Positive Psychology  Short Courses

Understanding psychology can improve your well-being and success both at work and in your personal life. Positive psychology is the growing branch of psychology that focuses on strengths, positive states and happiness. This Positive Psychology evening course will have a particular emphasis on applying positive psychology in your personal and working life.  

Topics studied on the Positive Psychology short course will include:

  • Happiness
  • Strengths
  • Positive relationships
  • Achievement
  • Flourishing
  • Meaning and purpose
  • Resilience and optimism
  • Compassion and mindfulness
  • Wisdom
  • Flow and engagement

Please note: During the Autumn term there is no class on Thursday 22nd October. The last lesson of the course (week 10) will be on Thursday 10th December.

Positive Psychology short course tutor Tim Lebon discusses how to get more from life, take control and achieve your full potential.

Why Choose a City Short Course?

Apply positive psychology to your personal and professional life over 10 weekly evening classes with our short course.

Through encouragement from the course tutor, students will learn techniques to enable them to realise their full potential, as well assess their individual experiences within the context of positive psychology.

Course Information

Start DateStart TimeDurationCostCourse CodeApply
Thursday 1 October 2015 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes (No class 22nd October) £415.00 CS1941 Apply Now
Thursday 28 April 2016 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes £415.00 CS1941 Apply Now

Tutor Info

Tim LeBon gained a first class degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Trinity College, Oxford and an M.Phil in Philosophy at the University of London. He teaches philosophy, personal development and counselling courses and has a particular interest in the way that philosophy and psychology can be of practical use. He is qualified as a life coach and a psychotherapist and is the author of Wise Therapy: Philosophy for Counsellors (Sage, 2001) and Achieve Your Potential with Positive Psychology  (2014)

English Requirements

Good written and spoken English.

What will I learn?

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the leading names and main ideas of positive psychology;
  • Be able to apply some of the main ideas such as signature strengths, flow and emotional intelligence in your working and personal life;
  • Assess positive psychology in the light of your own thoughts and work, and personal experience.

Teaching and Assessment

  • A short presentation to the class.
  • Answers to weekly assignments.
  • Contributions to class discussions.

Recommended Reading

Course reader: (students are required to purchase this book)

LeBon, T. (2014) Achieve Your Potential with Positive Psychology

The first book in each section is the tutor's top recommendation.


Boniwell, I (2007) Positive Psychology in a Nutshell (London: PWBC)

Compton W,C. (2005) Introduction to Positive Psychology (Belmont: Thomson Wadsworth)

Seligman, M.(2002) Authentic Happiness (New York: Free Press)

Snyder, C.R . & Lopez, S (2002) Handbook of Positive Psychology. (New York: OUP )

Linley P. & Joseph, S (2004) Positive Psychology in Practice (Wiley)

Carr, A. (2004) Positive Psychology (Hove and New York: Brunner-Routledge)

Happiness and Well-Being

Lyubomirsky, S (2008) The How of Happiness (Sphere)

Gilbert, D (2006) Stumbling on Happiness (Harper)

Haidt, J. (2006) The Happiness Hypothesis (London: Arrow)

Nettle, D. (2005) Happiness (Oxford: OUP)

Ben-Shahar, T (2007) Happier: Finding Pleasure, Meaning and Life's Ultimate Currency (McGraw-Hill)

Weiner, E (2008) The Geography of Bliss (Twelve)

Layard, R  (2006) Happiness (London: Penguin)

Argyle, M. (2001) The Psychology of Happiness (London: Routledge)

Eysenck, M (1990) Happiness (L.E.A)

Myers, D.M. (1992) The Pursuit of Happiness (New York: Morrow)

Keyes, C  and Haidt , J (ed) (2003) Flourishing: Positive Psychology and the Life Well-Lived


Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990) Flow: The Psychology of optimal experience

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1997) Finding Flow


Rath, T. (2007) Strengths Finder (New York, Gallup)

Bolt, M  (2004) Pursuing Human Strengths: A Positive Psychology Guide (Worth)

Peterson, C & Seligman, M  (2004) Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification (OUP)

Aspinall, L. & Staudinger, U. (2003) A Psychology of Human Strengths (Washington, APA)

Emotions, Emotional Intelligence and Resilience

Goleman, D. (1995) Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ (New York: Bantam)

Reivich, K., & Shatte, A. (2002). The Resilience Factor (New York: Broadway Books.)

