Dr. Dan Tomasulo — Learned Hopefulness, Science of Happiness and Hope, Cherishing Relationships, The Craft of Storytelling Writing, and Much More (#131)

“Hope is never further away than your thought”

– Dan

Dr. Dan Tomasulo as one of the top ten online influencers on the issue of depression. He is the Academic Director and core faculty member at the Spirituality Mind Body Institute (SMBI), Teachers College, Columbia University, and holds a Ph.D. in psychology, MFA in writing, and a Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. He authors the daily column, Ask the Therapist, as well as the Learned Hopefulness blog for PsychCentral.com, and developed the Dare to be Happy experiential workshops for Kripalu. You can check out his blogs here.

His most recent book, Learned Hopefulness, The Power of Positivity To Overcome Depression, is hailed as: “…the perfect recipe for fulfillment, joy, peace, and expansion of awareness.”  by Deepak Chopra, MD: Author of Metahuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential. Martin Seligman, Ph.D., author of Flourish, adds: “This is the best go-to book on how to use hope to relieve your depression.” 

His award-winning memoir, American Snake Pit  (2018) tells of the first experimental group home releasing inmates from America’s most notorious asylum, Willowbrook, and his screenplay for American Snake Pit has won 35international film festival awards. From this early work Dan developed Positive-Interactive-Behavioral Therapy (P-IBT), now the most widely used form of group therapy for people with intellectual and psychiatric disabilities.

Dan is certified as a trainer, educator, and practitioner by the American Board of Examiners in psychodrama, sociometry, and group psychotherapy and is the 2017 winner of the International Positive Psychology Association’s Avant-Garde Clinical Intervention competition for the Virtual Gratitude Visit (VGV) and the 2019 winner of the case study competition for his research using psycho-dramatic methods to deliver positive interventions. Dan’s passion is Positive Psychology. While traditional psychology focuses on our weaknesses, positive psychology focuses on our strengths, cultivating our best selves so we can lead meaningful and fulfilling lives.

Please enjoy!

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Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn

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People Mentioned:

Book Mentioned: I AM: The Power of Discovering Who You Really Are

Show Notes:

  • His struggle with depression
  • Depression from his marriage ending
  • On  traditional psychology to alleviate suffering
  • Traditional therapy
  • On his friendship with Joel Markowski and how they solve problems, and lessons learned in  40 years of friendship
  • Flow called autotelic
  • Advice to someone who doesn’t have that kind of long-term friendship?
  • Develop spiritual habits if you’re alone to begin with a meditation prayer
  • When you’re in a depression, it’s like looking through life with a dark screen
  • A morning search for gratitude
  • There’s a saying in meditation, there’s no such thing as a bad meditation.
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Dispositional mindfulness
  • Loving kindness meditation
  • Correlation between mindfulness, meditation and positive psychology according to you
  • How have you learned to be hopeful about things when life is not easy when there are challenging events
  • Risk assessment of the future
  • Positive psychology comes into play and then ask us to focus on things that we already have and focusing on our strengths.
  • The power of positivity to overcome depression
  • Cherishing or relationships
  • Dan’s relationship with her daughter
  • It wasn’t so much the children that needed the help, but it was their parents who were creating toxic or difficult environments
  • Creative non-fiction writing
  • The Art of story writing
  • Screenwriting craft
  • Compassion with people with disabilities
  • Story of a man Richie 
  • and much more!

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