Who did you idolize from television or books when you were a kid? If you are at all like me, you probably enjoyed lots of famous characters and actresses. I loved Lucille Ball for example, yet Nancy Drew served as an even more important figure in my life than Lucy. She was VERY important when I was nine, ten, and even eleven. I would wait with high anticipation if I knew my mother was coming home from shopping and might have a new Nancy Drew book with her. If she did, my next week was sure to be close to heaven. I would have a mystery to solve along with Nancy and all the positively luscious feelings of excitement I would be bound to feel as I accompanied her on her newest adventure. Forget her close buddies, they were only silly girls. I was dedicated as she, to solving mysteries, and I was there for her. Oh, they were wonderful adventures that we took together-just Nancy and myself. And when it came to an end I had a let down that could only be compensated for in one way-a long bike ride, a coffee ice cream cone with jimmies on top and the beginning allure of the next Nancy Drew book.
I think that Nancy Drew was an important icon figure to me, as a positive psychologist, because in the language of Positive Psychology, she gave me hope. She validated that I was smart. She reinforced my resiliency. After all, I figured out at least some of the mysteries before she did. She gave me such a sense of competency. If she could do it, so could I. I just hadn’t had the right opportunity yet, so for now I accompanied her.
She reinforced my strengths and interests. After all, I could figure people out. I could travel, if only my parents would let me. I could act very grown-up and be a leader. For example, I was on the Student Council. Yes, everything about her was affirming to me. Even her boyfriend gave me hope that someday I would have a boyfriend just as nice and kind and loving, In fact, Nancy Drew was probably the best therapy I had in my life from the ages of 9-11. And she didn’t even know she was a Positive Psychologist!