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Clinical Division Leadership


Welcome from the Editor-in-Chief

Dear Positive Clinical Division Members,

I am delighted to share the inaugural issue of the International Positive Psychology Association’s Positive Clinical Division’s peer-reviewed publication: Positive Clinical Psychology: An International Perspective. The primary goal of the newsletter is to provide a high-quality resource for our members that features evidence-based, clinical-related articles from scholars, practitioners, and scholar-practitioners from around the world. Additional information relevant to our members, such as Division announcements and resources, will also be distributed through the newsletter.

The newsletter will publish a variety of conceptual and research scholarship, including:

  • Empirical reports of clinically based research (1,000-2,000 words)
  • Integrative reviews that emphasize clinical applications (1,000-2,000 words)
  • Case studies or innovative clinical intervention descriptions (1,000-2,000 words)
  • Submissions involving the teaching, training, and supervision of clinical applications of positive psychology (1,000-2,000 words)
  • Reviews of evidence-based, scholarly books (500 words)

We were pleased to receive a considerable number of high-quality submissions for our first issue and look forward to the newsletter growing over time. I would like to thank the Editorial Team for their assistance, including: James Maddux (Associate Editor), Covadonga Chaves (Associate Editor), Chiara Ruini (Associate Editor), Nicole Mikanik (Editing Assistant), and our Editorial Board.

In this issue you will find a number of empirically-based research articles, innovative interventions, case studies, and information from the Division.

For more information about our submission guidelines, please refer to the Division’s website: We accept submissions on a rolling basis. If you would like to submit an article for a future issue, please email:

Thank you & enjoy!

Rhea L. Owens, Ph.D., L.P.
Positive Clinical Division
International Positive Psychology Association

