The accidental psychologist

Course: MSc Applied Positive Psychology

12 July 2017

I came across positive psychology by accident, the result of a Google search for what psychology had to say about stuff like integrity, honesty, happiness, and character. And that led me to the Masters course at ARU.

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In common with many other folk, most of my life revolves around three things: my family, loved ones, and friends; my work; and my hobbies and leisure pursuits. And like a lot of folk at my stage in life, I still had unanswered questions about life’s constant changes and challenges. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy didn’t give me the answers.

I wanted to know more about what gives life meaning and purpose, what happiness is, why some people handle some challenges better than others, what I would call the relationship stuff. I also wanted to improve my performance in my business of management consultancy and executive mentoring, the work stuff. But most of all, I wanted to explore the role of character in sporting activity, especially soccer, the leisure stuff.

Having been directed by my Google search towards positive psychology, I was astonished to find myself immediately and powerfully drawn to its fundamentally different take on all the issues already mentioned. I wanted to know more, and that's when I came across the IMAPP [MSc Applied Positive Psychology] opportunity at Anglia Ruskin University. Participating in the IMAPP process has been one of the best things I’ve ever done.

The IMAPP at ARU has ticked all my personal, professional, and leisure boxes. It has enabled me to think and act differently, it has been great fun doing so; it has widened my circle of friends across the globe, and perhaps most welcome of all, it has given me loads of stuff to look forward to in my relationships, work life, and leisure time. The course is taught by top-quality professionals who bring a passion and drive to everything they do. What’s not to like?

Barry Docherty