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Interview with our Keynote, Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD

Keynote, Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky

Keynote, Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky

Advance LA is thrilled to welcome our Keynote Speaker, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D. to our 2015 Conference, The Science of Happiness: Purpose. Connection. Optimism. Grit.

Why is the scientific study of happiness important?
Most people believe that happiness is meaningful, desirable, and an important, worthy goal. Happiness is one of the most salient and significant dimensions of human experience and emotional life.  Not only does happiness yield numerous rewards for the individual, it makes for a better, healthier, stronger society.

Why Are Some People Happier Than Others?

I have always been struck by the capacity of some individuals to be remarkably happy, even in the face of stress, trauma, or adversity. My students and I have found that truly happy individuals construe life events and daily situations in ways that seem to maintain their happiness, while unhappy individuals construe experiences in ways that seem to reinforce unhappiness. In essence, happy individuals experience and react to events and circumstances in relatively more positive and more adaptive ways.

What Are the Benefits of Happiness?
Relative to their less happy peers, happy people in Western societies have more rewarding and longer-lasting marriages, more friends, higher incomes, superior work performance, higher community involvement, better mental and physical health, and possibly even longer life.

How does this apply to young adults with autism, learning differences, and ADHD?
Young adults with challenges who learn practices that increase their happiness will not only FEEL better (more tranquil, more joyful, more curious, more affectionate, more proud, etc.), but they are also expected to experience the same benefits of happiness as their typical peers.  For example, people who are happier smile more and are more likable and approachable to others – thus, generating more social support and making friends.  People who are happier are more productive and creative – thus being able to accomplish better whatever their goals are.  People who are happier have stronger immune function, thus getting sick less often. 

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Theme for 4th Annual Advance LA Conference Announced!

The Science of Happiness: Purpose. Connection. Optimism. Grit.
Presenting cutting-edge research and best practices for young adults with autism, learning differences and ADHD

Advance LA is thrilled to announce our 2015 Conference theme, The Science of Happiness: Purpose. Connection. Optimism. Grit.  The Advance LA Conference presents cutting-edge research and best practices for young adults with autism, learning differences and ADHD. This year’s theme strives to answer the question of how we create and maintain happiness through four building blocks of happiness: purpose, connection, optimism and grit.

“The enthusiasm expressed by our speakers, sponsors, and attendees for this unique conference has been overwhelming. We look forward to bringing parents and experts together to discuss practical applications of the latest happiness research” said Jill Rosenberg, Advance LA Director.

“The study of happiness is important,” says Keynote Speaker, Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD., “because happiness is one of the most salient and significant dimensions of human experience and emotional life, because happiness yields numerous rewards for the individual, and because it makes for a better, healthier, stronger society.”

Registration is now open for the conference, which will be hosted at the American Jewish University on Friday, May 1, 2015. This one-of-a-kind conference offers sessions focusing on the needs of transitional age young adults with autism, Asperger’s disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), executive functioning difficulties, learning disabilities, and mental health issues including dual diagnosis. Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University of California – Riverside, will be the Keynote Speaker. Presenters include Dr. Andrew Shatte, Dr. Art Markman, Dr. Anthony Rostain, Dr. Brian Galla, Dr. Liz Laugeson, Dr. Jenni Mariano, Dr. Shauna Shapiro, Dr. Bonnie Aurbach and Lisa King.

The Advance LA Conference is open to parents, educators, clinicians, researchers, graduate and undergraduate students. Continuing education credits will be available. An early bird rate of $65 for students, $90 for parents and $135 for professionals seeking CEUs will be available through Friday, March 13, 2015. Register or find more information about the conference.

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The Help Group's Advance LA announces 2015 Conference-The Science of Happiness: Purpose. Connection. Optimism. Grit.

December 10, 2014- Los Angeles, California: Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University of California – Riverside, will be the Keynote Speaker at the 4th annual Advance LA Conference. Dr. Lyubomirsky, along with other experts, will address this year’s theme “The Science of Happiness: Purpose. Connection. Optimism. Grit.”

Registration is now open for the conference, which will be hosted at the American Jewish University on Friday, May 1, 2015. This one-of-a-kind conference offers sessions focusing on the needs of transitional age young adults with autism, Asperger’s disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), executive functioning difficulties, learning disabilities, and mental health issues including dual diagnosis.

Dr. Lyubomirsky and other speakers will share their experience and expertise on a range of topics including practical solutions for a successful transition to work, college, and independent living will be addressed with the focus on how to foster and maintain happiness through the development of purpose, connection, optimism, and grit. Presenters include Dr. Andrew Shatte, Dr. Art Markman, Dr. Anthony Rostain, Dr. Brian Galla, Dr. Liz Laugeson, Dr. Jenni Mariano, Dr. Shauna Shapiro, Dr. Bonnie Aurbach and Lisa King.

Sonja Lyubomirsky and her research on the science of happiness have been the recipients of many honors, including the Templeton Positive Psychology Prize and a Science of Generosity grant. Dr. Lyubomirsky currently teaches courses in social psychology and positive psychology and serves as graduate advisor at University of California – Riverside. Dr. Lyubomirsky’s best-selling 2008 book, “The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want” (Penguin Press) has been published in 23 countries, and her recent book, “The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, But Doesn’t, What Shouldn’t Make You Happy, But Does,” is translated (or will be) in 16 countries.

“The enthusiasm expressed by our speakers, sponsors, and attendees for this unique conference has been overwhelming. We look forward to bringing parents and experts together to discuss practical applications of the latest happiness research” said Jill Rosenberg, Advance LA Director.

The Advance LA Conference is open to parents, educators, clinicians, researchers, graduate and undergraduate students. Continuing education credits will be available.

An early bird rate of $65 for students, $90 for parents and $135 for professionals seeking CEUs will be available through Friday, March 13, 2015. For information on Advance LA, a full list of presenters, registration and sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.advancela.org or call 818-779-5198. To apply for media credentials, please contact Shawna Sopp, ssopp@thehelpgroup.org.

 

About Advance LA

Advance LA, an innovative program of The Help Group, provides individualized transition support, training, and resources to teens and young adults with a wide range of needs including learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, executive functioning difficulties, ADHD, and other social or emotional issues.

 

About the Help Group

Founded in 1975, The Help Group is the largest, most innovative and comprehensive nonprofit of its kind in the United States serving children with special needs related to autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, ADHD, developmental delays, abuse and emotional problems.

The Help Group’s seven specialized day schools offer pre-K through high school programs for more than 1,400 students. The Help Group’s broad range of mental health and therapy services, child abuse and residential programs extends its reach to more than 6,000 children and their families each year. With more than 900 staff members, The Help Group’s state-of-the-art schools and programs are located on six campuses in the Los Angeles area.

The Help Group is widely regarded for its high standards of excellence, unique scope and breadth of services. Through its public awareness, professional training and parent education programs and efforts at the state and national levels, The Help Group touches the lives of children with special needs across the country and in other parts of the world.

At the heart of its effort is the commitment to helping young people fulfill their potential to lead positive, productive and rewarding lives.

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