Is critical self-talk, regret, or worrying stopping you from seeing your strengths, resources, and possibilities for your future?
Are you struggling to balance work, family, and self-care?
Do you spend so much time taking care of everyone and everything else that you've lost sight of your own goals?
Are you seeking more meaning, passion, or joy in your life/career?
I'm Dr. Colleen, and I'm a Positive Psychology Coach & Happiness Strategist. Today, I'm blessed to live a life I love, however this came through major shifts in my thinking and behaving. I lived for years with pessimism, anxiety, panic attacks, and low self-esteem. I ruminated over all the ways I believed I was failing in relationships, career, and life overall. As I share in my TED Talk (below), it was through Positive Psychology tools that I was able to RE-SCRIPT this negative self-story I'd created and start living a different one.
Through One-on-One Happiness Plan Coaching, we'll use Positive Psychology tools to design a detailed vision, goals, and step-by-step actions to RESCRIPT any limiting self-talk and self-stories, and redesign your personal and/or professional life for greater balance and happiness. We'll assess 10 important areas of your life, concentrating on the areas most important to you: 1) Relationships, 2) Career, 3) Financial, 4) Living Environment, 5) Community Engagement, 6) Physical Health, 7) Mental & Emotional Health, 8) Intellectual Growth, 9) Recreation & Relaxation, & 10) Spirituality.
Within Positive Psychology I've found tools to transform my life and outlook. As a result, I've kicked anxiety and panic, embraced my authenticity, and integrated my life to allow time to pursue my strengths, passions, and purpose in work, family, community, self-care, and beyond.
I'm also a Nationally Certified Psychologist, Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Professional Life & Career Coach, and Certified Positive Psychology Coach who is passionate about helping my clients achieve their goals and find happiness. I'd love to help YOU see all the good within and around you, and create YOUR Happiness Plan! I work with adults age 18 to 80+ across the globe.
When you're seeing all the negative in yourself and beating yourself up for your mistakes, it impacts your choices, relationships, and ability to effectively set and achieve your personal and professional goals.
Having lived a transformational change in my own way of thinking, feeling, and being, I believe wholeheartedly in our ability to completely alter our perceptions, emotions, and actions, and essentially transform our lives.
Positive Psychology concepts have saved my life. For me Positive Psychology has become a way of life--I teach it at Rutgers University, coach my clients in its strategies, write about it, parent by it, and use it daily to keep me on track to all the places I wish to journey.
I'm really looking forward to working with you!
~ Colleen :-)
What is Positive Psychology?
The Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania defines Positive Psychology as “the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive” (2007).
While the field has its roots in the work of psychologists such as Abraham Maslow who researched self-actualization, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who studied the concept of flow experiences, and Donald Clifton who examined human strengths, it was Martin Seligman who officially launched the field in 1998.
Seligman, a self-confessed pessimist by nature, spent his early career studying learned hopelessness, until an encounter with his five-year old daughter led him to shift his personal and professional endeavors.
While weeding in the garden one day, Seligman’s daughter Nikki was throwing weeds into the air, singing, and dancing. Seligman reacted by yelling at her, to which Nikki responded, “Daddy, I want to talk to you.” Daddy, do you remember my before my fifth birthday? From when I was three until when I was five, I was a whiner. I whined every day. On my fifth birthday, I decided I wasn’t going to whine any more. That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And if I can stop whining, you can stop being such a grump” (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000).
In this moment, Seligman recognized three critical things:
(1) Parenting is not about fixing children’s weaknesses, but about identifying and fostering their strengths,
(2) He could do more than simply endure life as a pessimist, he could immerse himself in the beauty of all he had, learn to be optimistic, and flourish in life, and
(3) The field of psychology needed a major shift from simply diagnosing and treating what ails people, to taking the next step to uncover people’s internal and external strengths and resources, and helping them leverage these to live meaningful, satisfying lives.
It is important to note that Positive Psychology is NOT about feeling happy 100% of the time, ignoring weaknesses and problems, or never experiencing negative emotions like sadness or anger.
Life will always include little daily stressors, busy schedules and competing priorities, roadblocks to our plans, and traumatic experiences. To be cheery and smiling in the midst of such experiences 24/7 would be robotic, not human. Authenticity and experiencing a range of emotions is normal and healthy.
What Positive Psychology IS about, is learning how to experience negative emotions and move through them more quickly and healthily, so they do not immobilize us.
It IS about taking the time to embrace and savor the positive we hold within us, in those around us, and in the lives we are already living.
Since Positive Psychology’s inception, there has been extensive research on the practices that enhance well-being, including leveraging strengths, seeking meaning and engagement, expressing gratitude, practicing kindness, experiencing forgiveness and self-compassion, maintaining positive relationships, and continuous goal-setting.