Kaohsiung Medical University Positive Psychology Center
Affiliated with the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, KMU’s research-based Positive Psychology Center was founded in 2014.
Currently, a team of professors, graduate and undergraduate students work together in the different sections that make up the Center: Curriculum Design, Research Development, and Public Promotion.
Within the Center, professors and students alike set their goal as spreading Positive Psychology in hopes of helping themselves and others find happiness. This section of the Center focuses primarily in finding different methods to project both the practical and the theoretical knowledge of Positive Psychology to different groups of people. Learning from the winter and summer camps held for high school students and the Teaching and Learning Excellence Program at KMU, the team is constantly editing, refining and polishing the content as well as the teaching method to demonstrate to their peers how to find the joy in their lives.
Another main part of this committee is an annual twelve-week gratitude workshop, which received great evaluations from the participating nurses from at a KMU affiliated hospital. In additions to the more advanced one for the supervisors, an elementary version of this program was designed for the other nurses in the department. With a better mentality in approaching their work, the nurses are able to empathize more with the patients, represent the hospital as a quality hospital, and create better relationships overall, benefiting themselves, the patients, the hospital and KMU. This workshop is a part of the Happiness Series Workshops, which has a goal of training individuals to keep a positive lifestyle, strengthening not only their knowledge in Positive Psychology but also their happiness.
The Public Promotion section has established a Facebook page dedicated to the Center, as well as a blog with posts from the members on popular science topics regarding the subject. Both of these were created in hopes of allowing a wider audience to be able to attain more information about Positive Psychology. Also, the students and professors have worked to translate international media reports on Psychology into Chinese and colloquialize the scholarly essays so that the general public can easily understand the concepts associated with Positive Psychology.
The professors involved with the Center have all designed classes related to Positive Psychology, such as: “Introduction to Positive Psychology,” “Practicum in Positive Psychology,” “Special Topics in Positive Psychology,” “Research and Practicum in Positive Psychology,” “Character Strengths and Virtues,” etc. The undergraduate students involved have started workshops with the high school near by, while graduate students focused on the development and adaptations to the workshops with the nursing departments. As the Center continues to grow and take on more projects, a new program style was developed in training the students to become teaching assistants. Split into four levels: S, A, B, and C, the Seed Program allows for the students to be trained at different levels based on their understanding of the program. This allows for a better organization of how the students are trained as they can only progress to the next step after they have mastered the material at their current level. Between 2014-2016, the Center has trained 7 individuals into the A category, 8 in B, and 5 in C. Additionally, this method has been implemented into the curriculum itself, training the participants of the workshops as a group of seeds that will eventually return to their daily lives and share what they have learned with their peers and following up with these “seeds” with seminars to help them grow and hear back from their experiences. (In 2013, the Center hosted 15 of these seminars.) In the future, the Center hopes to train a group of graduate students into qualified Positive Psychologists.