Well-being is an important topic for many different professions. From health professionals to politicians, a number of fields seek to research, understand and promote wellbeing. As a concept at the heart of psychotherapeutic practice, it is essential that trainee and practising therapists understand the distinctive contribution to our understanding of well-being that each of these professions have made. In this unique text, author Digby Tantam explores the philosophical, political, economical, psychological, medical and spiritual perspectives on well-being through a psychotherapeutic lens, explaining current research data and summarising findings. Theoretical approaches are balanced with an insight into their practical applications, showing therapists how each approach can inform their practice and make a real difference to the life satisfaction and health of their clients.

The Psychologist’s Viewpoint: How Happy Are You?

The Psychologist’s Viewpoint: How Happy Are You?

‘I feel happy’

This famous song from the musical West Side Story combines Sondheim’s expressive lyrics about happiness and love with music that is infectiously happy. Bernstein’s music achieves this by mimicking behaviour we associate with happiness: a quick tempo (young people who are happy often work more quickly), an unusually emphatic beat towards the end of a phrase (an upbeat) that mirrors the emphasis that happy or very confident people put on each word in an utterance, and a lilting dance-like memory that caters for the wish to dance that is often associated with joy.

In our experience, and in that of other people to whom we have spoken, the feeling of ...

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