Broken/Whole: A Positive Psychology Approach to Building Resilience in Clients


Instructor: Maria Sirois, PsyD

Online Course Dates: September 23 - November 3, 2019

Live Call Date: October 15, 2019

In Person Residency Date: November 2, 2019 9AM - 4:30PM EST
Located at William James College

Over the last two decades psychology has turned its attention to the integration of research that suggests positivity has a significant role to play in human wellbeing and thriving. More specifically, research has emerged linking positive psychology-based perspectives and tools to the capacity of individuals and teams to rise under moments of stress, sudden change and loss.

This course explores this research: the role of positive states (specifically gratitude, and optimism) in providing relief and hope in the worst moments; the importance of constructing meaning and an exploration of the elements necessary to meaning; the practice and perspective of appreciative inquiry as a driver for productive change in systems under stress; the significance of mindfulness and mindfulness practice during times of high stress as well as chronic stress; the application and benefits of character strengths to crossroad moments; and the overarching benefits of healthful connection in building sustaining relationships, health and success at work.

Each of these subthemes will be supported with current and comprehensive research (integrating long-standing resilience perspectives with cutting-edge science) and the primary emphasis will be the clinical and supervisory application of positive psychology-based tools.

Limitations of the material will be explored as well: when positivity causes harm and when positivity is poorly received by those in power. We will also discuss areas of research not yet fully examined such as excessive optimism in times of stress; how the push toward optimism might dampen necessary expressions of grief, anxiety, anger; and what works when meaning-making systems are disrupted.

Specific learning objectives:

• Define Resilience from a Positive-Psychology Perspective
• Compare Post-Traumatic Growth as a Potential Model for Resilience to Traditional Recovery Models
• Examine Assumptions of Resilience from Diverse Perspectives Including, but Not Limited to Gender Identity, Race, Age, Religion, Sexual Preference, and Class.
• Examine Appreciative Inquiry as a Perspective and a Practice
• Explain Growth Mindset
• Discuss Optimism as a Counter-Balance to Rumination and Pessimism and Leverage for Transformation
• Apply Optimism as an Intervention for Chronic Anxiety, Depression, Pain, Sadness
• Define Character vs. Signature Strengths
• Apply Character Strengths to Moments of Moderate to High Stress, including Loss
• Review Common Negative Thought Habits
• Apply Fast Skills to Address Common Negative Thought Habits
• Review Current Mindfulness Research Vis-à-Vis Health Benefits
• Discuss Mindful Pause as a Stress Reduction Strategy
• Detail Benefits of Mindfulness Practice
• Investigate 3 Elements of Meaning
• Examine the Role of Meaning-Making while in Recovery from Loss, Illness, Upheaval
• Summarize Positive Psychology-Based Approaches
• Discuss Clinical Implications for an Integrated Positive-Psychology Based Interventions for Diverse Populations 

Program Code: BWPP
Credits: 18
Fees: $590

Blended Delivery Method

This course offers 18 continuing education credits in a blended learning format, consisting of a 5-week online course and a required residency at William James College campus in Newton, MA.

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