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Positive Psychology in Practice: Promoting Human Flourishing in Work, Health, Education, and Everyday Life, 2nd Edition by Stephen Joseph

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Chapter 14Putting Positive Psychology Into Practice via Self-Help

ACACIA C. PARKS

Note. Author serves as scientific advisor for Happify.com but owns no part of the company.

The efficacy of psychological interventions for increasing happiness is well established, but many of these interventions are only beginning to be available to the general public. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a guide to readers interested in selecting a science-based self-help tool that targets happiness—be it for one's own personal use, for one's client, or for use in research. First, the chapter provides an overview of the rationale for disseminating positive psychological interventions (PPIs) via self-help. Second, the reader is provided with some caveats and recommendations to consider when evaluating and selecting self-help PPIs. Third, several examples of publicly available self-help PPIs are described, cutting across three modalities: books, the web, and smartphones. Lastly, future directions for research and practice using self-help PPIs are discussed.

Elsewhere in this volume, Layous, Sheldon, and Lyubomirsky (Chapter 11) provide an overview of research on intentional activities that promote happiness, known in recent literature as positive psychological interventions (PPIs; Parks & Schueller, 2014). Dozens of studies have contributed to the general conclusion that PPIs are, on the whole, efficacious—that is, they reliably increase happiness and decrease depressive symptoms (see Sin ...

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