Positive Psychology: The Fundamental Building Blocks and Principles

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All materials are available as audios with transcripts.

Developed by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.

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This course is also offered as part of a Certificate Program: Positive Psychology 39 CE Credit Hours.

General Course Description

Positive Psychology, which is sweeping across the therapy field, encompasses such empirically supported components as resilience, gratitude, and mindfulness. Its components have accumulated a significant database of empirical support and has a foundation in other modes of psychotherapy, including humanistic and client-centered, cognitive behavioral and logotherapy. Many therapists who do not identify themselves as practicing positive psychology nevertheless use several of its components, either deliberately or semi-consciously. Its uses extend to treating many disorders other than the obvious depressive disorders.

This introductory level course consists of seven interviews with Positive Psychology researchers and clinicians, conducted by David Van Nuys, PhD. It also includes an article regarding the critique of Positive Psychology by one of its foremost critics, James Coyne. Interviews with such luminaries as neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom, James Baraz, co-author of Awakening Joy, and psychiatrist Madan Kataria, founder of Laughter Clubs International, cover the mindfulness and joyful aspects. Robert Emmons, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology, examines the psychological construct of gratitude, and Dennis Charney MD, Dean of Mt. Sinai School of Medicine examines resilience. The course also examines the concept of subjective well-being. Following these interviews, psychologist James Coyne, a noted researcher and Director of the Behavioral Oncology Research of the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, presents a vigorous critique of Positive Psychology. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course. Transcripts for all interviews are provided.

Educational Objectives:

    This course will teach the participant to

  • Identify the role of gratitude in positive psychology.
  • Explain the associations between mindfulness and well-being.
  • Define psychological wealth.
  • Identify criticisms of positive psychology.
  • Discuss the neurobiological underpinnings of positive psychology.
  • Discuss the components of resilience.
  • Describe the fundamental principles of logotherapy.

Course Syllabus:

  • Meditation and mindfulness
    • neuroscience of meditation and mindfulness
    • definitions and descriptions of meditation and mindfulness
  • Joy
    • biological and psychological benefits
    • how to create conditions for evoking joyfulness
  • Laughter
    • physical benefits
    • psychological benefits
    • creating the conditions for laughter
    • laughter clubs and laughing yoga
  • Gratitude
    • physical and psychological effects
    • gratitude journaling
  • Roots of positive psychology
    • logotherapy
    • humanistic psychology
    • cognitive behavioral psychology
  • Resilience
    • components of resilience
    • enhancing resilience
  • Psychological wealth
    • psychological wealth as a measure of a population’s well-being
    • components of psychological wealth
  • Critique of positive psychology
    • the UK Resilience Program for Children and Adolescents
    • positive psychology presents nothing new that is effective
CE Badge Created with Sketch. 7 CE

Cost: $69.00

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