Positive Psychology in the media: How to deepen its presence
All too frequently, the media is a source of fear, negativity and misinterpreted science. Historically, Psychologists and media have not always been easy bedfellows, with many practitioners choosing not to add our voices to the media space. Nigel Latta believes we can do better. In this interview, we discuss ways in which we could more effectively be utilising our knowledge, interpretations, explanations and presence in order to spread the message of the true benefits of positive emotions, empathy and compassion. We talk about how to take science from misinterpreted and negative, to exciting and positive, and our role as Psychologists in the context of reaching higher levels of well-being in New Zealand.
Nigel's professional experience to date spans over two decades and reflects a dual interest in both forensic psychology and working with young people and their families. He began his career working in organisations involved in family therapy, sex offender treatment programmes and alcohol/drug rehabilitation. He developed an increasing specialty and passion for working with kids in the ‘too-hard’ basket. In 1997, after having finally accepted the fact that working in organizations just wasn’t for him, Nigel started up in private practice. The deciding factor in making this change, was sitting in a staff meeting so inane and trivial that he found himself wishing for death. This, on reflection, didn’t seem like a great way to spend his time. Nigel's career as a broadcaster began with the critically acclaimed "Beyond the Darklands". This was produced by Screentime in New Zealand, ran for five seasons and was based on his book 'Into The Darklands'. He presented the top rating 'Politically Incorrect Parenting Show' with Razor Films, and 'The Politically Incorrect Guide to Teenagers', both of which are based on his books by the same name. Nigel’s other TV projects with Razor Films, include 'Cold Science', two one hour episodes looking at life and science in the Antarctic, a six part popular science primetime series titled 'Nigel Latta Blows Stuff Up', which screened in 2015 on TVNZ, as well as a documentary series which screened on TVNZ in 2014 and investigated some of the important issues within our society including, alcohol, education, sugar/obesity, poverty/inequality, child abuse and crime and punishment. His latest documentary was on the "curious mind".