Introduction To Positive Psychology

The course modules are below. They are designed to flow from the first to the last. However, you may complete them in any order.

Please use the ‘Contact’ button in each module should you have any questions. Alternatively, please use our ‘Contact’ to request an invitation to our private Facebook support group.

An Introduction To The Course

Setting you up for success. We will provide you with access to videos, articles, a discussion forum, downloadable PDFs as well as online support from your course facilitators. Before you begin this course we will recommend ways of working, recording your thoughts and insights as you progress and practical exercises designed to help you explore some positive psychology interventions in your own day to day experience.

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Module 1 : What Is Positive Psychology

What exactly is positive psychology? In this module, we will consider some popular definitions of the topic and explore what positive psychology means to you and how it may be applied in your personal and professional life. We will look at what was happening and why positive psychology emerged when it did between 1998 and the early 2000s which helps understand why it is what it is. We will note some of the trends that have happened as this discipline has grown.

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Module 2 : Happiness

Happiness is? In this module we examine questions such as, What does happiness mean to you? Can we measure happiness in a scientific way? What are the common misconceptions about happiness? We examine the difference between hedonic and eudaimonic happiness and how they may appear in your life and discuss the concept of the hedonic treadmill that may be responsible for why some happiness is short-lived.

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Module 3 : Positive Emotions

In this module we explore the work of positive psychologist, Barbara Fredrickson and consider the ten positive emotions that are said to be universally recognised. What is the difference between a positive and negative emotion and how do we differentiate between the two? We describe the ‘broaden & build’ theory and how positive emotions can not just make you feel good but increase your general wellbeing too.

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Module 4 : Gratitude

Gratitude may be one of the most researched topics in positive psychology with some of the most compelling positive outcomes for wellbeing. In this module we discuss the benefits for the individual who adopts the habit of feeling and expressing gratitude. We describe some of the ‘gratitude interventions’ and encourage you to try them out yourself to see whether you have the same positive experience.

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Module 5 : Strengths

Most people are aware of their weaknesses but research shows that only a small number of people are able to list their strengths. In this module we examine how to define and character strengths and the different tools that are available to measure them. Why a strength-based approach at work can lead to increased wellbeing that will affect your personal as well as your professional life.

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Module 6 : Resilience

In this module, we will review the research that reveals the habits and behaviours of resilience and how these might be learned and developed. We will review the approach to resilience described in a book named ‘The Resilience Factor’ which is based on the world-renowned ‘Penn Resiliency Program’, which has been administered to people and organisations around the world, including the United States Army.

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Module 7 : Growth Mindset

In this module we explore the work of Professor Carol Dweck who describes the difference between fixed and growth mindsets. Her theory explains why success may depend upon one’s beliefs more than talent and ability. The growth mindset is a particularly important aspect of academic success in childhood but may be of equal importance in adulthood when changing the way you think can result in more successful outcomes.

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Module 8 : Hope

Hope is not to be confused with blind optimism. In this module, we review the psychology of hope theory that explains how hope can be defined and divided into different stages or steps. We take a look at each of these stages individually and consider how you can influence them.

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What Next?

Our final module includes a recap of the positive psychology topics we have covered and how they may relate to each other. We expect you will have made some personal observations and discoveries since beginning the course and started to adopt some positive psychology strategies in your daily life. Now is the time to assess whether the goals you set at the beginning of the course have been achieved as you plan for the future.

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Information for MAPP Applicants

For those delegates who are applying for a place on the MSc Applied Positive Psychology Programme (MAPP) at Bucks New University. We will provide you with an extra module to describe how the course is run and what you can expect over the 2-3 year period. Piers wrote and launched this course in 2012 and worked on it until his retirement and Lesley was a student in the first cohort. Between them they will be able to answer your questions on every aspect of the course, from academic writing style and research to how to manage the course-work whilst in full time employment.

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Lesley Lyle

Course Facilitator

Certified trainer, Clinical Hypnotherapist and graduate of the first MAPP programme at Bucks New University

Dr Piers Worth

Course Facilitator

Chartered Psychologist & psychotherapist who wrote and launched Bucks New University MAPP programme.

Contact Us

 We have created a private Facebook group that is only accessible by students and graduates of the course. We encourage you to use it as an accompanying discussion resource where you can share your experience with others. The group is monitored by the course facilitators who are available to offer any information, support you need. Technical support is available by email. After you purchase the course, please use the above contact form to request an invitation.