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Rx for Happier Clients - Psychology of Happiness

Clinical Update December 2013
By Zur Institute

View a complete list of Clinical Updates.

Many of our clients are preoccupied with how to be happier. If the number of books and articles Americans read on how to be happier were the key, Americans would be the happiest people in the world.


Happy Client
Did you know that:

  • Fifty percent of happiness is genetically determined.
  • People have a "set point" for happiness and before long they usually return to that set point after experiencing good or bad events (unless they change the structure of how they think and behave).
  • The happiest countries in the world are not tropical paradises like the Fiji Islands or the Bahamas. Those countries aren't even on the top twenty lists.
  • The country of Bhutan bases most of its political decisions on how the decision will affect their Gross National Happiness.
  • Longitudinal research finds that the one-third of people who identified an altruistic purpose in life had less depression, less cardiovascular disease, and lived longer.
  • A one year follow up of people in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) found that those who completed all twelve steps had a 40% success rate at sobriety/recovery while those who did not complete the twelfth step (reaching out to help others) only had a 22% sobriety/recovery rate.
  • People who don't forgive others are more likely to have depressed immune systems and medically unexplained symptoms.


The new Zur Institute course
Psychology of Happiness
examines the nature of happiness and how to help clients
make efficacious efforts at becoming happier.

In the 4 CE course Michael Brickey, Ph.D., ABPP, interviews (MP3s) four experts on happiness:

  • Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky shares what research says about being happy, including how to override happiness set points.
  • Dr. Stephen Post shares his abundant research on how altruism increases happiness.
  • NPR foreign correspondent Eric Weiner landed a special assignment to travel the world researching which countries are the happiest, and why.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo discusses how to use cognitive behavioral therapy to help clients become happier.



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