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Oct 2016 by PCI College

Flourishing with Eilish McGuinness

PCI College lecturer, Eilish McGuinness introduces the 'Flourishing' workshop she will deliver on November 12th, and the positive psychology resources that will be explored on the day.

In positive psychology, flourishing is living "within an optimal range of human functioning, one that connotes goodness, generativity, growth, and resilience” (Fredrickson, 2005).  Flourishing is the opposite of both pathology and languishing, which are described as living a life that feels hollow and empty.

Flourishing is a positive psychology concept which is a measure of overall life well-being and is viewed as important to the idea of happiness. Many components and concepts contribute to the overall concept of flourishing and the benefits of a life that can be characterized as flourishing.  It incorporates many other concepts in the positive psychology field such as cultivating strengths, subjective well-being and positive work spaces.

Positive emotions don’t just make us feel good; they transform our minds, our bodies, and our ability to bounce back from hard times.

After decades of research on positive emotions, positive psychologists have come to realize that understanding positive emotions can help us address our difficulties in life and overcome adversity; positive emotions transform us for the better—they bring out the best in us.

In her work, Barbara Frederickson, a prominent Positive Psychologist found that positive emotions change the way our minds and our bodies work; they change the very nature of who we are, down to our cells, transforming our outlook on life and our ability to confront challenges. Indeed, the science of positive emotions is key to helping people deal with adversity and live a meaningful life.

Far from being trivial, Barbara and her colleagues found that positive emotions broaden our awareness in ways that reshape who we are, and they build up our useful traits in ways that bring out the best in us, helping us become the best versions of ourselves.

This workshop will introduce you to Barbara’s research, and you will be introduced to what makes us happy; what enable us to love and work in a more successful and fulfilling way.  We learn that cultivating positivity can make us more creative, resilient, and connected to others. 


You will learn about the power of the negative and  come to understand the ratio of positivity to negativity and how to track you positivity ratio which is crucial to looking after our mental health and well being.

We will look at some practical ways to help us cope with the inevitable problems and obstacles we face, and to bounce back from adversity for example;

•    Re-calling past moments of flourishing (yes there have been some)
•    Questioning mental habits and avoiding defeating language
•    Conscious attention and turning positive facts into positive emotions
•    How to practice gratitude, and making use of positive affirmations
•    Counting acts of kindness, distraction, physical exercise.
•    How to stop sabotaging yourself.  

This workshop will draw on the work of Barbara Fredrickson and Maureen Gaffney.

Eilish McGuinness, MIACP

Facilitator, 'Flourishing' Personal Development Workshop


Eilish McGuinness, MIACP, BSc (Hons) Couns/Psych, Prof. Cert in CBT
Eilish is a PCI College Lecturer and holds a BSc (Hons) Degree in Counselling & Psychotherapy. She is an accredited member of the IACP. She also holds a certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and is a member of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Ireland, a group of therapists interested in providing professional and quality CBT. Eilish is currently practising at Life Support Counselling & Psychotherapy in Ashbourne, Blanchardstown and Dublin 7 and recently qualified in Advanced Schema Therapy, one of the first therapists in Ireland to do so.


Eilish will facilitate a one-day workshop on 'Flourishing' in PCI College Dublin City Centre on Saturday 12th November 2016. To book your place on this course please click HERE.



Fredrickson, B. L., & Losada, M. F. (2005). Positive affect and complex dynamics of human flourishing. American Psychologist, 60, 678-686.
Gaffney, M. (2011) Flourishing. Dublin: Penguin Group.

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