Career Options With a Degree in Positive Psychology

What Does Positive Psychology Focus On?

Positive psychology is an area of psychology that focuses on a scientific study of the different strengths and attributes that can enable people and society to thrive. The field is focused on helping people to lead the best life they can through the use of positive thinking and focusing on personal strengths. Positive psychologists try to bring about change for the better in a person’s life and help them to grow and prosper.

Positive psychology is a relatively new area of study but one that is growing in popularity. This particular branch of psychology is focused on uncovering ways in which to help people prosper and lead healthy and happy lives. Many other areas of psychology tend to have their focus in the negative aspects of behavior and dysfunction, but positive psychology is more concerned with helping people to be happier in their lives.

Some of the areas of interest that a positive psychologist will be focused on include mindfulness, strengths and virtues, optimism, happiness, hope, positive thinking, and resilience. Some areas for the real world application of positive psychology include therapy, resolving workplace disputes, stress management and education.

Employment Outlook

The employment outlook for the holder of a degree in positive psychology is limited as it is such a relatively new field and relatively few jobs will require specialists in this area. Instead, a degree in positive psychology can be seen as a positive accompaniment to qualifications in other areas of psychology.

Career Options

Life Coach

A life coach helps the client to get to a better place in their lives. Individuals may be stuck in a rut or in a cycle of dysfunctional behavior, and the role of the life coach is to support and motivate them as they make their journey to where they want to be. A life coach may help the patient to unlock what is lying behind their inability to reach their goals, and may offer them support as they work to eliminate the problems they are facing.

A life coach helps the clients to move on in their lives and to find success and happiness moving forward. One may also be employed to help a client through a particularly challenging time in their lives such as transitioning into a new career path or starting a new relationship after a divorce.

BLS data does not provide the annual mean wage for a life coach, but the related occupation of guidance counselor has an annual mean wage of $56,040, according to the latest data for 2014.

Recreational Therapist

Recreational therapists provide a treatment service for their clients, which is designed to restore and rehabilitate their levels of functioning and independence in everyday activities. They may also work to promote good health and wellness practices, as well as to remove any limitations the patient may be facing in life situations due to disabilities or illness. Recreational therapy can also be known as therapeutic recreation.

One of the main aims of the recreational therapist is to work with their clients to build confidence; work on building up social skills and coping skills; integrate previously learned skills in social settings; and restore motor functioning. Some examples of the types of areas a recreational therapist may focus on in the treatment of their clients include adventure programs, creative arts, dance, leisure education, and creative arts.

This occupation has an annual mean wage of $48,060, according to the latest data for 2014 (BLS).

Motivational Speaker

A motivational speaker is employed to make speeches to a group or to individuals, in order to inspire and motivate them to achieve their goals. The talk they give to these audiences is known as a ‘pep talk’. Motivational speakers use different methods to engage with their audiences, such as retelling their own positive experiences to the group or sharing their know-how and expertise in order to help others succeed. They may use the skills learned in a positive psychology degree to banish negativity held by their audience.

Motivational speakers may address different types of audiences and inspire them to reach their goals. Types of audiences for a motivational speaker include business groups, who may need encouragement to work together as a team or to reach their sales goals, or individuals who need encouragement to find purpose in their lives. A motivational speaker may also be known by the term ‘inspirational speaker’.

BLS data does not provide the annual mean wage for a motivational speaker, but the related occupation of guidance counselor has an annual mean wage of $56,040, according to the latest data for 2014.

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