Miriam Akhtar

MiriamH&S2Miriam Akhtar MAPP is a positive psychologist and leading practitioner of the science. 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 offers positive psychology training, coaching and consultancy. She runs short courses in positive psychology that combine the essential knowledge and tools for busy professionals. You can book the Positive Psychology Masterclass which has regular dates throughout the year and the online Positive Psychology Foundations. Or ask Miriam to design some bespoke training tailored to your organisation’s needs. Miriam’s major area of expertise is in developing positive psychology programmes. These now span the range from Positive Youth to Positive Ageing and include the Happiness Habits, which is both a community and workplace well-being programme. The Happiness Habits were delivered in lunchtime sessions to Triodos Bank, named by the Sunday Times as one of the 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 and showcased it to the UK Parliament. Miriam has facilitated the Penn Resilience Programme, a world-leading course developed at the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania. It was piloted in the UK as part of the Local Well-being Project.

Miriam’s clients range across the public, private and third sectors. She works a lot with health professionals, the finance sector and the creative industries. She is a Fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs with clients including Lightbox, the Happiness Project. Miriam has served as a director of the ground-breaking Happy City Initiative and 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 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. The MAPP is a course established by Prof Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania “to make the world a happier place.” Miriam is now training up the next generation of positive psychologists and is a visiting professor at the University of Lisbon. She has lectured at the University of Oxford, Bath, Brunel, UWE and the London College of Fashion.

Miriam is the author of 5 books including the bestselling 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 Books on Prescription founder, Prof Neil Frude.  Her latest book What is Post-traumatic Growth takes readers on the journey from adversity to positive growth. As well as The World Book of Happiness Miriam has contributed to its follow-up The World Book of Hope, Gratitude, How to Appreciate Life’s Gifts and is a featured expert 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 mediaMircropglasses. 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