Most of us would like to become happier and flourish in life. This course provides evidence-based techniques to enable you to do this. This short course takes a very practical approach. Students will learn evidence-based skills and be encouraged to apply them between sessions.
You will learn evidence-based techniques to become happier, be more engaged in life, have more meaning and purpose, enjoy better personal and professional relationships and achieve more.
Through encouragement from the course tutor, you will learn techniques that enable you to realise your full potential, as well assess their individual experiences within the context of positive psychology. Participation is important and the course asks for a lot of self-reflection.
The part-time course is suitable for anyone who wishes to develop professionally or personally. It may be of particular relevance to those who mentor or coach or manage other people but is not limited to these people.
You will learn leading-edge ways to develop PERMA: positive emotions, engagement, positive relationships, meaning, purpose and accomplishment.
You will also have the opportunity to reflect on values and learn how CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) can help you become more resilient and move in your valued direction.
Weekly classes encourage discussion of these ideas and practical exercises are given to aid self-development. You also have the option of giving a short presentation in class.
The two Positive Psychology courses can be taken in either order and no prior knowledge is required.
We recommend you consider Positive Psychology - becoming the best version of you - which complements this course and starts in the summer term, April / May.
“ Hugely enjoyable course…I liked the informal style, content and group participation. ”
The 10 week course will cover the following and will be discussed in further detail during the first class.
Note: This is indicative of likely content and is subject to change
Week 1 Introduction: Positive Psychology, happiness and flourishing
This week will introduce the main themes of the course – What is positive psychology? What do we mean by flourishing? What is happiness? Martin Seligman’s PERMA model of flourishing will be introduced. students will be asked to think of a meaningful goal they will work on to achieve by the end of the course.
Reading : Achieve Your Potential With Positive Psychology: Introduction
Week 2 Accomplishment & Achievement
We will look at theories relating to how to become an expert, developing a growth mindset, SMART goals. A framework will be introduced based on these ideas to help students achieve their goals.
Core Reading (to be done before this week): Achieve Your Potential With Positive Psychology Chapter 5 (for each week there is reading to be carried out before the class and optional supplementary reading will be suggested )
Week 3 Happiness & Positive Emotions
We will look at the psychology of happiness and positive emotions, including Fredrickson’s Broaden and Build theory and attempt to answer the important question “what makes people happier?” Empirically-supported interventions which have been shown to make people happier will be described and students will be invited to try them out for themselves.
Reading: Achieve Your Potential With Positive Psychology Chapters 1 & 2
Week 4 Meaning & Purpose
We will look at the psychology of meaning and purpose, from Viktor Frankl to Martin Seligman as well as the psychology of kindness.
Reading: Achieve Your Potential With Positive Psychology Chapter 6
Week 5 Flow
We will look at the psychology of flow – being “in the zone” and fully engaged in what you are doing, based on Csikszentmihalyi ‘s seminal work. We will also look at the connection between flow and using your strengths.
Reading: Achieve Your Potential With Positive Psychology Chapter 7
Week 6 Positive Relationships
We will look at the psychology of positive relationships – including romantic relationships and friendships and working relationship, drawing on the theories of Sternberg & Gottman.
Reading : Achieve Your Potential With Positive Psychology Chapter 8
Week 7 Values and Flourishing
Having looked at the 5 elements of flourishing according to Seligman’s PERMA theory earlier in the course, we will now take a step back and look at flourishing in the round. Students will have the opportunity to engage in values clarification and learn about other theories of flourishing and well-being
Reading: Achieve Your Potential With Positive Psychology Chapter 3
Week 8 Third Wave CBT: Flourishing through ACT
Students will learn about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a third wave CBT therapy. ACT provides an evidence-based framework for learning how to actualise your values and overcome emotional obstacles to so doing.
Reading: Achieve Your Potential With Positive Psychology Chapter 10 (part) and handout
Week 9 Resilience
Students will learn how to overcome adversities, drawing on evidence-based techniques from CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) which may include problem solving and cognitive restructuring
Reading: Achieve Your Potential With Positive Psychology Chapter 9
Week 10 Conclusions
In the final week we will draw together threads from the course and discuss next steps. Students will also have the opportunity to do a short presentation relating to achieving the meaningful goal they set themselves to achieve earlier in the course.
Good written and spoken English.
Students are required to purchase Achieve your potential with Positive Psychology , the main course reader, before the course starts. Other readings are optional.
Values and Flourishing
Achievement and Accomplishment
Happiness and Positive Emotions
Meaning and Purpose
ACT and Third Wave CBT
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.
Tim is a 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)
Tim has been teaching psychology, philosophy and personal and development courses for over 20 years. As a practising life coach and psychotherapist, Tim is known form making complicated ideas simple and for teaching how to apply these ideas in practice.