6 hacks to create a job you love

Mario  was everything you would expect an Italian to be: boisterous, warm, and passionate about soccer. He was also very articulate and colorful in his expressions. But you would not be able to tell all this by seeing him at work… Read more

Master of Applied Positive Psychology

Martin Seligman in class

Quick update — I gained admission at UPenn’s Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP), a very intensive program designed for professionals and taught by the founders of Positive Psychology themselves to a selected few. I have the privilege and the honor to have as teachers: Martin Seligman, Angela Duckworth, Barbara Fredrickson, Paul Bloom, Barry Schwartz, Jonathan Haidt, Paul Rozin, James Pawelski and others.

I am having a lot of fun but it is also a lot of work.

That means I will stop blogging for the next few months, all my intellectual energies not taken up by work are devoted to this program.

On the flip side, I am writing quite a few papers and essays, and I am starting a research project, so when I am done I will have lots of materials to share with you!

Solution-Focused Brief Coach Training at UC Davis

Solutionsurfers’ PURE Brief Coach Training Program – Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP) with the International Coach Federation (ICF)


Solutionsurfers is very proud to announce our partnership with the University of California system.

Our next training workshop will be delivered on October 12 & 19 (module 1),  at the UC Davis Extension in Sacramento, California.

Fee: US$ 675 includes lunch and parking fees.

14 CEUs credits with the ICF.

For more information and for registration, please click on the following >>>> LINK which will take you to the UC Davis page for the workshop.

The Interactional View of Emotions and Solution-Focus

Following up on a recent post in which I noted how Barbara Fredrickson put forward an interactional view of love, I read Lisa Feldman Barrett paper on the interactional view of emotions.

In her paper Psychological Construction: The Darwinian Approach to the Science of Emotion I found a stance that is very useful to Solution-Focused practitioners and which validates our perspective on change (“action is in the inter-action“).

Take the following: “Our hypothesis is that during every waking moment of life, mental states are constructed as interoceptive cues from the body and exteroceptive cues from the world are continually categorized and made meaningful with conceptual knowledge stored from past experience. […]. In our view, an instance of emotion is constructed when affective changes are categorized as related to the situation using an instance of an emotion concept BECAUSE those affective changes are in the focus of attention […].”.

Changing the focus of attention is key to constructing emotions, according to Barrett. Isn’t one of the main purposes of SF that of shifting clients’ perceptions from a problem-frame to a solution/opportunity-frame?

Also: “Emotions are said to be coordinated packets of physiology, experience and behavior, but every waking moment of life is just such a coordinated package; there is no package that is “essentially” anger, or sadness, or even emotion.” If emotions are not essences but categorizations of perceptions, then a conversation as a tool for change makes a lot of sense: it would not change an “essence” but it would surely change what we perceive and how.

SF is such an effective, elegant and powerful tool because it does not put any kind of label on clients and does not see them through the lens of a theory. On the contrary, SF practitioners stay on the surface and resist the temptation to categorize or to look for the “essence” of the problem. That is why I could not help but smile when I read this: “Progress in the science of emotion depends on whether we can resist the urge to essentialize.

Welcome to the interactional view, science of emotion!

Update on 6/30: The Boston Magazine has caught up with me, I mean with the importance of Lisa Barrett’s work :) for psychology. Here is a link to their feature article –> http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/article/2013/06/25/emotions-facial-expressions-not-related/print/