Positive Psychology

In addition to the myriad social/emotional and therapeutic resources available to our student body and greater community, Xavier high school students eagerly await the opportunity to learn and practice Positive Psychology. Often ahead of the curve, our students’ active participation in this course is one more example...over the last several years, Positive Psychology has become the most popular elective at leading universities like Yale, Harvard, NYU, UPenn and more!

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Thanks to Xavier’s Director of College Counseling, Sarah, students gain tangible skills to achieve happiness and thrive in their daily lives. The scientific study of well-being and human flourishing, Positive Psychology is an elective course that flips the script on traditional psychological rhetoric and assumptions. Instead of focusing on mental illness and a person’s deficits, positive psychology prioritizes helping individuals and communities thrive.

Positive Psychology is perfectly aligned with Xavier’s holistic approach, as it is strengths-based and provides students (and faculty) with tools and interventions backed by research to help boost well-being. Sarah’s Positive Psychology elective offers a deep dive into character strengths, resilience, post traumatic growth, gratitude, positive emotions, meaning, relationships, accomplishments and more. Throughout this course, students learn about the pivotal research behind Positive Psychology and engage in meaningful writing assignments and interactive discussions.

This elective has been so beneficial for our students that Xavier faculty wanted to take advantage of its teachings, as well. As such, Sarah facilitated a Positive Psychology professional development training program for our faculty in collaboration with students from University of Pennsylvania’s Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP), which just so happens to be where she earned her Master’s degree. With our faculty receiving this training, we now weave Positive Psychology principles into our larger curriculum, advisory programming and across our holistic educational approach.

Learn more about Positive Psychology 

Martin Seligman talks about psychology -- as a field of study and as it works one-on-one with each patient and each practitioner. As it moves beyond a focus on disease, what can modern psychology help us to become?