Louise Tidmand Talks Positive Education

Patricia met with Louise Tidmand who holds a Masters Degree in Education Psychology. She is an author, lecturer and she currently studies a PhD at Aarhus University in Denmark

I studied at Macleay College three years ago. Now, I have come back to finish my degree in Advertising. A lot of things had changed. One of the changes I was looking forward to was the new unit on Positive Psychology.

It was a pleasant surprise to know that Macleay had introduced this new topic and I wasted no time signing up. I had no clue about what it would entail but, from the title, I knew it would be a fundamental class; one that would shape me to be a better person and innovator.

I wasn’t wrong.

Positive Psychology is defined as the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. It is founded on the belief that people want to lead more meaningful and fulfilling lives.

Throughout our classes, we have been learning unconventional ways of thinking in order to reduce the stresses accumulated from everyday life. We learned to open our minds and be more creative. In my opinion, it is a revolutionary approach that is the answer to suppressing the alarming growth of anxiety, depression and lack of self-fulfilment.   

POS-ED-4Louise Tidmand generously volunteered her time to the students of Macleay College, specifically those who were studying Positive Psychology. She shared her insight and research on the teaching of life-coping skills, elaborating on how the process of learning to deal with stress can greatly impact on how we react to it.

When Louise presented her findings on the growing rate of depression and anxiety in adults and teens, it resonated with me as I experienced these mental illnesses at close quarters. She highlighted the traditional ways of addressing these illnesses; ways focusing on the negatives, which is not appropriate to building a resilient foundation. She showcased the tools she had created to get someone into the positives on the scale of happiness. It was inspiring to see that there are people who take action to change the world for the better.


In her presentation, Louise engaged with the audience with fun clapping routines and asking us simple but thoughtful questions to promote altruism. An example that comes to mind is ‘what can you do to make someone happy?’ She, then, also asked ‘what can you say to make someone happy?’

I am really grateful for the opportunity to be exposed to such wisdoms. The study of Positive Psychology is inspiring the lives of people around us. It is life changing.

Macleay’s Positive Psychology unit helps students to understand that being positive is more than just a thinking ability. The essential impact of being positive is that it promotes feelings that lead to action. 

A lecturer's perspective.

The Sydney campus of Macleay College today was treated to a wonderful guest speaker from Denmark, Louise Tidmand, who shared insights of her work and research with the students studying the positive psychology unit this trimester.
Louise presented for an hour and covered the areas of stress in everyday life and how to cope with these increasing pressures. She highlighted that stress for students can come from a wide lens including self, social media, friends, parents and society. Discussion followed on to how the deficit framework which focuses on negativity or un-wellness is not enough to support building resilience in the twenty-first century. However, with the right tools to overcome the added obstacles and hurdles, Louise presented compelling reasons for using strengths and the PERMA model and introducing narrative for students to build a positive perspective for wellbeing and happiness.
P - Positive Emotion
E - Engagement
R - Positive Relationships
M - Meaning
A - Accomplishment/Achievement
Louise has a goal and hopes her work is contributing to creating a holistic approach to an individual’s development This includes from the time a child is born and enters the world, that there will be practitioners, healthcare professionals, educators, parents and communities along the way to support and develop personal resilience for each young person using positive psychology in their lives.
The session included fun, informative and engaging activities including ways for students to say and do with greater positivity in life as a way to fast track wellbeing using altruism. To conclude we all participated with a final task using body rhythm.
We walked away with two key areas in mind to question in relation to self narratives:
Who are you?
What have you learned about life so far?
Interesting questions for all of us who attended to consider and reflect upon. Thanks Louise, the hour was very thought provoking for us all.
By Lisa Faye 
Business and Events Lecturer and Positive Education Coordinator

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