Class 1: February 27 — 7:00pm – 8:00pm Eastern
Maximizing the Effectiveness of Self-Guided Gratitude Practices
The first class will examine the popular practice of keeping a gratitude journal, and the more recently recommended gratitude letter. We will critique these practices by considering when they do and do not work. What is the influence of varying instructions, time frames, and focus of attention during journaling? Why does journaling matter? What are the benefits and disadvantages of the gratitude letter.
Class 2: March 05 — 7:00pm – 8:00pm Eastern
What Good is Gratitude? What Gratitude is and Why it Matters
After considering the various meanings of gratitude, we will explore what has been learned from recent scientific research about the benefits of grateful living. Psychological, physical, interpersonal, and spiritual effects of gratitude, and their interconnectedness, will be presented.
Class 3: March 12 — 7:00pm – 8:00pm Eastern
Recognizing and Overcoming Barriers to Gratitude
Gratitude does not come easily or naturally to many. There are powerful elements that rail against gratitude. A number of personal burdens and external obstacles can block grateful emotions, grateful thoughts, and grateful actions. In order to reap the benefits of grateful thinking, these obstacles must be recognized, confronted, and overcome. This session is devoted to an exploration of these roadblocks and how these obstacles might be identified and overcome.
Class 4: March 19 — 7:00pm – 8:00pm Eastern
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) About Gratitude
There are a number of perennial issues and misconceptions surrounding gratitude. Some of these include the following: How does gratitude differ from positive thinking? How do gratitude interventions differ from those of learned optimism? Is there a downside, or dark side, to gratitude, or is it invariably positive? Does one have to be religious or spiritual to feel gratitude? Does gratitude lead to a passive acceptance of one’s lot in life?
Class 5: April 02 — 7:00pm – 8:00pm Eastern
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) About Gratitude Beyond the journal and the letter, Part I
What other psychological interventions can facilitate gratitude? An examination of the practices of counterfactual thinking and Naikan therapy, prayer, and other methods of self-examination.
Class 6: April 09 — 7:00pm – 8:00pm Eastern
Beyond the journal and the letter, Part II
In a continuation of Class 5, we will consider the additional strategies of making a vow, coming to one’s senses, usual visual reminders, watching one’s language, and thinking outside the box.