Reflections on MAPP

MAPP at UEL and Positive Psychology – a reflection on Semester 1, Cohort 6

Amongst many things, MAPP has made me think hard about the meaning of life, the motivation behind people’s actions and their needs, and the differences between morals and ethics. In other words, it has made me look closer, deeper, and in more detail at every aspect of my life, and the way in which I interact with others.

In thinking hard, and occasionally just musing on different philosophical and conceptual perspectives on the things we take for granted in everyday life, I’ve come to realise that studying MAPP has and continues to be a big influence on me. Many of my decisions are now more cognitively based on a deeper understanding, rather than a subconscious awareness, of the dynamics going on within my mind and my place amongst others – socially, professionally, and even geographically.

MAPP is a truly unique course in my experience. Having focused many of the more recent years of my life on training to certificate/diploma level in counseling, coaching, and hypnotherapy, working with people is my passion. However my background is in business, marketing, brand design, publishing, writing, stock trading, and property development so studying to work with people in this manner is in stark contrast to the goal-oriented process-driven approach to life I have hitherto been utilising to achieve my objectives.

Studying MAPP has bridged my passion for people with my excitement and enthusiasm for business and being an entrepreneur. The experiential aspect of MAPP means every lecture seems to offer yet further affirmation of my own personal (and evolving) belief system and new insight into life delivered in a manner which transcends being simply academic but offering something truly life-changing on a personal level. This perspective on MAPP is by no means unique to me, as is illustrated by the results from the “Who is MAPP UK” reasearch study featured in this issue of PPQ – a project I was fortunate to be able to work on with Dr Kate Hefferon over summer 2011. It shows how much influence even just studying MAPP has had on people’s life and career choices, beyond being also an academic achievement.

Long-term I am aiming to establish a private practice to deliver new innovative therapeutic interventions with particular client groups – hence my studies to date – and my decision to cap these with an MSc in Applied Positive Psychology. I hope to build these new interventions and techniques into a holistic approach to working with and helping people and organisations broaden and build themselves. In the short term I want to carry on learning, studying, and building on my skills, and with each lecture I attend, I come away feeling a more complete person, a more competent person and more optimistic about the future – and about what Positive Psychology can offer. If its message can begin to be broadly disseminated in a manner the general population can relate to and from which they can see the benefits to be had, MAPPsters will have had a genuine hand in helping people understand themselves – and others – better, and that can only lead to a better world.

 So at the end of Semester One, Year One, and in the first edition of PPQ, I would like to say thank you to both the faculty and my fellow students for providing such a life-changing opportunity. A more unique collection of helpful, inquisitive, contrarian-thinking and dogma-challenging people would be hard to find in one room.

Author’s Bio:

Julian Alexander

MAPP Student Cohort 6

Julian Alexander is the Associate Editor and Publisher of PPQ. He holds certificates and diplomas in coaching, counseling, and hypnotherapy. Previously Julian has published weekly and monthly print publications, and held positions from staff writer, to editor, to publisher of both his own and other print publications. He also runs a brand consultancy, a stock market portfolio, and has been practicing as a multi-disciplinary strengths-oriented therapist for personal clients for 5 years.

A Reflection on MAPP

At no other time before it seems, in recent history, has the need for radical mindset change been greater. At no time before this earth has felt a smaller place. At no time before was the fate of change so firmly placed in the hands of one, as in the sum (and not just some) within the many.

Coming from a country credited with setting some of the foundations of a human-centred understanding of the world, the same country where recently, in just 4 years, people went from being at what they thought was the top of the world, during the 2004 Olympic Games, to finding themselves immersed in a national identity crisis while staring at the abyss of financial doom, the task of centring oneself on the positive, whilst truth-seeking, became imperative.

The beauty of being on such trail of knowledge-mapping at UEL, is evident in the diversity of paths that join in academic pursuit and their candour in sharing values that matter. It is also evident in the thoughtful approach of encouraging scientific inquiry among students instead of imposing on them rigorous epistemological dictation. In my view, both sides serve as complementing nutrients towards a good-serving science spared of unfounded skepticism and hard-nosed cynicism.

I consider myself privileged to be part of this lot. More so when I realise that a commitment to this course, foremost calls for a much-deserved and dedicated commitment to oneself.

I can hardly wait to get the most out of its sustainable within, between and cross boundary interactions.


Author’s Bio:

Manos Hatzimalonas

MAPP Student Cohort 6

If you’ve got a reflection on MAPP that you’d like to add, please share in the comment section below

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