I had a great start back to the University of Victoria yesterday after a lengthy sabbatical.
I am teaching a graduate class in developmental psychopathology. The course centres around childhood disorders. I have taught courses like this now for nearly 20 years.
One of the challenges I always experience as I prepare to teach these kinds of courses is how can I make the course more than a hyperfocused encounter of all that can go wrong as children grow up. Even when a child experiences a mental, developmental or physical disability, that child is WAY more than simply a sum total of their weaknesses. If all we try to do is remediate the challenges, we miss out on important opportunities to build strength and resilience.
To create the lens through which I want to examine childhood disabilities--to truly enable these amazing graduate students to go out into the world and bring magic and inspiration into the lives of children and families who are struggling in significant ways--I turned to Martin Seligman. Many of you might remember Dr. Seligman from his early work in "learned helplessness." He now has focused his incredible intellect on the pursuit of true happiness.