In This Issue

What is Positive Clinical Psychology (PCP) and Why is it Needed?, by Tayyab Rashid
Clinical psychology, counselling psychology, social work, psychiatry, and other mental health domains have traditionally focused on alleviating symptoms, dysfunctions, and disorders. These disciplines have done reasonably well in making clients less sad, less angry and less anxious but little effort has been dispensed on making clients happier, engaged, connected, grounded, or grateful. Positive psychology, about fifteen years ago, asked the mental health field a critical question, what is good about human beings, individually and collectively? An impressive and often converging lines of research has uncovered markers and makers of good work, healthy bodies, deep learning and fulfilling work. However, the clinical domain has been somewhat staggered.
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A Longitudinal Study of Orthopedic Rehabilitation Patients: Physical Activity, Subjective Health and Positive Affect, by Shu Ling, Tan, Yan Ping, Duan, and Sonia Lippke
Objective: Since subjective well-being among rehabilitation patients is not always optimal, it is essential to examine the interrelations between subjective health, positive affect, negative affect and long term physical activity in clinical settings. Design: An eight-year longitudinal design was implemented, in which the main variables were assessed in a paper-pencil questionnaire at baseline, and follow-ups at six months, three, and eight years. Linear Mixed Model was applied to examine the main variables. Results: After the rehabilitation, participants who were physically active with higher means of positive affect were more likely to report better subjective health at baseline and all follow-ups. Although subjective health declined after a peak at the eight-year follow-up, it remained higher compared to baseline. Conclusions: Changeable subjective perceptions of one’s health and physical activity are related to extensive positive outcomes in the longer term, which are informative for clinical applications, in enhancing well-being and achieving sustainable rehabilitation care.
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BASICS and Essencing as a Positive Psychology Clinical Intervention, by Hein Zegers and Els Verheyen
Clients sometimes report having too many activities and/or too much ‘stuff.’ This problem is addressed in an intervention called ‘Essencing.’ Essencing is a concept that emerged from an international empirical research into experienced ‘voluntary simplifiers.’ As an intervention, Essencing has already been pilot tested in culturally diverse psychotherapy and counseling settings. In this article, we first succinctly describe its underlying BASICS model and its links with positive psychology. Then we give a short step-by-step description of the intervention. We conclude with a case study illustrating the practical use of the Essencing intervention. This intervention was a finalist in IPPA’s Clinical Division’s first Avant-garde Positive Psychology Clinical Interventions Competition at the fifth World Congress on Positive Psychology.
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The Virtual Gratitude Visit (VGV): Role-Playing, Storytelling and Narrative Enactment, by Daniel J. Tomasulo
The virtual gratitude visit (VGV) was selected for the inaugural Avant-Garde Clinical Intervention award at the 2017 IPPA conference. The technique activates a number of therapeutic elements contained in the literature on gratitude, role-playing, and storytelling and is described for use by clinicians in both individual and group settings.
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Intentional Practice: A Positive Psychology Intervention Planning and Implementation Method, by Dr. Ivan Raymond
This paper supports an integrative operationalisation of positive clinical psychology, where intervention outcomes (e.g., flourishing) and methods (e.g., positive psychology interventions; PPI’s), drawn from both the positive and clinical psychology literature, are collectively brought to focus within intervention planning. The case is made for the role of robust assessment, case formulation and treatment planning to underpin positive clinical psychology. This paper describes a case planning and implementation method (titled intentional practice) that has been developed with reference to the positive psychology literature. The approach and modelling, describes, as opposed to prescribes intervention conditions, and supports flexible and integrative intervention planning. The method enables clinicians, counsellors and coaches to draw upon a range of intervention components (e.g., PPIs, cognitive behavioural therapy) and bring creative flair to their work, but within a framework of intentionality, with evidence and high awareness of intent. A populated case example (intervention plan) is provided.
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Complete Mental Health: A Novel, Collaborative, Individual- and Population-based Approach to Reforming Mental Health Care, by Matthew Iasiello
As the burden of mental illness continues to rise around the world, governments around the world are reforming the way they address mental health care. Keyes’ (2005) landmark publication revealed that mental illness and positive mental health (or wellbeing) are two separate, correlated, unipolar dimensions. In other words, mental illness and mental health are two separate but related concepts and are not two opposite ends of the same spectrum, as was previously thought. Complete mental health describes a state in which an individual has both a high level of wellbeing and a low level of mental illness symptoms (or no clinical diagnosis). The current paper describes the potential implications of mental health care reform dedicated to building complete mental health.
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Rewriting History to Create a Better Future: Positive Prospection in Practice, by Lydia Ievleva, PhD
The Rewriting History intervention is a step by step imagery guide designed to recreate memories as one would have preferred to unfold; thereby creating a better template for future opportunities – increasing likelihood of thinking, acting and feeling that is more aligned with personal or professional goals, versus falling back on negative patterns of behavior and reflexive reactivity (Van Hoeck et al., 2013). Advances in neuroscience have revealed the benefits of Mental Time Travel that involves reflecting on the past with a view to imagining a better future (i.e., Positive Prospection). Functional MRI studies have shown that images of the future overlap with same neural structure as memory. The default network for future images therefore automatically draw upon what is stored in memory (Klein, 2016; Schacter et al., 2012). By taking more conscious and proactive control over images stored in memory and projected forward, however, we can disable the hold the past has on us, and enable a more auspicious future (DeBrigard, Szpunar, & Schacter, 2013).
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Applying Strengths from the Virtual to the Real World: Strength Intervention for Hikikomori Youth: A Case Study, by Shinichiro Matsuguma, Motoko Kawashima, and Kazuo Tsubota
Hikikomori, social withdrawal, youth has gained public attention in recent decades. In this case study, the authors present a strengths-based approach with a 17-year-old male, who had been shut down in his room for the last 8 years. The strengths-based approach took place in his room for three months between July and September 2017. The experienced strengths coach focused on his positive experiences and successes in online video games, and while listening to his successful stories, the coach identified his psychological strengths and facilitated him to apply them to the real world. Since psychological strengths are applicable across domains, he was able to apply his strengths in the school setting with a sense of joy as if playing video games. At the post-intervention, his self-esteem (Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale) and vitality (Subjective Vitality Scale) significantly improved. This case study provides a new and innovative way to address hikikomori in a positive manner.
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Strengths Atom, by Daniel J. Tomasulo
This article explores the use of a technique, the Strengths Atom, which may facilitate a client’s understanding of the use of top strengths as measured by the VIA Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS). Use of this technique with paper and pencil as well as role-playing options in individual and group settings respectively is discussed.
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The Positive Clinical Consultation Group, by Nicole Mikanik
This past March, IPPA’s Positive Clinical Division saw the first pilot for its virtual peer consultation group. Led by Jennifer Brownstein, Psy.D., Margarita Tarragona, Ph.D., and Tayyab Rashid, Ph.D., the group provides a platform through which practitioners can discuss and share how they use positive psychology with their clients. The consultation group meets for one hour each month over the course of six months.
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The International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) is a global leader in promoting the science of positive psychology and its research-based applications, facilitating collaboration among positive psychology supporters and sharing the findings of positive psychology with the broadest possible audience.