Research and practice in positive psychology have developed numerous interventions, programs, curricula, and approaches to help young people feel good and function well in healthcare and educational settings. But what happens when adolescents do not feel well? Long-term physical and mental illness and struggles to connect with peers create very real barriers that many young people face.
Strength-based approaches don’t try to “fix” people, but rather draw out the good already within and around each person. But what does this look like in practice, for those that struggle?
This Roundtable explores strength-based interventions for promoting thriving despite physical, mental, social challenges. Soaringwords’ SOARING into Strength program incorporates various interventions with adolescents with chronic, or serious illness; studies suggest that interventions impact how patients, parents, and healthcare workers function and feel. The Strengths Based Parenting Program (Waters, 2015) resulted in significant increases in strength-based parenting, self-compassion, resilience, and wellbeing for parents of hospitalized children. A research review on school belonging points to actionable ways educators, parents, school leaders can help create a sense of connection, despite challenges. VIA Character Strengths inventory/classification advances the latest science and practical applications on character strengths, the foundation of many of the most successful positive interventions.