The Development of Appreciative Psychology

Leonard Carr and The Development of the Appreciative Approach

Leonard Carr has worked with people for thirty years diverse lay and professional settings and gleaned experience from fields like welfare, private practice, corporate, educational, forensic and government settings.

Years of rigorous theoretical struggle and critical analysis of different psychological approaches has led to the development of an approach that is both comprehensive, integrative and applied in a way that makes it almost universally relevant. The psychology influences on this approach are social constructivism and especially the Narrative Approach of Michael White, The Enneagram, insights from psychoanalytic and object relations schools, NLP and the person centred approach of Carl Rogers. Writers that have strongly influenced this thinking are Gregory Bateson and Bernd Jager.

Much of the wisdom in this approach is gleaned from esoteric wisdom in spiritual traditions. These traditions often lack the practical applications needed to translate wisdom into insight and pragmatic solutions that most people can relate to. Most importantly the spiritual underpinning of this approach means that it is firmly grounded in a solid ethical value base.

Psychology has the technology to make the wisdom relevant and translate it into pragmatic solutions.  The result is that multiple sources of knowledge have been distilled into an empowering and enriching approach that can be applied in a pragmatic way to people at all ages without losing any of the profundity and depth.

In order to adapt the ideas and make them accessible to non-academic or less sophisticated audiences, storytelling and theatre are used in an interactive way. This allows participants to draw on their own life narratives and derive new meaning and perspective from their own repertoire of experience. The stories can be translated into any language and given over through a variety of different media forms and platforms.

Much of the thinking for this project has been articulated in radio programs, talks, written articles and columns.

Appreciative Personality Psychology

This approach is made practical through a methodology called Appreciative Witnessing.

Appreciative Personality Mapping is an interactive process that allows people to create a unique comprehensive framework for use in personal, relationship and organisational development.

This approach is applied to personal growth courses and workshops that have application to the areas of leadership, organisational functioning, personal growth and interpersonal relationships.

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