What do you feel when you gaze up at the Milky Way, see a beautiful rainbow, or stand before a mountain that seems impossibly high? This feeling – often complete with goosebumps and a shiver down our spine – is known as awe. And as it turns out, this underappreciated and often misunderstood emotion holds an important key to a happy, meaningful, and healthy life.
Although we think of awe as a rare emotion, reserved only for the most exhilarating of life’s marvels, studies have shown that awe-inspiring experiences are all around us. And when we get more in touch with these experiences, we can improve our physical health, strengthen our social bonds, and become lastingly happier. Experiences of awe strengthen our immune system, improve our psychological well-being, and even change our brain in unique ways. As it turns out, the moments that make us go “Wow!” can be the very moments that lastingly change our life forever.
In addition to awe, attendees will learn about how similar states have been more broadly linked to greater overall well-being, meaning, and life satisfaction. In particular, recent research on the psychotherapeutic effects of psychedelic-assisted therapy have shown fascinating parallels between experiences of awe and common experiences evoked by many psychedelics. Attendees will learn about this exciting emerging part of the field, and the role of mental health clinicians in this rapidly-developing space.
Lastly, participants will also explore the importance of other positive psychological principles – including gratitude, flow, self-compassion, and more, with a particular focus on how to apply these concepts during times of hardship and challenges. Best of all, we’ll be reviewing dozens of evidence-based practices that can easily be integrated into your clinical work. Through discussion, lecture, clinical vignettes, and small group work, you will learn to harness these breakthrough findings and transform your clinical practice.
A brief history of Awe
Who experiences Awe: Personality, character traits, and cross-cultural research
Why we experience Awe: How Awe increases connection, compassion, and curiosity
The Benefits of Awe: How Awe improves our psychological and physical health
Becoming More Awestruck
Your Brain and Body on Awe: How moments of Awe activate distinct neural pathways in our brain along with changes to our nervous system
Becoming Awestruck: A review of 10 distinct strategies for becoming more awestruck, including nature, social connection, inspiration, the arts, and more
Related States: Flow, Psychedelics, and Peak Experiences
An Overview of Flow and the importance of fostering Flow States
Peak Experiences and Psychological Richness: A New Paradigm?
An Overview of Psychedelics: A Focus on Psilocybin, MDMA, and Ketamine
Risks and Misconceptions about psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy
The Impact of Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy on Mental Health Disorders
Harm Reduction and Integration Therapy
The Science of Well-Being
How positive mental health is different from the absence of pain
Roadblocks to wellbeing: Why happiness can feel so elusive
The benefits of happiness to our health, relationships, and lives at large
Strengths and limitations of applied positive psychology
Happily Even After: Applying Positive Psychology Principles After Hardship
The Core Habits of Well-Being: Gratitude, compassion, mindful awareness, savoring the good, self-compassion, psychological richness, post-traumatic growth, social connection, and flow
Fostering Resilience through the principles of applied positive psychology
What Alumni are Saying...
"I absolutely loved the class. Jonah was an engaging teacher who taught the material extremely effectively and practically." - 2022 Participant
"Jonah Paquette drew the entire class, both in person and virtually into every aspect of the class. He was approachable and relatable and welcomed comments and questions, which he responded to thoughtfully and thoroughly. He himself was the “poster Kid” for the topic he presented. He made me feel eager about incorporating the practice he presented into my personal life and into my work with my clients. The week flew by and I was sad to see it end." - 2022 Participant
"I thoroughly enjoyed Jonah's presentation! His tone matched the material and set a relaxed pace and he expressed genuine appreciation for participant's contributions. Clearly one of his strengths are humor, openness and humility." - 2022 Participant
Learn more about the Cape Cod Institute from former participants
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