Individuals around Carmel Valley and elsewhere come into psychotherapy to enhance their lives, as well as to relieve suffering. The predominant medical model has been to cure pathology. Martin Seligman, Ph.D. has led a new trend for psychology to focus on positive emotions and mental health.

The typical person coming into the office is leading a generally successful life, while having some areas of concern. The medical model would see a depressed person functioning at, say, a level of negative 3. Psychotherapeutic techniques (and sometimes medication) may take the individual back to a normal level (zero). A positive psychological model is not satisfied with that, but would assist the person in reaching a positive three level. A problem or crisis can often serve as the catalyst for a major life change.

Rather than simply looking at one’s deficits, Positive Psychology focuses on a person’s strengths. You can investigate your strengths, your emotional style and other factors contributing to your well-being at the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology website.

Some of this content is originally from, which encompasses all of San Diego.