The Positive Psychology Symposium
“The aim of positive psychology is to catalyze a change in psychology from a preoccupation only with repairing the worst things in life to also building the best qualities in life.”
Positive psychology represents the notion that psychology is not just a discipline dealing with mental illnesses but also with human strengths and endurance. In the last two decades this branch of psychology has witnessed a surge in popularity and it is presently a fast growing domain of research in India. The symposium titled, “From Stumbling Steps to Confident Leaps: Harnessing the Power of Positive Psychology"
organised by the Department of Psychology
, LSR and held on the 19th
of February 2016
, aimed at expanding knowledge of positive psychology principles and their applicability in everyday life. One of the objectives of the symposium was to highlight the significance of constructs such as Hope, Resilience, Gratitude and Forgiveness and their role in psychological well-being.
A variety of events took place over the course of two days. The first of these was a panel discussion titled “Aashayein: Role of hope in overcoming life threatening illnesses”, with Ms. Harmala Gupta, Founder of CanSupport, Dr. Sameer Malhotra, Psychiatrist and Dr. Prerna Kohli, Clinical Psychologist. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Parul Bansal and gave much insight into the significance of hope both for patients with serious illnesses and their caregivers. The next event was an interaction with Ms. Mausami Bhansali and Mr. Narender Gautam, Counselors at CanSupport wherein they spoke about their experiences of providing emotional support to persons suffering from cancer. Other events of the day included the National Paper Presentation Competition, an annual student based platform for current research in the discipline, a student panel discussion on “The Impact of Modernisation on Relationships” moderated by Dr. Kanika Ahuja and the short film making competition “Mind It!” The day came to an end with a scintillating performance by illusionist Mr. Karan Singh. He emphasized that for all their differences, humans across the world think in similar ways—an observation that helps him create his illusions.
The second day of the seminar was just as anticipated as the first. The day began with a panel discussion titled “Like a Phoenix: Resilience and growth.” We were joined by Dr. Priya Bir, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Aditi College, University of Delhi and Mr. Gautam Yadav , activist in the areas of LGBT rights and AIDS awareness. The session was moderated by Dr. Priti Dhawan. Each panellist candidly discussed personal instances of overcoming challenges in their life paths and finding their fortes in the process. This was followed by a workshop on “Relationship Building” (by Dr. Madhulika Bajpai, Associate Professor, Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences, University of Delhi) and the Positive Psychotherapy Case Study Competition. The competition emphasised the applications of positive psychology as a therapeutic approach. The afternoon saw the screening of Hindi film Dor which touched upon themes such as coping with grief, forgiveness and empathy. The discussion that ensued was facilitated by Ms. Amrita Pain and served to highlight how positive psychology connects with the experiences of the characters in the film.
The symposium concluded with “Noora”, a cultural performance by students of the Department. It was a beautiful ending to a stimulating series of events.