Related to: 'Learned Optimism'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

Nicholas Brealey Publishing

The Optimistic Child

Martin Seligman
Authors:
Martin Seligman

From the bestselling author of Authentic HappinessIn The Optimistic Child, Dr. Martin Seligman offers parents, teachers and coaches a well-validated program to prevent depression in children. Seligman shows adults how to teach children the skills of optimism that can help them combat sadness, achieve more on the playing field and at school and improve their physical health. Learning the skills of optimism not only reduces the risk of depression but boosts school performance and provides children with the self-reliance they need as they approach the teenage years and beyond. Filled with practical advice and written in clear, helpful language, this book is an invaluable resource for people who want to open up the world for children.

Nicholas Brealey Publishing

The Hope Circuit

Martin Seligman
Authors:
Martin Seligman
Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Authentic Happiness

Martin Seligman
Authors:
Martin Seligman
Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Flourish

Martin Seligman
Authors:
Martin Seligman

'Admirable and exciting' -Sunday Times'His most personal and boldest book so far' -Nature'This book will help you flourish.' With this promise, internationally esteemed psychologist Martin Seligman begins Flourish, the first book to present his dynamic new concept of what well-being really is. Traditionally, the goal of psychology has been to relieve human suffering, but the goal of the Positive Psychology movement, which Dr Seligman has led for 15 years, is different - it's about actually raising the bar for the human condition. Flourish builds on Dr Seligman's game-changing work on optimism, motivation and character to show how to get the most out of life.

Nicholas Brealey Publishing

What You Can Change. . . and What You Can't

Martin Seligman
Authors:
Martin Seligman

Andy Cope

Andy describes himself as an author, happiness expert, qualified teacher and learning junkie. He has spent 10 years researching 'positive psychology' culminating in a 'PhD in Happiness' from Loughborough University. He has developed a series of keynotes and courses centreing on themes of happiness and flourishing, which he delivers in businesses and schools across the world. Andy has written several best-selling personal development books, including The Art of Being Brilliant, and is also a best-selling children's author. His Spy Dog series has enjoyed huge global success.

Barbara Mariposa

Trained at the Royal Free Hospital, London, Dr Barbara has worked internationally, in general practice, psychiatry and public health. Whilst at medical school, she obtained a B.Sc in psychology and began a life-long enquiry into the interdependence of mind, emotion, and wellbeing. She is a thought leader in the field connecting health, emotional intelligence, mindfulness and the underlying science of it all.Bringing together her extensive knowledge, training skills and background in meditation, Dr Barbara created the powerful and pioneering Mind Mood Mastery programme, firmly rooted in scientific evidence.With a passion for helping people live healthy, fulfilling lives that fit who they are, Dr. Barbara, in addition to running the MMM programme, offers one-to-one sessions where clients can benefit from her thirty-plus years' experience in counselling, coaching, Five Elements acupuncture and personal development.

Dan Harris

Dan Harris is a correspondent for ABC News and the co-anchor for the weekend edition of Good Morning America. Before that, he was the anchor of the Sunday edition of World News. This is his first book.

David Perlmutter

Dr David Perlmutter is president of the Perlmutter Health Centre in Naples, Florida, and the co-founder and president of The Perlmutter Brain Foundation. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the American College of Nutrition and the Linus Pauling Award. A frequent lecturer, he writes a blog at VanguardNeurologist.com and is a contributor to The Huffington Post. His previous books include Grain Brain and The Grain Brain Cookbook.

Dermot O'connor

Dermot O'Connor is a leading practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine and is the resident expert on the Sunday Times-associated website www.whatreallyworks.co.uk. Dermot writes and lectures internationally on health recovery and is European Director of the International Institute of Medical Qigong. He appears regularly in the press and on TV.

Ian Stuart-Hamilton

Professor Ian Stuart-Hamilton is Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Glamorgan, Wales. He has over thirty years' research experience in a wide variety of psychological techniques and settings. The Psychology of Ageing is now translated into 16 languages, and was awarded a British Medical Association Book of the Year award in the Geriatric Medicine section in 2008.

Jen Sincero

Jen Sincero is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, success coach and motivational cattle prod who's helped countless people transform their personal and professional lives via her products, speaking engagements, newsletters, seminars and books. Her #1 New York Times bestseller, You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, has sold well over two million copies, is available in twenty-plus languages, and continues to grow in popularity around the globe. Her follow-up, You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth, also a New York Times bestseller, is written with the same inimitable sass, down-to-earth humor and blunt practicality that made You Are a Badass an indomitable bestseller and Jen a celebrated voice in the world of self development.

