How the Life Coaching Industry Sells Pseudo-Solutions to Our Deepest Problems

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“Seligman’s positive psychology ideological agenda is conservative, corporate friendly, and more than willing to accommodate to the status quo. It’s of no coincidence that Seligman befriended the late Sir John Templeton, a right-wing, evangelical Christian and highly successful global investor and prominent donor to conservative groups and Republican candidates, and eventually received $2.2 million [] of philanthropic welfare from the Templeton Foundation for the flush funding of his Positive Psychology Center. And for all of Prince Harry’s Royal Commando talk about the need for ‘mental fitness’ (another one of BetterUp’s signature coaching concepts), it’s actually Seligman’s brainchild—derived originally from the Penn Resiliency Program (PRP) and then adapted for application in the U.S. Army’s $125 million Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF) program (Seligman’s Positive Psychology Center was awarded a $31 million “sole-source” contract by the U.S. Army). According to Seligman, the CSF program would ‘create a force as fit psychologically as it is physically,’ or in Department of Defense parlance, would ‘optimize warrior performance.’”

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