R.E.A.L. therapy is a novel approach that merges rational emotive and logotherapy techniques in a creative manner for families. This model teaches skills aimed at enhancing meaning and attachment in the family, building social literacy skills and personal insight through emotion recognition, and addressing negative thinking patterns through evidence testing. As traditional “talk therapy” may exclude young children from participating in family psychotherapy, the hands-on activities presented in this article may serve to engage the whole family in the therapy process.
Positive psychology focuses on positive emotions and personal strengths. It can complement rather than replace traditional psychotherapy. Studies evaluating outcomes of interventions using positive psychology have mostly been small and short term.
The Three Pillars: Positive Psychology has three central concerns: positiveexperiences, positive individual traits, and positive institutions.
Subjective well-being has three components: life satisfaction (LS), positive affect (PA), and negative affect (NA) (Andrews & Withey, 1976). Individuals are said to have high SWBif they experience LS and frequent PA (e.g., joy, optimism) and infrequent NA (e.g., sadness, anger).
When we make decisions, we’re not always in charge. We can be too impulsive or too deliberate for our own good; one moment we hotheadedly let our emotions get the better of us, and the next we’re paralyzed by uncertainty. Then we’ll pull a brilliant decision out of thin air—and wonder how we did it. Though we may have no idea how decision making happens, neuroscientists peering into our brains are beginning to get the picture. What they’re finding may not be what you want to hear, but it’s worth your while to listen.
Spots on Brains
Eye-popping color images of brain scans in the popular press imply that scientists are pinpointing the precise location in the brain of feelings like fear, disgust, pleasure, and trust. But the researchers doing this work are highly circumspect about just what these colorful spots show. The two most common scanning methods, PET (positron emission tomography) and fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), offer only approximations of what’s really going on in the brain. PET, the older and less popular of the two, measures blood flow in the brain; fMRI measures the amount of oxygen in the blood. Local blood flow and oxygenation indicate how active a part of the brain is but offer a crude snapshot at best. These scanners typically can’t see anything smaller than a peppercorn and can take only one picture every two seconds. But neural activity in the brain can occur in a fraction of the space and time that scanners can reveal. Thus, the splashy images we see are impressionistic, and the conclusions researchers draw about them are usually qualified—and often disputed. Like the images themselves, the details of brain function are just beginning to come into focus.
Each hemisphere has four sections, called lobes: frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital. Each lobe controls specific functions. For example, the frontal lobe controls personality, decision–making and reasoning, while the temporal lobe controls, memory, speech, and sense of smell.
The frontal lobes are important for voluntary movement, expressive language and for managing higher level executive functions. Executive functions refer to a collection of cognitive skills including the capacity to plan, organise, initiate, self-monitor and control one’s responses in order to achieve a goal.
The frontal lobe is the largest lobe of the brain. The frontal lobe plays a role in regulating emotions in interpersonal relationships and social situations. These include positive (happiness, gratitude, satisfaction) as well as negative (anger, jealousy, pain, sadness) emotions.
You have two frontal lobes: one in the right hemisphere of your brain and one in the left hemisphere of your brain. They’re located in the area of the brain that’s directly behind your forehead.
Your frontal lobes are vital for many important functions. These can include, but aren’t limited to, voluntary movement, speech, and problem-solving. Damage to the frontal lobes can affect one or more of the functions of this area of your brain.
An injury, stroke, infection, or neurodegenerative disease most often causes damage to the frontal lobes. Treatment depends on the cause of the damage and typically involves several types of rehabilitative therapy.