualities.
I often found that when clients talk about health problems and take the next step toward a frightening goal, they may not catch their own enthusiasm or optimism about the option that suits them. As a trainer, part of my role is to listen to their tone and watch their facial expressions for this positive effect. For example, drawing attention to the optimistic tone of the client when he says that he will go for a walk tomorrow morning can help him motivate and positively perceive the changes. Reflecting the positive influence of clients on them not only helps their motivation, but studies have shown that qualities such as optimism can act as a resource that protects our physical health. (6)
Putting it all together, positive psychology can help trainers in many ways. This can help them prepare for coaching, ask the right questions, and listen to their clients. Positive psychology provides trainers with useful tools to help their clients achieve their goals.
Want to learn more about positive psychology and the role it plays in coaching? The ADAPT Health Coach curriculum includes positive psychology as an important part of the curriculum.
Our experienced teachers offer evidence-based guidance on positive psychology and other skills and competencies that can help inform your work as a health trainer, such as mindfulness, motivational interviewing, relationship skills, and more. We also offer training on functional health topics such as ancestral nutritional basics, the role of nutritional status and nutritional supplements, and lifestyle and behavioral changes that affect health, as well as training materials on business and professional development.
Our one-year virtual course is designed to give you the deep knowledge and training you need, and also provides you with ample opportunities to practice and hone your skills as a trainer. Find out if the ADAPT Health Trainer Training Program is right for you.