Saturday, 9 November 2013

Positive Psychology the Whyalla Way - Albert Ellis and Psychology in Schools


A group of schools in Whyalla, South Australia has been promoting student personal and academic capability development through Rational Emotive Behaviour Education (REBE) for over two years now. The Albert Ellis Centre Face Book page (https://www.facebook.com/TheAlbertEllisProfessionalLearningCentre?ref=hl) has documented the excellent work done by teachers at Stuart High School, Whyalla Stuart Campus R-7, Hincks Avenue Primary and Long Street Primary schools. Based on the work of Albert Ellis' (father of cognitive therapies) Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy professional and personal development programs have been provided through 'The Centre' for more than two years now. That equates to 400 plus educators, carers, counsellors and other allied professionals having been informed and skilled in the delivery of Ellis' ABC Theory of Emotional (and Behavioural) Disturbance in a variety of contexts - education and therapeutic interventions. This endeavor has been supported by enthusiastic school leaders who put a premium on student personal competency building as part of every day learning. Whilst we all in Whyalla congratulate the South Australian governments initiative to support the work of Dr. Martin Seligman I want to again through this blog acknowledge the work and endeavours of educators from preschool to year 10 who have been promoting our version of 'Positive Psychology' with very positive outcomes to date in Whyalla in very challenging contexts. The article here http://ow.ly/qDRaK recommends the establishment of a 'Well Being Institute' to execute an international agenda. Two and a half years ago we opened the Albert Ellis Professional Learning Centre at Stuart High School - DONE! We have continued to provide quality programs under the auspices of the REBT Network, USA (www.rebtnetwork.org). The article also recommends that 'a workforce capable of teaching wellbeing' be developed. Good idea and Whyalla and Eyre and Western Region have about 300 educators, counsellors and para professionals trained (via The Albert Ellis Professional Learning Centre) in the application of cognitive therapy based principles in educational and counselling contexts. This too is done and continues to be done through a comprehensive professional learning program.

Whilst it is commendable that the South Australian government supports the great work of Dr. Martin Seligman for whom I have a great deal of respect I would hope that initiatives such as ours in regional South Australia would also attract some support and recognition. Positive psychology development in schools is a positive thing and educators in Whyalla, South Australia are doing their bit through Rational Emotive Behaviour Education to promote positive mental health in schools and beyond.

Whyalla Marina, South Australia

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