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Nurturing Well-being Through Positive Psychology: Insights from the IPPA World Congress 2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of psychology and well-being, the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) World Congress stands as a beacon of knowledge and innovation. This biennial event draws together minds from around the globe to discuss, share, and learn about the latest breakthroughs in positive psychology and the broader field of well-being. This year, our very own Libby Dalrymple (Director of THRIVE) and Vicky Boomgaardt (Assistant Head: Community) attended the conference in Vancouver. 

The IPPA World Congress welcomes a diverse mixture of attendees, ranging from scientists and researchers to educators, clinicians, corporate leaders, students, and enthusiasts from every corner of the world. This unique blend of perspectives fosters a holistic understanding of positive psychology's applications, ensuring that both research and practice remain interconnected and relevant to real-world contexts.

“IPPA was a meeting ground for over 1000 delegates from 55 countries, all driven by a common mission to understand and promote well-being on personal, societal, and global levels. It’s a unique and inspiring gathering of researchers and practitioners,” said Ms. Dalrymple.

At the conference, Ms. Dalrymple and Ms. Boomgaardt were featured in a collection of poster presentations, sharing their presentation titled "Fostering Adolescent Well-being through Nature Connectedness". Collaborating with Dr. Lisa Nisbet from Trent University's psychology department, Ms. Dalrymple, Ms. Gilfillan, Ms. Johnston, and Ms. Boomgaardt delved into a study that spanned five years, exploring the profound impact of nature on the well-being of adolescents—research that informs the way we educate our teens at LCS.

Their research resonated with a growing trend in positive psychology—the undeniable connection between nature and well-being. In an increasingly urbanized world, adolescents are often disconnected from the natural environment. This collaborative work between LCS and Trent sheds light on the therapeutic potential of nature engagement, highlighting the positive effects it can have on mental health and overall life satisfaction.

Apart from presenting their research, Ms. Dalrymple and Ms. Boomgaardt were eager learners at the conference. They attended pre-congress workshops that covered a variety of topics, from an exploration of nature-based therapy to culturally nuanced skills for educators. These workshops underlined the conference's commitment to offering a diverse range of insights, ensuring that attendees leave with a comprehensive toolkit for promoting well-being in various settings.

The IPPA World Congress is not just about learning—it's also about forging connections. Coincidentally, Ms. Dalrymple and Ms. Boomgaardt had the unique opportunity to reconnect with LCS alumna, Jill Hayhurst ’99. Now a professor at Otago University in New Zealand, Jill was at the conference to present research rooted in her work. This heartwarming reunion encapsulates the spirit of the IPPA World Congress—a space where relationships are rekindled and fresh connections are formed, all in the pursuit of advancing positive psychology and well-being.
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