Conference Speakers
Paul Tupou-Vea

Clifftop Wellbeing

Talk Title:

Life navigation: An emergent meta-theory for self-sustained psychological thriving

Talk Description:

Life is complex – so how do we navigate complexity towards wellbeing? The Life navigation theory (LNT) builds from the LIFE model (Lomas, Hefferon, & Ivtzan, 2015), a meta-theoretical conceptual map of relevant domains for applied positive psychology (APP) to present a meta-theory for thriving. I propose that three meta-skills; self reflection, meta-awareness and meta-cognition, enable individuals to self-sustain psychological wellbeing when mediated by positive psychology constructs. Threading together strands from various fields of wellbeing science, LNT offers APP practitioners a tool for developing responsive practice (or affirming their current practice). This emergent cognitive theory is underpinned by self determination theory, social constructivism and neuroscience – and has direct links to clinical psychological approaches. An example is provided for the application of LNT to complex group contexts: Māori and Pacific youth.


A social scientist at heart, Paul has developed youth development programmes for AUT and community organisations. Of late he has led wellbeing education at Dilworth School and is now assisting other schools and organisations on their wellbeing journeys as director of Clifftop Wellbeing. Paul is passionate about assisting thriving both through system(s) design and individual capacity building. He has just completed the requirements for the MAPP at the University of Melbourne and is supported by his wife, Asha, and two sons aged three and four.


©2018 by the New Zealand Association of Positive Psychology.