Fwd: Positive Psychology Update

Positive Psychology is contributing directly to the quality of people’s lives. Here’s some great information that I just came across…
Author: News@AuthenticHappiness.org
Date: 16th November 2005 9:19:26 pm

November 2005

Severe Depression and ReflectiveHappiness.com
Jeffrey S. Levy, M.D.

Positive Psychology is founded on the belief that people want more than an end to suffering. People want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play. Dr. Martin Seligman has been creating a science and a profession that not only heals psychological damage but also builds strengths to enable people to achieve the best things in life. This e-mail reports important research findings in the field of Positive Psychology.

Over the last 10 months, www.reflectivehappiness.com has been working with Dr. Seligman to deliver scientifically tested Positive Psychology exercises in an interactive online format. We found that after taking the first online Positive Psychology exercise, 94% of severely depressed members had a decrease in depression (on average greater than a 50% reduction) and 92% increased their happiness. These large changes in depression and happiness occurred, moreover, in an average of just 14.8 days. These results are comparable to the beneficial effects ofantidepressant medications and cognitive therapy.

Click here, http://www.reflectivehappiness.com/, to find out more about ReflectiveHappiness.com

Click here, http://www.reflectivehappiness.com/HappinessCenter/Newsletters/2005-05.htm,
to read Dr. Seligman’s full description of the study mentioned above.

New Research Projects:

Over the next year, Dr. Seligman’s Positive Psychology Center will be undertaking several studies to ask if:

  • The positive psychology exercises, singly or in a package, delivered on the web, break up well-diagnosed major depression compared to appropriate controls
  • The positive psychology exercises, combined with medication or therapy, amplify the anti-depressant effects of these well-established treatments

If this turns out to be so, the effectiveness of treatments for severe depression may be enhanced and the public health benefits in terms of cost and accessibility to treatment could be very substantial.


Since major depression is a serious problem with potentially lethal complications, it is essential to under-interpret this preliminary data until all the methodological flaws are corrected. Do NOT even think about stopping drugs or psychotherapy based on these early findings.

To subscribe, visit http://www.authentichappiness.org and click on the orange “register” link in the dark blue bar.