Positive Psychology

The moment I first heard the term ‘positive psychology’ my interest was aroused even though I didn’t know much about it. Not to be confused with ‘positive thinking’, positive psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on the scientific theory and research of ‘what makes a life worth living’. This is in contrast to the more traditional approach of psychology that has tended to concentrate more on the problems and conditions of people suffering in some way. Positive psychology then, can be regarded as a way of balancing things out. If we understand what makes people feel sad and depressed, isn’t it reasonable to also understand what makes them feel happy, and (in positive psychology terms) helps people flourish?

Positive Psychology at University

Positive psychology has had a profound and positive experience in my life since the moment I picked up my first book on the subject, (Positivity – Barbara Fredrickson). I was so inspired and later I enrolled on the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology course (MAPP) at Bucks New University, eager to learn all I could. After graduating with the MSc qualification I became an Associate Lecturer on the MAPP course at Bucks and along with my colleague Dan Collinson, we formed a company Positive Psychology Learning (positivepsychologylearning.com). We run a number of university accredited positive psychology courses as well as working as Positive Psychology consultants and coaches.

From One Extreme to the Other

I have a solid background of the clinical application of hypnosis to help people overcome stress, anxiety and unwanted habits and behaviours, but what gives me the greatest pleasure is being able to help my clients, not just overcome their problems, but continue to flourish and optimise their subjective wellbeing. It was said as a bit of a joke, “Lesley spent 4 years at university exploring the range of emotions from utter despair to total euphoria” but in fact it is true. Most therapy ends when clients overcome their problems but through the application of positive psychology, the work can continue until clients they are flourishing and well above ‘the norm’. Happiness is not simply the absence of unhappiness, just as wellness is not simply the absence of illness.

Positive Psychology Coaching

I deliver positive psychology coaching sessions for individuals and for groups, either in face-to-face sessions or via telephone conferencing. Positive psychology coaching can provide practical support and assistance for a range of different needs. Here are some typical examples that may apply to you.

  • You are motivated to make positive change but have difficulty finding the right approach
  • You need to develop certain character traits to help you persevere when situations become challenging
  • You’d like to improve your relationships with others and enhance your feelings of confidence, sense of purpose and general happiness.
  • You feel there is ‘something missing’ and want to learn more about the science based interventions that are shown to enhance positive emotions, social connection, health and wellbeing.
  • You simply want to know more about positive psychology and learn how you can apply the ‘science of happiness’ into your daily life.  


New Forest Consultations (50 – 60 minutes) Positive Psychology coaching £80 per session

Telephone Consultations   (Enquiry and initial consultation – free) Positive Psychology coaching – £70 per session (45-60 minute

For details of Positive Psychology courses please visit positivepsychologylearning.com

Note: I am not currently practicing in Harley Street


Positive Psychology and Mindfulness Practice (Online Courses)

I am a great advocate of mindfulness practice, particularly when combined with Positive Psychology. I do not teach this myself but I am happy to recommend the work of Dr Itai Itzvan who runs an online course. DETAILS