Jonathan Hoban

Jonathan Hoban is an Integrative Psychotherapist and Founding Director of central London practice Creative Counselling London Ltd. Born in Wimbledon in 1975, Jonathan spent his formative years walking with family and friends in the green spaces of Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park. Jonathan trained to be a counsellor after he received personal therapy and reaped the benefits from it. His gratitude arising from the process led him to want to help others in the same way mental health professionals had guided and helped him. He has since developed techniques, philosophies and methods to help clients reconnect with their sense of power, confidence and intuition.Jonathan developed the concept of what he and others refer to as 'Walking Therapy' as an alternative method of therapy, and then went on to launch his 'Walking Therapy London' practice in 2014. His work has been featured in print, digital, and broadcast media in outlets including the BBC London News, The Telegraph, The Independent, Readers' Digest, Stylist Magazine, Stella Magazine, You Magazine, The Daily Mail, Women's Health, BACP Therapy Today Magazine, and Contemporary Psychotherapy.

Joyce Meyer

Joyce Meyer is the bestselling author of more than 100 inspirational books, including The Power of Simple Prayer, Approval Addiction, Power Thoughts and Battlefield of the Mind. Joyce's 'Enjoying Everyday Life' radio and television programmes are broadcast around the world, and she travels extensively conducting conferences.

Laura Weir

Laura Weir is the Editor of London's lifestyle ES Magazine, which reaches 1.5 million readers every week. She is a daily columnist for the Evening Standard and formally of British Vogue and The Sunday Times. She is Co-Founder of We Are Moody and Member of the British Fashion Council Press Committee.

Mary Jane Grant

Mary Jane Grant is an experienced writer, a professor of creative thinking, a consultant in marketing, and a student of mindfulness. She divides her time between London and Toronto.

Mary Lynch Barbera

Mary Lynch Barbera,Ph.D., RN, BCBA-D, is a Registered Nurse and a doctoral level Board Certified Behavior Analyst. From 2003-2010, she was the lead Behavior Analyst for the Pennsylvania Verbal Behavior Project studying the effect of Verbal Behavior Techniques in classrooms throughout the State of Pennsylvania. Barbera was the founding President of the Autism Society of America's Berks County Chapter, has worked with hundreds of children on the autism spectrum, and has extensive experience training a variety of professionals. She is the mother of a son with autism. Tracy Rasmussen is an award-winning journalist of over 25 years with a specialty in medical reporting. She has been a frequent speaker for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill on issues of mental health.

Mithu Storoni

As Mithu Storoni became a doctor, dabbled in neuroscientific research, trained in ophthalmic surgery, taught yoga, and earned a PhD in neuro-ophthalmology, she studied "illness" through different angles, all of which led to the brain. The deeper she ventured into the study of "illness" the more aware she became of the vital role played by chronic stress in the transformation from "wellness" to "illness." Moving from fast-paced London to the breakneck Asian business hub of Hong Kong heightened this awareness as Mithu watched her thriving friends and colleagues reluctantly abandon their passion, energy, and mental agility and surrender their flourishing careers, because of chronic, unbridled stress. This prompted Mithu to write this book. Mithu received her medical degree from the University of Cambridge and conducted her research in neuro-ophthalmology at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, where she was a Clinical Research Fellow until recently moving to Hong Kong with her husband.

Neale Donald Walsch

Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual thinker whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. With an early interest in religion and a deeply felt connection to spirituality, Neale spent the majority of his life thriving professionally, yet searching for spiritual meaning before beginning his now famous With God series that has been translated into 34 languages, and has been a bestseller for Hodder since publishing the first back in 1997.Each of the Conversations with God books have made the New York Times Bestseller list, the original Conversations with God occupying that list for over two and half years. In response to this, Neale created the Conversations with God Foundation, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to inspiring the world to help itself move from violence to peace, from confusion to clarity, and from anger to love.His latest book When Everything Changes, Change Everything is in the New York Times Bestsller list and made the Amazon Top 10 in its first week of publication. A timely book, and immediately useful, Neale discusses the practical applications of God-inspired insights on the way to move on and the right reasons to do so. In the current glocal climate, this is the perfect book for anyone who feels challenged in these tough times.Married to his wife Nancy, Neale lives on a retreat site in the woods of Southern Oregon, USA.

Nick Dubin

Nick Dubin was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2004. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Communications from Oakland University, a Master's Degree in Learning Disabilities from the University of Detroit Mercy, and a Specialist Degree in Psychology and Psy.D. from the Michigan School of Professional Psychology. He has authored many books on autism spectrum disorders including 'Asperger Syndrome and Anxiety', also published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Nick lives in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan.