Dynamic Positive Psychology is a recent psychological intervention approach that combines research and clinical knowledge developed in the field of psychology with advanced approaches to new wave psychotherapy,

Dynamic Positive Coaching Psychology* is a recent psychological intervention approch combining research and clinical knowledge developped in the field of psychology with advanced approaches to new wave psychotherapy, positive psychology, neuroscience, happiness research and coaching techniques. The goal of dynamic positive coaching psychology is to adapt change-producing techniques to the needs of the person in the 21st century. DPCP creates healing transformation, in functioning people with no sever psychopathology, as well as enhancing their self-fulfillment and realization of their personal potential. To this end, we combine psychotherapy techniques with coaching practices for effective targeted short-term interventions.

This approach is consistent with the recent quiet revolution in psychotherapy. The medical model established by Freud gradually shifts to innovative approaches that combine knowledge from neuroscience with modern concepts of attachment, and to approaches emphasizing the emotional, experiential and interpersonal aspects of the individual as a way of creating transformation and change not only as a form of therapy but also to enhance cognitive and emotional growth. Some of these approaches are the groundbreaking studies of  Rick Hanson, AEDP by D. Fosha,  Neuropsychoanalysis, and the studies of Dan Siegel.

Psychotherapy in the 21st century can not rely solely on the hermeneutic-interpretative model that Freud has established that was a very powerful change agent at his time. Unveiling the secrets of the unconscious was a potent change promoter on the backdrop of the late Victorian Era, the 18th century Age of Enlightment, and the spirit of the positivist philosophy of the beginning of the 20th century. Today new interpretations do not lead as often to insightful breakthroughs as it was common in Freud era. Today in the postmodern era the contemporary person do not wish to discover the truth of his life but to create meaningful authentic and rewarding life. Psychotherapy today cannot ignore the formative force of evolution and the synergetic interaction between brain and body activities, and mental phenomena. We suggest that the brain, organism and self act as interconnected complex adaptive systems that enhance (or disrupt, in the cases of psychopathology) their mutual activity.

The human brain has been programmed by natural selection to function by 3 main command systems that   have correlates in the human self: First, the brain’s main aim, in humans as in other animals, is to enhance survival. The main expression of threat to survival for the self is fear and anxiety which are mainly mediated by the neurotransmitter and hormone adrenalin and cortisol. Other than survival, the brain is programmed to create rewards by the system of seeking. This system is expressed in the self by curiosity, interest, expectations and self fulfilment needs.  When the seeking demands of the self are deficient, the self may  experience frustration, rage or depression The main transmitters activating this system are dopamine and endorphin.  A third cerebral system functioning in the self is the system of care, bonding and attachment mediated by the transmitters prolactin, oxytocin and dopamine. This system is responsible to the inter-personal relationships such as love and attachments. When this system is deficient the self may experience loss, isolation, and separation distress. The brain is, of course, also an organ that creates and makes thinking possible for human beings and animals, and cognition enables learning from feelings, thoughts and experiences in order to improve survival, rewards and inter-personal connections.

We can see a parallel between the three aspects of natural activity of the brain that were created by natural selection and between the activities of thee self.

We divide the self into three parts: the high self which includes the high functions of consciousness of abstract thinking,   decision making, search for meaning and authenticity, self-fulfillment and self-actualization.

The high self is dependent on the social-cultural matrix in which the individual grows. Within this matrix the person interiorize his language, social norms and values and his way of thinking. So the high self is a part of a sort of “cultural high self”.

Another part of the self is the middle self which includes the automatic pilot which is the basis of human instincts and the sum of experiences and what the self has learnt throughout his life. Natural Selection created the automatic pilot in order to create patterns of actions which are quick and suited to life in nature. If we are in danger we have to react quickly in order to survive.

The middle self is the ground for the feeling of the ego and is highly correlated with the body’s sensations and feelings and with Kahnman’s concept of “thinking fast”.

The third part of the self is the deep self which includes all the functions of the brain when they exist in the most optimized form without internal or external threats or impediments: In survival mode it consists of security, assertiveness, peacefulness and effectiveness. When talking about reward we are including generosity, creativity, self- fulfillment, enthusiasm and joy. Inter-personal connections include caring about, empathy, involvement, belonging, compassion, participation, cooperation and love.

The deep self is related to the human heritage transmitted through the evolutionary history of the human species.

The final goal of transformation should then be construed as enhancing the deep self parameters in its optimal state and assimilating them into the middle self to form spontaneous activity and to the high self to interact it with the individual’s worldview and value system.

For reaching this goal we have to overcome the barriers, obstructive behavior and disturbing emotional patterns and learnings that block the growth and development of the individual.

  • This is a partial version of an article that is to be published here in full soon after its publication shortly in a scientific journal.

©  Arnon Levy 2019