In my last article I discussed the emergence of “positive psychology” as an area of research and practice that focuses on human strengths and virtues rather than on weaknesses and pathology. This past week I read a thought-provoking article by Dr. George Bonanno of Columbia University Teachers College that appeared in the January, 2004 issue of the journal American Psychologist. The article, titled “Loss, Trauma, and Human Resilience: Have We Underestimated the Human Capacity to Thrive After Extremely Aversive Events?” raises important questions about commonly held views of pathology and resilience. It also supports a basic tenet of positive psychology, namely, that the potential for individuals to handle adversity may be far greater than has previously been recognized.. More
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