Introduction: Musings on a Regional Positive Psychology

  • Louise LambertEmail author
  • Nausheen Pasha-Zaidi


In 2015, we launched the first issue of the Middle East Journal of Positive Psychology with the intent of developing an indigenous positive psychology across the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. We felt it was imperative to do so, not only to counter the indiscriminate use of Western positive psychological models and interventions in the region, but equally, to encourage the growth of this new science of wellbeing by offering a platform for regional research to be showcased. As our work grew, it became clear that more was needed to help the field prosper; in particular, a focus on science was missing with many consultants speaking louder than academics and setting the dominant tone for the field by focusing on the “positive”, but overlooking the “psychology”. This book grew out of those concerns. In it, we offer a variety of chapters across the many growing domains of positive psychology, such as positive education, positive organizational development, positive clinical psychology and positive health. We also take a look at a number of growing themes in the field, such as the use of Big Data, the building of happy cities, and the use of happiness research to inform national policy to name a few. In this manner, we explore what makes life meaningful, worth living and what leads to conditions of social, national and individual flourishing.


  1. Bolier, L., Haverman, M., Westerhof, G. J., Riper, H., Smit, F., & Bohlmeijer, E. (2013). Positive psychology interventions: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies. BMC Public Health, 13, 119.Google Scholar
  2. Diener, E., & Diener, C. (2017, March 31). Governments testing wellbeing initiatives: A call for psychological scientists to get involved. APS Observer. Retrieved from
  3. Hone, L. C., Jarden, A., & Schofield, G. M. (2015). An evaluation of positive psychology intervention effectiveness trials using the re-aim framework: A practice-friendly review. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 10(4), 303–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Huffman, J. C., DuBois, C. M., Millstein, R. A., Celano, C. M., & Wexler, D. (2015). Positive psychological interventions for patients with type 2 diabetes: Rationale, theoretical model, and intervention development. Journal of Diabetes Research, 428349.Google Scholar
  5. Johnson, D. P., Penn, D. L., Fredrickson, B. L., Kring, A. M., Meyer, P. S., Catalino, L. I., & Brantley, M. (2011). A pilot study of loving-kindness meditation for the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 129, 137–140.Google Scholar
  6. Johnson, D. P., Penn, D. L., Fredrickson, B. L., Meyer, P. S., Kring, A. M., & Brantley, M. (2009). Loving-kindness meditation to enhance recovery from negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 65, 499–509.Google Scholar
  7. Lambert, L., Pasha-Zaidi, N., Passmore, H.-A., & York Al-Karam, C. (2015). Developing an indigenous positive psychology in the United Arab Emirates. Middle East Journal of Positive Psychology, 1(1), 1–23.Google Scholar
  8. Poppe, G. M. (2017, September 13). Positive psychological interventions in the treatment of schizophrenia: A systematic review of the effects of positive psychology on wellbeing and symptoms of people with schizophrenia. University of Twente, Netherlands. Retrieved from
  9. Seligman, M. E. P. (1972). Learned helplessness. Annual Review of Medicine, 23(1), 407–412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Seligman, M. E. P. (1975). Helplessness: On depression, development, and death. San Francisco, CA: W. H. Freeman.Google Scholar
  11. Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55(1), 5–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Seligman, M. E. P., Steen, T., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology progress: Empirical validation of interventions. American Psychologist, 60(5), 410–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Sin, N., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2009). Enhancing wellbeing and alleviating depressive symptoms with positive psychology interventions: A practice-friendly meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 65, 467–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Weiss, L. A., Westerhof, G. J., & Bohlmeijer, E. T. (2016). Can we increase psychological wellbeing? The effects of interventions on psychological wellbeing: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. PLoS ONE, 11(6), e0158092.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.United Arab Emirates UniversityAl AinUAE
  2. 2.Houston Community CollegeUniversity of Houston-DowntownHoustonUSA

Personalised recommendations