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Authentic Pride

Gioia and Rebecca’s Recent Publication

Happy Spring–for those of us the East Coast it has finally arrived.

Gioia and I wanted to share with you that we have just published our second article about positive psychology and art therapy, a topic that most of you who know us know that we are passionate about and deeply committed to.

Gioia and I often wrestle over a balance between “tooting our horn” about our accomplishments and exercising humility. Gioia, with her usual “joy”ful nature, revels in “kvelling” (to delight, rejoice, triumph) about our achievements.  When I get squeamish about self-congratulation, she points out to me that pride is one of the 10 positive emotions that Fredrickson includes in her recipe for Positivity.

Although pride often has negative associations–pride is one of the 7 deadly signs, “pride comes before a fall”–pride also fuels the motivation to achieve.  Pride surges when we accomplish something which has value to us (and, probably in our minds, to others).  It is the feeling that comes with a sense of success–that swell of emotion that makes us raise our arms in victory!
Interestingly, researchers have delineated two forms of pride–authentic pride and hubristic pride.  Hubristic pride is associated with self-conceit and narcissism, But authentic pride is associated with industriousness and genuine self-esteem.

So we celebrate with you our pride and excitement about our new article:  Rebecca A. Wilkinson & Gioia Chilton (2013). Positive Art Therapy: Linking Positive Psychology to Art Therapy Theory, Practice, and Research. Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 30:1, 4-11.


Positive psychology has much to offer the art therapy profession, which in turn is uniquely poised to contribute to the study of optimal functioning. This article discusses the relationship of positive psychology to art therapy and its capacity to mobilize client strengths, to induce experiences of flow and positive emotions, and to express life purpose and meaning. Suggested research and practical applications illuminate the potential of positive art therapy to move individuals, groups, and communities beyond solely the relief of suffering to a state of flourishing.  

We also invite you to “kvell” about something in your life which gives you pride, something which you feel good about accomplishing and want to celebrate with others.  And share it with us on our facebook page.

Proudly, Gioia and Rebecca

Art directive:
Draw and journal about three things that you feel proud about in your life.  If you want to, share them with someone who can appreciate them.