Welcome Address and Maiden Speech
My Senior Colleagues and Colleagues,
I welcome you all to this maiden meeting of Positive Psychology Association of Nigeria (PoPAN).
I am glad that it is dream come through and I am most delighted that 41 of us are part of this historic occasion.
Martin E.P. Seligman introduced and popularize positive psychology. Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play. The science of positive psychology operates on three different levels – the subjective level, the individual level and the group level.
As we all know, psychology is very broad and wide. This is majorly because, the evolving man is dynamic and complex. Traditionally, several branches of psychology addresses metapathologies in humankind but positive psychology focuses more on how to enhance or foster metaneeds.
It is very sad to note that large crop of our graduates in Nigeria with background in Guidance and Counselling, Educational Psychology, Psychology and allied fields are not well equipped with relevant skills to function in public and private practice. This has damaged their self-esteem and career self-efficacy. The good news is, PoPAN recognizes the fact that as good as university degree is in Nigeria today, it has its limits. PoPAN is here to retrain and instill professionalism, to rebuild confidence and activate mentorship among behaviour change experts for optimal performance.
We all belong to other professional bodies such as Nigerian Psychological Society, Counselling Association of Nigeria, Nigerian Society for Educational Psychologists, Nigerian Association of Clinical Psychologists among others. PoPAN is different and unique. Positive psychology has tremendous advantage for humanity. In near future, once we had official registration completed as an association, Associate, Affiliate, Fellow membership courses, examinations and licensure would be introduced for POPAN membership. We will have annual of bi-annual conferences to advance principles of positive psychology. Also, members would be able to network and participate in various programmes and training of IPPA at heavily discounted rates. With the support of International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA), some countries have started running B.Sc, M.Sc. and PhD Positive Psychology.
Let me end this speech with three of Seligman’s quotations.
“Authentic happiness derives from raising the bar for yourself, not rating yourself against others.”
“Curing the negatives does not produce the positives.”
“Pessimistic labels lead to passivity, whereas optimistic ones lead to attempts to change.”
“The genius of evolution lies in the dynamic tension between optimism and pessimism continually correcting each other.”
Let join hands to build this Association. Let us own it. It belongs to all of us. I am just a midwife.
D.A. Oluwole, PhD
Positive Psychology Association of Nigeria
28th June, 2020.
To promote and integrate the science and application of positive psychology towards the advancement of people’s wellbeing locally and internationally
To facilitate global collaboration among researchers, teachers, students and practitioners
of positive psychology
To disseminate and enhance the utilization of evidence-based findings of positive
psychology with the broadest possible audience
“The aim of Positive psychology is to catalyze a change in psychology from a preoccupation only with repairing the worst things in life to also building the best qualities in life.”
How PoPan Started
Around February 2017, Dr Adebayo Oluwole developed interest in an emerging field of study, positive psychology. He shared his thoughts with some people of like minds and this led to creation of a whatsapp group platform tagged Positive Psychology Forum on 26th August, 2017. He shared basic information on making one’s life better while other contributed to the growth of the forum. Eventually in 2017, Dr Oluwole started a journal of Positive Psychology and Counselling to drive awareness about positive psychology in Nigeria. It is a peer reviewed journal with online https://www.ppacjournals.org/ and hardcopy presence.
Dr Oluwole’s passion to advance positive psychology principles grew further during the Covid-19 pandemic when the whole world was under lockdown and many people suffered psychological breakdown due to economic recession and minimum physical activity. He rose to the occasion and started an online blog https://positivepsychology.org.ng/
Dr Oluwole realised that a race run as a team would be more effective and to advance positive psychology as a national project, he networked with associates in applied psychology profession on the need to have a formal platform for the practice of positive psychology in Nigeria. Dr Oluwole came up with the idea of Positive Psychology Association of Nigeria. Some of his senior colleagues who are professors that rallied round him include Professors Oyesoji Aremu (his PhD supervisor and mentor), Professor Chioma Asuzu, Professor Shyngle Balogun and Professor Peter Olapegba from Department of Psychology, University of Ibadan, Professor O Aluede (Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma), Professor P.O. Onabamiro and Professor Abosede Ewumi (Tai Solarin University, Ijebu Ode) and Professor R. Aderanti (Babcock University, Illisan).
The Positive Psychology Association had her maiden meeting on Sunday 28 June, 2020 with about 60 members on the virtual meeting.
Excerpt of Dr Adebayo Oluwole (the Convener) at the maiden meeting:
Positive Psychology Association of Nigeria (PoPAN) should be a melting pot for people with diverse training background in basic and applied psychology. PoPAN should be an extension of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA).
At the maiden meeting of Positive Psychology Association of Nigeria on 28 June, 2020, a Steering Committee was instituted with the following members: 1. Professor P.O. Onabamiro, 2. Professor R. Aderanti, 3. Dr. Motolani Williams, 4. Dr. Adebunmi Oyekola, 5. Mr. Mohammed A.A, 6. Dr. Vyvian Adeyemi, and 7. Dr. D.A. Oluwole. The Steering Committee was saddled with the responsibilities of firming up the vision and mission of PoPAN, drafting a working Constitution, among others
The association is guided by the following objectives:
Individual members of the Association shall be scholars, researchers and practitioners dedicated to the scientific study and evidence-based ethical application of positive psychology with a minimum of Master Degree in any field of psychology (e.g. Clinical, Counselling, educational etc) and allied professions.
A membership in the Nigerian Positive Psychology Association offers members a wonderful opportunity to learn about how positive psychology can improve the lives of individuals, communities in Nigeria.