10066: The Positive Power of Negative Thinking

About the Course:

The author challenges the tyranny of optimism by claiming that negative thinking is often a far better way to deal with anxiety than striving to stay positive. How often are we urged to “look on the bright side”? From Norman Vincent Peale to the ubiquitous smiley face, optimism has become an essential part of American society. In this long-overdue book, psychologist Julie Norem offers convincing evidence that, for many people, positive thinking is an ineffective strategy—and often an obstacle—for successfully coping with the anxieties and pressures of modern life. Drawing on her own research and many vivid case histories, Norem provides evidence of the powerful benefits of “defensive pessimism,” which has helped millions to manage anxiety and perform their best work.

Author

Julie K. Norem, Ph.D.

About the Author:

Julie K. Norem, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Wellesley College. She has published numerous articles in psychology journals, most in the areas of personality and social behavior. Her approach, called Defensive Pessimism, has been cited in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Self Magazine, among others.

Course Objectives:

  1. to learn an alternative way to deal with obsessions and anxieties/worries

  2. to understand the concept of Defensive Pessimism and be able to apply it to work with clients

  3. to learn how to help a person use their outlook to their advantage

  4. to learn about research, including case studies, that supports the efficacy of Dr. Norem’s approach

Exam Questions

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