Can You Learn Hope and Optimism?

An intersection between CBT and Positive Therapy is translating Seligman’s research in learned optimism. In therapy, we work on how to mange the  3 P’s of a pessimistic explanatory style. How do you explain setbacks to yourself?

Permanence:  An optimist will explain a negative event as temporary; a pessimist will see it as permanent.

Pervasiveness:  An optimist will specify that a failure is specific to particular conditions; a pessimist will see a failure in life as being a total failure in all of life.

Personal:  An optimist will take responsibility for a failure, in context to all the other contributors to it; a pessimist will blame himself without that other context.

For more details about the research behind ‘Learned Optimism’ check out Dr. Seligman’s book.

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