Dr Marien is trained in medicine and cognitive and behavioural psychology and has worked as a specialist in the Academic Department of Psychological Medicine, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. He is the co-founder and director of the Positive Group. The project translates the relevant principles of psychology and human behaviour into practical, versatile tools and techniques that enable individuals, teams and organisations to manage pressure and adapt to change and uncertainty.
Dr Marien spoke about the significance of psychological wellbeing and the importance of teaching ourselves and the next generation to improve and maintain our psychological health, wellbeing and resilience.
‘Being emotionally literate is protective in itself,’ said Dr Marien. ‘Our mood state has a biological effect on our bodies and academically this has a huge impact on cognitive functions.’
Resilient teachers perform better under pressure, have better cognitive function, have a greater tolerance of uncertainty, experience better physical health and are more effective at positively influencing and motivating students.
Dr Brian Marien, Positive Group
Speaking directly to the teachers he said:
‘Resilient teachers perform better under pressure, have better cognitive function, have a greater tolerance of uncertainty, experience better physical health and are more effective at positively influencing and motivating students.’
To the whole audience he emphasised the importance of normalising changes in our moods:
‘To normalise changes in our moods is an important process and it is important to educate people, particularly our young people, in this. We all have ‘bad days’ but this is normal. Changing patterns of thinking is incredibly protective to ourselves.’
He went on to discuss the importance of educating children in their mental wellbeing.
Our early experiences give rise to beliefs and those beliefs can become self-perpetuating. Supporting children to adopt protective and adaptive cognitive and behavioural patterns from a young age is vitally important.’
Mrs Amy Hostler, Positive Champion at Portsmouth High School added:
‘By September 2017, Portsmouth High School will have trained nine staff in the Positive Project Programme and will have taught all 500 girls techniques in managing their emotions and given tools to help improve their mental health.’