Goleman, D. (1998) Working with Emotional Intelligence (New York: Bantam)

Epstein,S (1998) Constructive Thinking: The Key to Emotional Intelligence (Westport, Praeger)

Barr-On, R & Parker, J (2000) The Handbook of Emotional Intelligence (Jossey-Bass)

The positive psychology of Buddhism and Mindfulness

Levine, M. (2000) The Positive Psychology of Buddhism & Yoga (LEA)

Goleman, D. (2003) Destructive Emotions (London: Bloomsbury)

H.H Dalai Lama & Cutler, H (1998) The Art of Happiness (London, Hodder and Stoughton)

Benson, H. (1975) The Relaxation Response (New York: William Morrow)

Kabat-Zinn, J. (2005) Full Catastrophe Living (London: Piatkus)

Langer, E (1989) Mindfulness (Perseus)

Ricard, M  (2007) Happiness (Atlantic)

Hope, Optimism and Luck

Seligman, M (1991) Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life. New York: Pocket Books

Snyder, C.R  (2000) Handbook of Hope. Orlando FL: Academic Press

Gillham, J (2000) The Science of Optimism and Hope. Philadelphia, PA: Templeton Foundation Press

Wiseman, R.  2004) The Luck Factor (Arrow)

Positive Relationships - Love and Friendship

Gottmann, J. & Silver, N. (1999) The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work  (London: Orion)

Sternberg, R, (1988) The Triangle of Love (New York: Basic)

Wisdom and Decision-Making

Sternberg, R. & Jordan, J. (2005) A Handbook of Wisdom (Cambridge: CUP)

Philosophy relevant to Positive Psychology

Aristotle (2004) Nicomachean Ethics (Penguin)

Russell, B. (2006) The Conquest of Happiness (Routledge)

Fromm, E (1995) The Art of Loving (Thorsons)

LeBon, T (2001) Wise Therapy (London: Sage)

Bellioti, R (2004) Happiness is Overrated (Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield)

Schoch, R (2007) The Secrets of Happiness (London: Profile)

Revel, J-F & Ricard, M (1998) The Monk and the Philosopher (New York: Schocken)

Self-Help books relevant to Positive Psychology

(Note: Not all are based on peer-reviewed empirical research, but are nevertheless included because they contain interesting ideas that may be the starting point for research).

LeBoef, M. (1980) Creative Thinking (London: Piatkus)

Buzan, T  (2000) The Mind Map Book. London: BBC

Buzan, T  (2000) Use Your Head. London: BBC

de Bono, E. (1982) de Bono's Thinking Course. London: BBC Book

de Bono, E . (2000) Six Thinking Hats. London: Penguin

Gelb, M (2004) How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci. Element Books

Harris, R. (1998) Creative Thinking Techniques

Osborn, A. (1953) Applied Imagination. New York: Scribners

Rawlinson, J. (1986) Creative Thinking and Brainstorming. London: Gower

Hammond, J, Keeney, R & Raiffi, H (1999) Smart Choices (Boston: Harvard)

Paterson, R.  (2000) The Assertiveness Workbook (Oakland: New Harbinger)

Sharma, R (1997) The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari (Ontario: Harper Collins)

Popovic, N. (2005) Personal Synthesis. (London: PWBC.)

Branden, N. (2004) The Six Pillars of self-esteem (Random House)

Clegg, B & Birch, P (1999) Instant Creativity (Kogan Page)

Positive Psychology Coaching and Interventions

Biswas-Diener, R & Dean, B (2007) Positive Psychology Coaching. (New Jersey, WIley)

Frisch, M. (2006) Quality of Life Therapy (New Jersey: Wiley)

Lopez, S.  (Editor), C.R. Snyder (Editor) (2004) Positive Psychological Assessment: Handbook of Models and Measures (Washington: APA)

Precursors to Positive Psychology

Levinson, D. (1986) Seasons of a Man's Life (New York: Ballantine)

Maslow, A. (1987) Motivation and Personality (Longman)

Vaillant, G.E. (1995) Adaption to Life (Harvard University Press,)

Bowlby, J. (1971) Attachment and Loss Volume 1: Attachment Penguin Books, Harmondsworth

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