5. July 2023

Jolanta Burke

Jolanta Burke

Positive Health: An intersection where the mind meets the body


Positive Health is an emerging field of research and practice comprising two rapidly growing fields of Positive Psychology and Lifestyle Medicine. Positive Psychology is a science of wellbeing and optimal human functioning. In contrast, Lifestyle Medicine is a science of lifestyle choices that prevent non-communicable diseases (e.g. diabetes, stroke, heart disease, cancer) and is the fastest-growing medical speciality. Together, they make a powerful union preventing mental and physical disease that incorporates a shift towards perceiving body and mind as an integrated system and provides research and practice on how individuals can flourish regardless of physical health. This presentation will explore the scope and architecture of this rapidly emerging field. It will draw on psychological research that incorporates physical and physiological health and wellbeing and introduce the latest research and developments in Positive Health. Furthermore, it will explore the intricacies associated with the application of Positive Health. Finally, it will discuss the implications of the emergence of Positive Health in the context of practice and policymaking for the medical, coaching, workplace, education, and other professions to make the world a better place for you, for me, and for us.

About Jolanta Burke

Jolanta Burke, PhD, is a Chartered Psychologist (British Psychological Society) and a Senior Lecturer (US: Associate Professor) at the Centre for Positive Health, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ireland. Dr Burke specialises in the application of positive psychology. Specifically, she researches mechanisms for enhancing psychological flourishing and new wellbeing interventions, such as pro-environmental, nature-based and lifestyle-medicine-based tools for enhancing psychological flourishing. Her latest research projects include an exploration of the nature-related mechanisms impacting physiological (Heart Rate Variability) and psychological wellbeing (funded by the Science Foundation Ireland) and the psychological wellbeing impact of bees on bee-keepers, their families and the community (funded by the Irish Research Council and Community Foundation Ireland). She has authored over ten books, published over 60 peer-reviewed publications and written for such newspapers as the Guardian, Irish Independent, and Irish Times. Her research and publications have been featured in such media as The Economic Times, Channel News Asia, CNN and Fox News. She is a regular contributor to Psychology Today and The Conversation, where over 2 million people have read her articles in the last two years, and she was acknowledged by the Irish Times as one of 30 people who make Ireland a better place. For more information go to www.JolantaBurke.com.