Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Almost all people want well-being and happiness. However, many individuals may not allow themselves to attend to their personal well-being or feel guilty when doing so. An increased understanding of this resistance and strategies to overcome it can greatly benefit the field of positive psychology. The usefulness of tools and interventions that promote flourishing—the application of positive psychology—depends on people giving themselves permission to use these tools. Building on Rose’s (2014) work, self-permission is conceptualized as the degree to which a person allows themselves to attend to personal well-being and to lead a fulfilling life. This paper introduces self-permission as a psychological process that is key in the pursuit of well-being, specifically within a positive psychotherapy context, and more generally when people engage in positive interventions. Topics affiliated with self-permission and potential cultural and psychological barriers to self-permission are discussed in this paper. A revised self-permission scale, directions for future research, and three interventions to increase self-permission are proposed. An improved understanding of self-permission can support positive psychology’s ultimate mission of promoting human flourishing on a broad scale.


self-permission, positive psychology, psychotherapy, clinical psychology, positive psychotherapy, positive interventions, well-being, flourishing


Well-Being/Flourishing, Counseling/Coaching, Health/Wellness, Other Topics.





Date Posted: 11 September 2019