An intervention is as action designed to bring about change in people. This could be to change behaviour, thoughts, or emotions. For example, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an intervention designed to change how people think.
You are going to write a proposal for a new intervention based on positive psychology. Your intervention should tackle an issue within the applied area you created a presentation about in the first part of the assignment. It must use an approach which is an alternative to the deficit approach.
As an example, deficit approach in clinical psychology focusses on what is “wrong” with people who suffer from, let’s say, severe depression. The traditional interventions may focus on correcting the deficits (e.g., cognitive therapy for changing thought patters, or psychotropic medication for dampening sadness). A Positive Psychology Intervention (PPI) could take an approach of identifying the strengths and virtues of the individual and use these in helping them to cope with their distress. Another example could be a deficit approach in education. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds have generally poorer school performance (e.g., in mathematics) than children from advantaged backgrounds. A deficit approach could focus in designing mathematics-based interventions that try to tackle the learning deficits. A PPI could take a more holistic approach, using models from positive psychology in increasing the wellbeing of the children, which could result in increased willingness and ability to learn.
You should NOT just replicate a PPI from existing research – you should propose a new intervention. The proposal should be 1500- words (+/- 10%).
You should base the intervention proposal on the applied topic you chose for the presentation.
You should consider the following points:
Why did you choose this area?
You should briefly introduce the applied area. Discuss what the problem in the area is, and what the traditional approaches to interventions have failed to do. Talk about what PPI could bring in terms of improved outcomes.
This statement should be written as one paragraph to introduce the topic. Remember to back the statement up with relevant literature too!
Example: Just as one example, our understanding of severe mental health conditions such as schizophrenia has traditionally focussed on correcting the “deficits” and eliminating the symptoms. However, medical and therapeutic interventions have been only partially effective especially with regards to personal (rather than clinical or functional) recovery. Positive psychology could bring something new in this field, especially in instilling hope for the future.
Target Audience and Intended Outcome
Who are the target audience of your intervention? Try to have some context in here, discussing who the targets of the intervention are? For example, adult service users in an early psychosis intervention program; male prisoners in a sexual offender unit in the UK; children in a refugee camp in Uganda; elderly people in a care home in Wolverhampton; employees in a large, multinational software company…The options are endless. Just make sure that the audience is a match with the topic of your presentation.
What is the intended outcome of the intervention? Here, make it clear what the intended outcome(s) of the intervention is. You can have several outcomes. Some examples (depending on the context) could be improved quality of life; happiness; reduced mental distress; better educational achievement; hope in the future. Have a look at existing PPIs to see what outcomes are typical in your chosen field.
Intervention Method, Implementation, and Evaluation:
What method is the intervention using? Have a careful think about what would be appropriate for your chosen context and intended outcomes.
Have a think about whether you intend it as a group or individual-based intervention? On-line or in-person? How many sessions, over how many weeks? For example, you could plan individual, face-to-face strengths-based positive psychotherapy sessions for individuals with first episode of psychosis; individual, on-line positive writing interventions for employees to reduce counter-productive work behaviours; a group-based face-to-face singing interventions for elderly people to increase cognitive functioning and decrease depression. The options for the approaches are almost infinite.
Indicate also briefly how you will measure the success of the intervention. How are you going to assess whether the intended outcomes were met?
Why this approach? In many PPI’s, the theories/models behind the interventions are non-existent, or lack clarity. You should try to improve the existing field of interventions by critically thinking of this problem. Include here a short (literature-based) justification for your PPI. Discuss what theories or models your intervention is based on.
Grading rubric: Please note that the marking criteria is indicative only and that different aspects of the work may carry more or less weight in determining the final grade.
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