A little light reading before bed. Abstracts with citations as the rest lies scattered on my desk. To thine own self be true, right? Empaths need more than just experiential learning to improve on themselves.
Fredrickson, B.L. (1998). What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology, 2(3), 300-319.
This article opens by noting that positive emotions do not fit existing models of emotions. Consequently, a new model is advanced to describe the form and function of a subset of positive emotions, including joy, interest, contentment, and love. This new model posits that these positive emotions serve to broaden an individual’s momentary thought-action repertoire, which in turn has the effect of building that individual’s physical, intellectual, and social resources. Empirical evidence to support this broaden-and-build model of positive emotions is reviewed, and implications for emotional regulation and health promotion are discussed.
Bruininks, B. & Malle, B. (2005). Distinguishing hope from optimism and related affective states. Motivation and Emotion, 29(4), 327-355.
Three studies examined the conceptual and psychological differences between hope and related mental states. In Study 1, participants provided definitions of hope as well as optimism, want, desire, wish, and the non anticipatory state of joy; in Study 2, participants wrote about a time when they had experienced each of these states. These definitions and stories were coded for a number of psychological features that were then used to distinguish the different states. Study 3 mapped the differences among the six mental states into a multidimensional conceptual space. Overall, hope is most closely related to wishing but distinct from it.
Most important, hope is distinct from optimism by being an emotion, representing more important but less likely outcomes, and by affording less personal control. The importance of combining a folk-conceptual perspective with a more traditional analysis of appraisal for understanding differences among psychological constructs is discussed.
Flaskas, C. (2007). Holding hope and hopelessness: Therapeutic engagements with the balance of hope. Journal of Family Therapy, 29, 186-202.
Hope and hopelessness are coexisting and powerful experiences in the human condition. The dynamics of hope and hopelessness within intimate relationships are complex, and individual and family experiences of hope and hopelessness are embedded within historical contexts and wider social processes. This article rests on a relational set of understandings about hope and hopelessness, and offers a dual exploration. It focuses first on the complexities of the patterns of hope and hopelessness within families, and then on the complexities of the therapist’s relationship to hope and hopelessness and the family’s experience. Orienting to the balance of hope in constellations of hope and hopelessness provides one compass point of therapeutic practice. Reflective practice enables the use of the therapist’s involvement in the therapeutic relationship, and helps the therapist to witness the coexistence of hope and hopelessness in a way that nurtures hope and emotionally holds both hope and hopelessness.
Strauss, K., Griffin, M.A., & Parker, S.K. (2012). Future work selves: How salient hoped-for identities motivate proactive career behaviours. Journal of Applied Psychology, 97(3), 580-598.
The term future work self refers to an individual’s representation of himself or herself in the future that reflects his or her hopes and aspirations in relation to work. The clearer and more accessible this representation, the more salient the future work self. An initial study with 2 samples (N = 397; N = 103) showed that future work self salience was distinct from established career concepts and positively related to individuals’ proactive career behavior. A follow-up longitudinal analysis, Study 2 (N = 53), demonstrated that future work self salience had a lagged effect on proactive career behavior. In Study 3 (N = 233), we considered the role of elaboration, a further attribute of a future work self, and showed that elaboration motivated proactive career behavior only when future work self salience was also high. Together the studies suggest the power of future work selves as a motivational resource for proactive career behavior.
Swift J.K., & Derthick, A.O. (2013). Increasing hope by addressing clients’ outcome expectations, Psychotherapy, 50, 284-287.
Addressing clients’ outcome expectations is an important clinical process that can lead to a strong therapeutic alliance, more positive treatment outcomes, and decreased rates of premature termination from psychotherapy. Five interventions designed to foster appropriate outcome expectations are discussed, including presenting a convincing treatment rationale, increasing clients’ faith in their therapists, expressing faith in clients, providing outcome education, and comparing progress with expectations. Clinical examples and research support are provided for each.