How a transformational Collective Benefit Mindset experience prompted
parents raising children with disability to launch a peer network
This research reports how families forged their pathway towards a
‘Benefit Mindset’ self-transformation. This resulted in parents creating
a peer network, taking steps to pursue their development and to share
their learning about empowerment and flourishing as they work in
parallel to create better outcomes for their children with disability.
Twenty-three participants (11 couples and 1 mother) raising children
with disability or developmental delays attended the Now and
NextTMprogram, which pioneered the integration of Positive Psychology in
the disability sector. This disruptive program was launched in New South
Wales in 2015 by two professionals with lived experience and evolved
through co-design with the 300 families that have since completed the
program (Mahmic & Janson, 2018).
As participants grew their individual empowerment, hope and collective
capacity, their vision to support other families and the collective
mindset to make it happen emerged. These families recognised that the
missing link in partnerships between professionals and families is their
accountability in building their leadership. Participants learnt about
identifying their signature strengths and putting them to work to build
their family leadership.
This research extends the concept of Benefit Mindset proponed by
Buchanan and Kern (2017) about individuals to a group space by detailing
how their Collective Benefit Mindset emerged.