Conversation Hour Presentation 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

Utilizing Positive Psychology Interventions within a Forensically Committed Seriously Mentally Ill Population  (#112)

Willow Saloum 1
  1. Department of State Hosptials - Atascadero, Atascdero, CA, United States

In this clinical application, Positive Psychology interventions and assessment of signature strengths were used to assist clients in becoming aware of and enhance their personal strengths and values identification. The population is forensically committed severely mentally ill inpatients.  The utilization of positive psychology theory and interventions allowed our clients to increase their resilience when they face problems both in the immediate and longer term. In a forensic setting reducing risk factors for violence is the primary focus of treatment, using positive psychology emphases enhancing personal strengths in order to replace abusive behaviors with behaviors that are life enhancing. We realized that to foster resiliency, pro-social behaviors, and risk reduction in patients, the patients needed a space to believe that they were able and capable of making healthy, daily intentions about their behaviors and life choices. We encouraged them to increase their awareness of self in relation to the world around them and encourage novel strength-based behaviors. We utilized group treatment, strength assessment and identification, milieu interactions, treatment planning, treatment team meetings and individual therapy sessions. The goal of inclusion of Positive Psychotherapy interventions within forensic treatment was to reduce risks and increase the availability of pro-social actions and behaviors.