MentorCoach Positive Psychology Coaching Pages



Welcome to the MentorCoach Positive Psychology Coaching pages.

MentorCoach incorporates the science of positive psychology throughout its cutting-edge coach-training program.

What IS positive psychology?

In short, positive psychology is the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive. It is a rich and growing field, and aligns perfectly with coaching: both assume people are basically healthy, resourceful, and motivated to grow.

The phrase “positive psychology” was first used by Abraham Maslow in 1954, in a call to psychology to focus on humanity’s potential just as much as its shortcomings. It was again used in 1998 when Martin Seligman assumed the presidency of the American Psychological Association. Seligman recognized that the bulk of psychological research in the twentieth century had focused on human deficits and how to alleviate them, with considerably less research devoted to exploring human strengths and how to develop and promote them. Positive psychology addresses this gap in research.

What are the benefits of positive psychology coaching?

Research has demonstrated that a number of positive psychology practices can effectively raise our level of happiness. The benefits of happiness are significant and widespread and extend far beyond just feeling good.

Happier people tend to enjoy better health, live a longer life, have closer friendships, are more creative and productive at work and in life, and achieve greater success. Research studies show that the happiest people tend to:

•Express gratitude-–that is, counting their blessings

•Nurture relationships with family and friends

•Practice optimism regarding the future

•Savor the positive experience in their lives

•Commit to and realize meaningful goals


How does positive psychology help coaches to help their clients?

Positive psychology is a natural fit with coaching. Clients seek out coaching for a full range of issues, but underneath all of these issues is a generally unstated desire to increase their overall sense of happiness and well-being. Positive psychology provides important empirical underpinnings to the techniques and strategies that coaches use to help clients realize their goals on the path to greater well-being.

Positive psychology also suggests specific interventions and practices that can be effectively integrated into the coaching relationship. For example, the VIA Survey of Signature Strengths can be used to help clients identify their character strengths. With a working knowledge of their core strengths, the client and coach can then explore how to put them to best use in the client’s work and life.

How has MentorCoach integrated positive psychology into coaching?

MentorCoach is taking a global lead in bringing positive psychology to the world through coaching. Our training program is unique in its objective to integrate the science of well-being into every coach’s practice. Our website Coaching Toward Happiness is focused entirely on applying positive psychology in your coaching, work, and life. It boasts the largest email newsletter in coaching and provides access to regular interviews with thought leaders in coaching and positive psychology. Additionally, the MentorCoach Alliance for Positive Psychology (MCAPP) gives our students and coaches access to more positive psychology resources, as well as a place to join in on the discussion.

Understanding the power of positive psychology coaching, MentorCoach has had a strong commitment to the field since 2002. Dr. Ben Dean, Founder and CEO of MentorCoach, partnered with Dr. Martin Seligman, former President of the American Psychological Association and author of Authentic Happiness, to create the Authentic Happiness Coaching Program (AHC), providing training via teleconference on the scientific underpinnings and interventions of positive psychology. From 2003 to 2005, AHC trained 1000 professionals in 19 nations in the theory, assessments, interventions and practice of positive psychology.

Following up on the great success of the Authentic Happiness Coaching classes, Ben then partnered with University of Michigan Professor Christopher Peterson to offer MentorCoach students a series of stimulating, original, and fun Positive Psychology Coach-training courses called North of Neutral and Positive Psychology Immersion: Applications in Action.

Many other luminaries in the field of positive psychology have also taught coach training courses to MentorCoach students:

• Alex Linley, PhD -- The Positive Psychology Coaching MasterClass
• Robert Emmons, PhD -- The Gratitude MasterClass
• Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD -- The How of Happiness MasterClass
• Todd Kashdan, PhD -- Positive Psychology 3.0 MasterClass
• Michael Frisch, PhD -- The Complete Guide to Positive Psychology Practice MasterClass
• Bob Siegfried, PhD -- Appreciative Inquiry Coaching MasterClass

In addition to offering classes such as these, MentorCoach regularly features guest interviews with leaders in the field of positive psychology, including:

• Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD
• Kate Hays, PhD
• Barbara Fredrickson, PhD
• Shelly Gable, PhD
• Stephen Joseph, PhD
• Phil Zimbardo, PhD
• Daniel Gilbert, PhD
• Dan Pink, JD
• Carol Dweck, PhD
• Ellen Langer, PhD
• Carol Tavris, PhD
• Elliot Aronson, PhD
• Anthony Grant, PhD
• Tayyab Rashid, PhD
• Dacher Keltner, PhD




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