Miriam Akhtar

Miriam Akhtar MAPP is a leading positive psychology practitioner. She is one of 100 global experts invited to contribute to The World Book of Happiness and is on Top Santé‘s list of the ‘100 Names You Need to Know in Health & Well-being.

Miriam was one of the first handful of positive psychologists in Europe. She graduated with Distinction from the MSc in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) at the University of East London, a course established by Prof Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania.

Miriam works in business as a trainer, coach and consultant. She founded Positive Psychology Training to offer short-format courses in positive psychology, which combine the essential knowledge and tools in a one-stop shop. There are two open courses. Book the Positive Psychology Masterclass which has regular dates throughout the year or join the online Positive Psychology Foundations. Other courses are available to be delivered in organisations.

Miriam designs positive psychology programmes for the workplace and personal development courses, which range from Positive Youth to Positive Ageing. The Happiness Habits is a workplace well-being programme, which has been delivered at one of the Sunday Times’ Best Small Companies to Work For. The Academy of Social Sciences highlighted another programme, the Happiness Zones, as a model of best practice in mental well-being. Miriam has also facilitated the Penn Resilience Programme, a world-leading course in resilience skills. Developed at the University of Pennsylvania, it was piloted in the UK through the Local Well-being Project under Professor Lord Richard Layard from the London School of Economics.

Miriam’s clients range across the public, private and third sectors. She is a Fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs and was a director of the Happy City Initiative. She is a Happiness Champion in Bristol, the former European Green Capital.

“Miriam is the best positive psychologist in Britain. She is passionate about growth and has a wonderful way of using her knowledge to inspire.” Lucy Barfoot, Director, Lightbox.

Miriam is now training up the next generation of positive psychologists. She is on the faculty of the Executive MAPP at the University of Lisbon. She has also lectured at the Universities of Oxford, LSE, Bath, Brunel, UWE and the London College of Fashion.

Miriam is the author of 5 books including the ground-breaking Positive Psychology for Overcoming Depression  A bibliotherapy study conducted at Sheffield Hallam University has provided evidence that the book works.  It has been endorsed by Prof Neil Frude, founder of Books on Prescription.  What is Post-traumatic Growth takes readers on the journey from adversity to growth. As well as The World Book of Happiness Miriam contributed to its follow-up The World Book of Hope, Gratitude, How to Appreciate Life’s Gifts and is an expert featured in PsychologiesReal Calm. 

Positive psychology is the science of strengths. Miriam’s top character strengths are mainly located in the virtue of Wisdom & Knowledge and include Perspective, Creativity, Social Intelligence, Appreciation and Humour. Her top five in StrengthsFinder are Intellection, Input, Strategy, Activator and Futuristic, across the leadership theme of Strategic Thinking.

Miriam is an expert voice on the science of happiness. She has a reputation as a highly-engaging keynote speaker and has presented at conferences and events internationally. Her strengths in communication were honed during an earlier career in the media. She has won the Medical Journalists Association Gold Award and others while at BBC Radio 4 (Sony Gold Award for Best Magazine Programme) and Channel 4 (the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco Film Festival). Miriam has made many appearances across BBC radio including Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Off the Page & Sunday. She is a regular guest with Dr Phil Hammond on BBC Radio Bristol’s Saturday Surgery. She’s appeared on BBC News, ITV News and as a contributor to BBC2′s Secret Life of the Airport. She is widely quoted in the media including Psychologies, the Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Mirror, Daily Mail, Independent on Sunday, ES Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Top Santé, Men’s Health, Metro, Zest, Good Housekeeping,  WebMD, Woman & Home, Women’s Weekly, Coaching Today, Healthy magazine, Boots’ Health & Beauty, Bristol 24/7, Slimming World, Single Step and the Weightwatchers magazine.

Miriam is a champion of Positive Ageing and has collaborated with the Gulben11223588_10153822516262345_7491565779720283028_nkian Foundation , Dove and the Daily Telegraph to counter the negative stereotyping around later life. She was named as one of the Daily Telegraph‘s inspirational women who are rewriting the rules on ageing.

Miriam was a founder member of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) and the Centre for Applied Positive Psychology (CAPP).

Watch video clips below of Miriam talking about the Happiness Habits and on BBC Points West.

Pictures by kind permission of (c) Malcolm Griffiths www.malcolm.gb.net and (c) Simon Songhurst www. simonsonghurst.com