Faith from a Positive Psychology Perspective (Paperback)

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Prior to World War II, psychology had three main missions: make the lives of all people fulfilling; identify and enhance human excellence; and treat pathology. In the last half-century, however, psychology has largely focused on decreasing maladaptive emotions and behaviors, while ignoring optimal functioning (e.g., character strengths and virtues). Psychologists have traditionally focused on the treatment of mental illness from a perspective of repairing damaged habits, damaged drives, damaged childhoods, and damaged brains. In recent years, however, many psychological researchers and practitioners have attempted to re-focus the field away from the study of human weakness and damage toward the promotion of well-being among individuals, families, and communities. This new movement within the field of psychology has been labelled Positive Psychology and its goal is to identify and enhance the human strengths and virtues that make life worth living ("The good life") and allow individuals and communities to thrive (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). Positive psychology is the scientific study of optimal experience. Several disciplines and sub disciplines that focus exclusively on issues associated with the field of positive psychology have emerged (APA's division of Psychological Study of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, APA's division of Psychology and Religion). In addition, several different professional journals and handbooks on positive psychology and healthy adjustment attest to the emergence of positive psychology as a recognized field. The number of positive psychology courses taught at both the graduate and undergraduate level nationally has increased dramatically in the past five years. One domain within the field of positive psychology is the study of religious faith as a human strength that has the potential to enhance the individuals' optimal existence and well-being. This book will highlight religious faith from a positive psychology perspective, examining the relationship between religious faith and well-being, including emotional and mental health. The authors review how religion and spirituality relate to optimal psychological functioning. The book will be written from a perspective of religious diversity incorporating international and cross-cultural references. It will specifically incorporate the empirical literature on the role of faith and cognition, faith and emotion, and faith and behavior. It focuses on how these topics relate to individuals' mental health, well-being, strength, and resilience, and incorporates information on how these faith concepts are relevant to relational functioning in the context of family interactions (e.g., marriage/parenting) and friendships. Finally, it takes a community perspective to examine research on the role of faith constructs for wellbeing among religious and other groups.

About the Author

Cindy Miller Perrin earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Washington State University in 1991 and is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Pepperdine University. She joined the faculty at Seaver College in 1992 and enjoys teaching Child Clinical Psychology, Positive Psychology, Advanced Research Seminar (Psychology Honors Program), and Introductory Psychology. She also enjoys researching with undergraduates and is the recipient of the 2008 Howard A. White Award for Teaching Excellence. She is a licensed clinical psychologist who has worked with maltreated, developmentally delayed, and other troubled children and their families. Dr. Miller-Perrin has authored numerous journal articles and book chapters covering a range of topics, including child maltreatment, family violence, vocation and life purpose, and faith development in college students. She has co-authored three books, including Family Violence Across the Lifespan (with O. Barnett & R. Perrin, Sage 1997, 2005, 2011), Child Maltreatment (with R. Perrin, Sage 1999, 2007, 2013), and Child Sexual Abuse: Sharing the Responsibility (with S. Wurtele, University of Nebraska Press, 1992). She recently was awarded APA Fellow status in the American Psychological Association (APA) and has served as the President of the Section on Child Maltreatment and is currently President-Elect for Division 37 Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice of APA. Elizabeth J. Krumrei Mancuso earned an M.A. in Religion and Counseling from Pepperdine University in 2004 and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Bowling Green State University in 2009. She joined the faculty at Pepperdine University's Seaver College in 2009, where she is now Associate Professor of Psychology and teaches courses in psychotherapy, family therapy, basic and advanced research methodology, and psychology of religion. She has published journal articles on topics such as religious coping, spiritual struggles, gratitude, forgiveness, divorce, and college student mental health. She has also authored book chapters on spirituality in psychotherapy, religious coping, and spiritual struggles. Dr. Krumrei Mancuso has received grants and fellowships for research on the topics of religious coping, spiritual struggles, spiritual movement meditation, community-based research, prostitution, and intellectual humility. She has also received grants for supervising undergraduate research and for teaching courses in the areas of Judaism and service learning. She has enjoyed mentoring students and conducting clinical work. She has provided psychotherapy at a children's resource center, a community mental health center, and college counseling centers.

Product Details
ISBN: 9789401778411
ISBN-10: 9401778418
Publisher: Springer
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2016
Pages: 255
Language: English