© 2016 Molly L. Stranahan

Molly L. Stranahan Psy.D.

After spending the first decade of my adulthood in banking and business consulting, I spent the next decade studying human behavior.  I received a doctorate in psychology from the Rutgers University Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology in 1996. While I was in graduate school, I became interested in exploring ways to share what psychology knows about improving our lives and functioning outside of the therapy room.  I was inspired by the opportunity to assist one of my professors in presenting stress management programs for corporations through the Rutgers Center for Applied Psychology. Under the current ‘medical model’ for delivering psychological services, clients receive a ‘diagnosis’ and are ‘treated.’  I prefer to think of our distress as being caused by having learned coping methods that no longer work for us, or don’t help us achieve what we desire, and I focus on teaching people how to change themselves.  This approach moves the focus from “what is wrong with me” to “what can I do to be happier and healthier?” and respects that each of us is different.  It focuses on empowering people through knowledge and coaching.  It expands stress management to life-enhancement.  In 2002, in preparation for co-leading The Summer Institute personal growth program, I re-read Barry Neil Kaufman’s book Happiness Is a Choice. The success of the program that resulted inspired me to develop the Path to Happiness workshop program.  The Path to Happiness philosophy and program is based on cognitive-behavioral and positive psychology, Miraval’s mindfulness practices, research on stress management and a life-time of personal experiences including the Co-Dependents Anonymous 12-Step program.  It is an evolving body of work, having incorporated the past ten-plus years as a  happiness facilitator, and a nine-month Positive Psychology certification course from Kripalu. Right now I share it by teaching workshops at the Miraval Spa in Tucson including three-and-a-half day Path to Happiness at Miraval and a weekly session on The Path to Peace about Money. I am also creating programs, consulting with individuals and organizations, writing and speaking.
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