Positive Psychology

Intentional practice is an approach and method to strengthen the best-practice design and delivery of positive psychology interventions (PPI’s), across both complex (e.g., whole-of-school) and simple contexts (e.g., designing a individual PPI).

Intentional practice is a mindfulness-based ‘approach’ and set of ‘methods‘ to design and implement safe and high impact ‘wellbeing solutions‘ from the ‘system’ to the ‘moment’.

Within positive psychology, wellbeing solutions are often referred to as “positive psychology interventions” or PPI’s.

Positive Education and Whole-of-School Approaches to Wellbeing and Learning (“System” Level)

Intentional practice offers an approach and set of methods to operationalise and implement whole-of-school approaches to wellbeing and learning.

Intentional practice asks Principals, wellbeing leaders and teachers critical questions in terms of the design and implementation of whole-of-school wellbeing initiatives. This includes:

  • What are the active ingredients or core components of our wellbeing service delivery. Have we named and identified them? Can all of our staff articulate the intent or purpose of each component, and how do individual components relate and interface with each other?
  • Are our social-emotional learning programs integrated within a cohesive wellbeing approach?
  • Are we delivering our social-emotional learning programs with a clear intent or purpose behind them?
  • Do we have robust methods to deliver wellbeing and social-emotional learning content through both explicit (e.g., curriculum) and implicit (e.g., reflective conversations) processes.
  • Do we have a cohesive philosophy or intent that underpins our school’s entire approach to wellbeing.
  • Are we bringing enough awareness and energy to ‘growth’ as an intent or philosophy within our site? Or are we overly preoccupied with ‘managing’ student behavior or risk?
  • Do we have a method for educators to bring awareness to moment-to-moment support and teaching, where they can personalise their responses to a student’s unique wellbeing and growth needs in the moment of support.

Further information on intentional practice and education, click here.

Case Example:

A case example is shown in the following video. This represents a ‘grass-roots’ or ‘contextualised’ whole-of-school approach to wellbeing and learning, across a multi-site alternative education program.

Complex Multi-Component Positive Psychology PPI’s (“System” Level)

Intentional practice offers an approach and set of methods to operationalise and implement complex programs. These are programs or wellbeing solutions that include multiple components (e.g., two or more PPI’s), are delivered across multiple levels (e.g., individual, workgroup or classroom, organisational) or implementation sites, and target cohorts with heterogeneous or complex needs (e.g., trauma). Process steps for the design and implementation of complex PPI’s can be found here.

A detailed case example of a PPI can be found here.

Social-Emotional Learning and Wellbeing Programs

Intentional practice offers an approach and set of methods to design and implement social-emotional learning and wellbeing programs (or wellbeing solutions).

A populated case example of a social-emotional learning program, tailored to a small group of students can be found here:

Further information on the design and implementation of positive psychology can be found here, including a logic modelling tool.

Coaching, Counselling and Intentional Support (“Moment” Level)

Intentional practice offers an approach and set of methods to formulate coaching and counselling interventions, as well as operationalise ‘intentional teaching’, ‘intentional caregiving’ and ‘intentional support’.

Coaching, Counselling and Positive Clinical Psychology

The following article details the design and implementation of PPI’s within positive psychology based counselling, coaching and clinical settings. It provides a populated case example and template which can be applied.

Intentional Moment-To-Moment Support and Teaching

Intentional practice asks coaches, counsellors, educators and supporting adults to:

  • Bring mindful awareness to everything they do, including the needs and contexts (e.g., trauma, developmental) of the people they are supporting, the intent of their support, and how they are actioning this through their communication and strategies.
  • ‘Respond to a client’s needs’, rather than react to a client’s surface behaviours.
  • Develop a shared ‘growth intent’ with their colleagues, and families, to support and grow others in a side-by-side manner.
  • To bring a ‘growth intent’ to each and every interaction with a client, and ensure this is visible in their minds and actions (even in crisis or when behavioural management or disciplinary processes are required).
  • To intentionally deliver social-emotional learning, wellbeing and resilience content, drawing upon both implicit (e.g., reflective or restorative conversations, intentional coaching conversation) and explicit teaching (e.g., curriculum).
  • Develop personalised plans ‘for’ and ‘with’ the people they are supporting, and in a manner that can be operationalised or actioned in moment-to-moment support.
  • Apply intentional teaching and support processes.