Tai Dorvil: Why I Chose the Positive Psychology Program at PCOM
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Tai Dorvil: Why I Chose the Positive Psychology Program at PCOM


March 14, 2023

With a background in nursing which included providing pediatric care to special needs children, Tai Dorvil experienced—and witnessed—burnout, compassion fatigue and lack of self-care.

Tai Dorvil, a student in the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program
Tai Dorvil

“I was initially introduced to positive psychology in my undergraduate program while studying applied psychology. I was immediately intrigued and wanted to learn more,” Dorvil said.

She discovered research supported by empirical evidence of the benefits of meditation and other mindfulness practices. Meditation soon became part of her daily routine.

“I found it to be a positive, accessible resource I could do at any time with only a few minutes,” she explained.

Dorvil also read positive psychology research on simple gratitude practices that supported lasting positive effects on thoughts, emotions and behaviors.

“I decided to try it out myself and did a gratitude journal for 30 days,” she said. “After 30 days, I could not stop journaling and continued it.”

Dorvil described the journaling experience as “eye-opening” and one that helped her to develop a deep care for the people and things in her life.

“I realized I had many things to be grateful for that I did not notice prior, and as a result, I felt a deep appreciation and kindness—honestly for the first time—toward myself,” she explained.

Dorvil’s continued curiosity and eagerness to learn more about how people thrive despite adversity motivated her to pursue further education as a student in the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program at PCOM.

A first-generation student, Dorvil was immediately drawn to the encouragement and support of the MAPP program faculty.

“My concerns were addressed, and my questions were answered,” she said. “I genuinely felt understood by the faculty. I felt assured that the MAPP program at PCOM would help me succeed and reach my potential.”

According to Dorvil, the application process was easy to follow and she received step-by-step directions from PCOM. The fact that the program is offered entirely online was also very important to her.

“This made attending graduate school an option for me, as I had concerns about the commute to and from school,” she said. “I appreciate the flexibility of the MAPP program; it is accessible and convenient.”

Another strong point of the program for Dorvil has been the ongoing faculty support.

“The MAPP faculty is always available for assistance whenever needed and supports all the students in navigating the courses and curriculum,” she said. “There is such connectedness, joy, kindness, and warmth within the MAPP program among the staff and students at PCOM that I have often forgotten I’m in a virtual classroom.”

As she has progressed through the program, Dorvil has also developed an appreciation for how the courses connect, relate and build off each other.

“Everything I have been learning over the past months is coming together, and I have had many ‘ah-ha’ moments, showing me that everything is making sense, which I have genuinely enjoyed,” she explained. “I have learned tremendously from each course and seen significant growth within myself, my interactions with others, and my environment.”

The MAPP program, Dorvil added, has helped her develop and grow her motivational interviewing and scholarly writing skills, and has widened her perspective on the importance of a biopsychosocial approach.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about positive psychology interventions (PPIs) and the research supporting their effectiveness,” she said. “Self-compassion is one of my favorite concepts; as I continue my education, I am excited to use what I have learned from the MAPP program as I get creative, create, and develop PPIs of my own!”

Upon completion of her degree, Dorvil plans to continue her education and pursue a PsyD.

“I will forever be grateful to the MAPP program for educating me on the foundations and application of positive psychology within institutions, workplaces, and among diverse populations and communities,” Dorvil said. “The program has helped me improve my critical thinking, communication, and scholarly writing abilities and recognize and use my strengths. I feel excited about my future and my journey in positive psychology.”

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