Danilo Garcia, PhD
Director of the Blekinge Center of Competence and Associate Professor in psychology.
I’m a Doctor of Philosophy in psychology and an Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg. I’m currently the director of the Blekinge Center of Competence, the research and development unit of the Blekinge County Council, Sweden. The Blekinge Centre of Competence focuses in education, research, development, and innovation of health and healthcare in order to improve the quality of life of the people in Blekinge, Sweden. Furthermore, I’m a research fellow at Professor C. Robert Cloninger’s Center for Well-Being at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (http://psychobiology.wustl.edu) and an associate of the non-profit organization The Anthropedia Foundation lead by Doctor Kevin M. Cloninger.
Most of my past research has focused on how personality (i.e., temperament, character and identity) influence individuals’ happiness and well-being (i.e., subjective well-being and psychological well-being). Together with Professor Henrik Anckarsäter and other colleagues at the Center of Ethics, Law and Mental Health (http://celam.gu.se), University of Gothenburg, I have investigated the genetic effects on personality dimensions and their influence on symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders and dysfunction and suffering derived from these symptoms.
Currently, together with my colleagues at the Blekinge Centre of Competence, I’m conducting research and development projects to test person-centered well-being coaching in prevention and intervention studies in Swedish settings. The coaches are trained in collaboration with the Anthropedia Foundation (http://anthropedia.org). The person-centered well-being coaching training is unique because it is a truly interdisciplinary, integrative, and holistic approach to well-being, targeting the development of positive emotions, sense of autonomy and control, goal-directed behavior, self-empowerment, cooperativeness, empathy, sense of commitment and belonging, and free will. The training is based on extensive research in personality development, neurobiology, and genetics; but also the humanities. The coaching training is also open for people outside the project (for how to apply see here: http://ltblekinge.se/valbefinnandecoaching). The Certified Anthropedia Well-Being Coach is trained to be an expert in lifestyle transformation, stress management, and how to growth in self-awareness. The coaches don't just talk about well-being, they live it.
I have also been developing research, with Professor Sverker Sikström and his students at Lund University (http://www.psy.lu.se/en/sverker-sikstrom), using computational methods (e.g., Latent Semantic Analysis) to quantify a person’s written explanations of life events, life narrative, and own reflections of specific situations. We have been using this method to also define concepts (e.g., the semantic content of the word “happiness"), to conduct common statistical analysis using narratives and psychometric measures of well-being, and to investigate individual behavior in social networks (e.g., Facebook).
Last but not the least, together with professor Trevor Archer and Doctor Max Rapp Ricciardi at the Psychology Department, University of Gothenburg, I’m the founder and lead researcher of the Network for Empowerment and Well-Being. This is an international network of junior and senior researchers that support students who are interested in the field of well-being research.