Building Love That Lasts: Applying the Science of Positive Psychology to Romantic Relationships

A discussion with Suzann (“Suzie”) Pileggi Pawelski, MAPP, and James Pawelski, Ph.D.

Abstract:  The relationships that we cultivate are essential to well-being. Enduring relationships require effort to sustain. Husband and wife team, Suzann (“Suzie”) Pileggi Pawelski and James Pawelski, have applied the science of positive psychology to romantic relationships in their new book, Happy Together. In this webinar, Suzie and James shared how they combined empirical research on passion, positive emotions, savoring, and strengths, and healthy habit formation, with philosophical wisdom, and real-life examples, to craft evidence-based exercises that help couples build a love that lasts. Series Host, David Pollay, MAPP,  interviewed Suzie and James before taking live audience questions.

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About the Presenters:

SUZANN (“Suzie”) PILEGGI PAWELSKI has a Master of Applied Positive Psychology degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a freelance writer and well-being consultant specializing in the science of happiness and its effects on relationships and health. Her 2010 Scientific American Mind cover story, “The Happy Couple,” was the catalyst for this book. Suzie blogs for Psychology Today and writes the “Science of Well-being” column for Live Happy, where she is also a contributing editor.  She has given “Romance and Research” (TM) workshops around the world with her husband James. Previously, she directed award-winning media relations campaigns for Fortune 500 clients, worked in publicity at Radio City Music Hall and was an associate producer for HBO Downtown Productions and The Joan Rivers Show.

JAMES PAWELSKI, Ph.D., is Professor of Practice and Director of Education in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania where he co-founded the Master of Applied Positive Psychology Program with Martin Seligman.  The Founding Executive Director of IPPA, he is currently leading a three-year, multi-million-dollar grant investigating connections between the science of well-being and the arts and humanities. An international keynote speaker, he has presented in more than 20 countries on 6 continents, including “Romance and Research” (TM) workshops with his wife Suzie. He is frequently featured in the media, including the New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Today Show.

References:

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Algoe, S. B., Frederickson, B.L. & Gable, S.L. (2013). The social functions of the emotion of gratitude in expression. Emotion 13(4), 605-609.
Carbonneau, N., & Vallerand, R. J. (2013). On the role of harmonious and obsessive passion in conflict behavior. Motivation and Emotion.
Philippe, F. L., Vallerand, R. J., Bernard-Desrosiers, L., Guilbault, V.& Rajotte, G. (December 12, 2016). Understanding the Cognitive and Motivational Underpinnings of Sexual Passion From a Dualistic Model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Pileggi, S. (2010, January/February).The Happy Couple. Scientific American Mind,  34-39.
Ratelle, C. F., Carbonneau, N., Vallerand, R. J. &  Mageau, G(2013). Passion in the romantic sphere: A look at relational outcomes. Motivation and Emotion.
Vallerand, R. The Psychology of Passion: A Dualistic Model. New York: Oxford University Press.