How can positive psychology approaches help us to understand the process of adjustment to, and living well with dementia?
As accounts of positive experiences in dementia are increasingly emerging, this book reviews current evidence and explores how psychological constructs such as hope, humour, creativity, spirituality, wisdom, resilience and personal growth may be linked with wellbeing and quality of life in dementia. Expert contributors from a range of academic and clinical backgrounds examine the application of positive psychological concepts to dementia and dementia care practice. The lived experiences of people with dementia are central to the book, and their voices bring life to the ideas explored, highlighting how positive experiences in dementia and dementia care are possible.
In this brilliant benchmark work, the insights of Positive Psychology are finally examined in the lives of those who experience dementia. Positive Psychology focuses on a set of character strengths that contribute to human flourishing, but it has never been applied to deeply forgetful people. Herein we find chapters that for the first time carefully examine the experience of dementia with regard to well-being, hope, humor, creativity, resilience, spirituality and wisdom. No, this is above all NOT in the least bit pollyannaish. People with dementia really do draw on these strengths as they navigate their predicament, and they do so surprisingly deep into their illness. Building on the tradition of Tom Kitwood, Steven Sabat, and myself, this book shows us with unmistakable clarity and good science that there is a deeper and more hopeful way of looking at the person underneath dementia that we often miss. This book is a work of genius. All who care about the dignity of deeply forgetful people should read with excitement! I can assure the reader that this is a bold, necessary and compelling new pathway for future research and for sensitive caring. Bravo on a well-researched field-creating book!
Whilst not underestimating the challenges dementia throws at the individual, this book highlights the crucial benefits of positive approaches in helping us to face those very challenges, as opposed to the medical view which is often very negative.
Dr Chris Clarke is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Research Tutor at the University of Hull, UK.
Dr Emma Wolverson is a Clinical Psychologist and Academic Tutor at the University of Hull, UK.
FOREWORD / Christine Bryden, author of Dancing with Dementia
INTRODUCTION / Dr Chris Clarke, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Lecturer and Researcher, University of Hull, UK and Dr Emma Wolverson, Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Lecturer and Researcher, University of Hull, UK
CHAPTER I · AGEING, HEALTH AND POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY / Elspeth Stirling, Clinical Psychologist, UK
CHAPTER 2 · A POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY APPROACH TO DEMENTIA / Dr Chris Clarke, Dr Emma Wolverson and Professor Esme Moniz-Cook, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Consultant Clinical Psychologist, University of Hull, UK
CHAPTER 3 · WELL-BEING IN DEMENTIA / Dr Alison Phinney, Associate Professor, University of British Columbia. Canada
CHAPTER 4 · HOPE AND DEMENTIA / Dr Emma Wolverson and Dr Chris Clarke
CHAPTER 5 · HUMOUR AND DEMENTIA / Dr Chris Clarke and Dr Helen Irwin, University of Hull, UK
CHAPTER 6 . RESILIENCE AND LIVING WELL WITH DEMENTIA / Phyllis Braudy Harris, PhD. Director of Aging Studies, John Carroll University, Ohio, USA
CHAPTER 7 · GROWTH / Dr Kirsty Patterson, Clinical Psychologist, Hull Memory Clinic, Hull, UK and Dr Emma Wolverson
CHAPTER 8 · CREATIVITY AND DEMENTIA / John Killick, poet and Writer in Residence, Alzheimer's Scotland, UK
CHAPTER 9 · SPIRITUALITY AND WISDOM / Revd Andrew Norris, Head of Pastoral Care, St Monica Trust, Bristol, UK and Professor Bob Woods, Director, Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC), Bangor University, UK
CHAPTER 10 . POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY AND RELATIONAL DEMENTIA CARE / Dr Tony Ryan, Senior Lecturer, University of Sheffield School of Nursing and Midwifery, UK and Professor Mike Nolan, Professor of Gerontological Nursing, University of Sheffield, UK
CHAPTER 11 · POSITIVE EXPERIENCES IN DEMENTIA CAREGIVING / Dr Catherine Quinn, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Research in Ageing and Cognitive Health, University of Exeter, UK
CHAPTER 12 · OVERVIEW AND WAYS FORWARD FOR A POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY APPROACH TO DEMENTIA / Dr Chris Clarke, Dr Emma Wolverson, with Charlotte Stoner and Aimee Spector
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