PPC – Positive Psychology Center

By: Paige Holmes

Hello all!

So more on my internship at UPenn’s PPC in Philadelphia acheter du viagra au qu. I dug up the courage to ask my supervisors here if I could help out with a greater variety of tasks/processes/work around the center. I don’t think I could have made it through if the whole time I was here I only worked on the dull and tedious tasks, i.e. hours of copying and pasting, transcribing and entering in data, completing dull modules.

It’s a good thing I took charge of my time here and asked. Now I’m helping with some much more interesting, engaging, and different research tasks or projects, and because of this I’m learning much more than before. One project I’m helping with is to create and improve a website that some of the researchers and PhD students here that has to do with Post-traumatic Growth (PTG). Since I’m feeling lazy, here is the definition I found on UNC-Charlotte’s PTG Research Group in the Psych Dept:
What is post-traumatic growth? It is positive change experienced as a result of the struggle with a major life crisis or a traumatic event. Although we coined the term posttraumatic growth, the idea that human beings can be changed by their encounters with life challenges, sometimes in radically positive ways, is not new. The theme is present in ancient spiritual and religious traditions, literature, and philosophy. What is reasonably new is the systematic study of this phenomenon by psychologists, social workers, counselors, and scholars in other traditions of clinical practice and scientific investigation.
My job on this project is to search for media (videos, links to other blogs, book excerpts, etc), research findings, stories, and more that show post-traumatic growth. Another possibility is trying to find people with PTG stories that would be willing to be interviewed. I am working with a PhD student on the blog section of the website, which serves as a more relateable, inspiring place for people who have experienced PTG or want to learn more about it for any reason. This PTG website includes a lot of information that is not necessarily easy for people to relate and derive benefits/hope/inspiration from. The blog I am working on is being created to serve that need. I’m so excited that I get to help out on the blog for the PTG website…this has real potential to help people increase their well-being, find hope, and overcome or come to terms with current/past adversity. I’m really hoping that will happen.

Another project is still slightly tedious and frankly boring, but it is still different and something I can learn a little bit from. I make phone calls to people in Wisconsin to ask them to complete a survey that follows one they took 30 years ago. This is a longitudinal study (one where participants complete two parts of the study across a long time period) called the Wisconsin Health and Life Study, which is looking to see how experience and self-rated conceptions of people in high school can predict how they turn out in adult life (in terms of well-being, life satisfaction, and health). I’m happy to be contributing to the study, even though so far I have only had one Wisconsin person pick up the phone. I kind of feel like a secretary or teleservice representative (that title sounded better than telemarketer).

The Positive Psychology Center is the reason why I’m here, although staying in the International House has been a great way to meet people from different cultures. Almost everyone that I meet hasn’t heard of Positive Psych before, but when I explain it, they usually have all sorts of things to share and comment on. All the people from different cultures/countries–Spain, Russia, Chile, Argentina, France, Italy, Greece, Pakistan, Kenya, Japan, Korea, China, England, Haiti, Brasil, and more–have different ideas, knowledge, mindsets, etc., of well-being. Students talked of all sorts of studies, practices, and books in their country, and sometimes even offered up their opinions of well-being and happiness. Some of the student’s passions or things that make them happy were disheartening to me, i.e. partying, drinking, smoking. But I know that won’t always be the case for them–young adults tend to all have that as one of their top sources of enjoyment and well-being, and in some other countries it may be more common to have those passions be what they say/think is the only thing they love to do and that makes them happy. And in other countries, people may have the values of being hard-working and succeeding as their idea of living well.
However, across the board there seems to be a movement to increase people’s well-being and happiness in many different ways. So many countries now are studying and researching aspects that fall under Positive Psychology. Even if practices or ideas do not fall under Pos Psych, there are so many people and cultures looking for new ways to improve their lives, be happier, and find a greater sense of well-being.


Thanks for reading and be well, my dears.