Positive Psychology Foundations Online

Positive Psychology Foundations: January 27 – March 17 2021

An online training in practices from the science of wellbeing which you can use for yourself and pass onto others 

The Positive Psychology Foundations is an online course for people and practitioners who want to use positive psychology in their personal or professional life. The course consists of 8 live weekly webinars hosted by two leading UK experts on the science of wellbeing and resilience – Miriam Akhtar MAPP and Dr Chris Johnstone. There’s also access to an online resource of handouts, articles, videos and discussion forums. Bonus extras include the downloadable audiobook The Happiness Training Plan.

Join the 9th cohort of the Positive Psychology Foundations, which begins on January 27 2021.  You can join us live for the weekly webinar from wherever you are in the world or replay it at a time that suits you. Plus there’s an e-learning platform where you can access a range of resources, chat to others in the group and feedback on your experience of trying these scientifically-grounded practices.

To sample the course before we start in January 2021

  • Replay the 2020 free webinar to meet the trainers and find out about the 3 levels of being a positive psychology practitioner.
  • Register for the free taster course. This will run from January 1 2021 until the course begins.
  • Free webinar on January 13. Register here.
  • Right now you can purchase the complete package of the 2020 programme.

“This course, which is led by two amazing professionals, not only focuses on the know-how of Positive Psychology but more importantly, the real-life practices that really transform learning into reality, helping you (and others) to achieve a more positive state.” Fion Liew, Psychologist. 

The Positive Psychology Foundations are based on Prof Martin Seligman’s PERMA theory of wellbeing (Flourish, 2011). We’ve expanded it into a PERMA+ model, adding an extra R, M & P to cover some other important elements in positive psychology – resilience, mindfulness and the physical body. The aim of the weekly webinars (which are all recorded so you can also listen at your leisure) is to give you a grounding in positive psychology and plant practices that boost your mood and grow your happiness, well-being and quality of life.  The group coaching format will suit people who want to build their personal well-being and coaches, counsellors and therapists who want to get to know the tools they can pass on to their clients.

“This course far exceeded my expectations; as well as a weekly webinar with two leading positive psychologists, there is a wealth of resources which can be accessed long after the course ends. Miriam and Chris give freely of their knowledge, wisdom and support to empower participants to take control of their happiness and to help others do so.” Carol Marler, Life Coach


Session 1. Positive Emotions: We start with ‘hedonic wellbeing’ – one of the two major dimensions in positive psychology. The Broaden and Build theory of positive emotions has demonstrated that positive emotions not only feel good they do us good too. Positive emotions broaden our thinking, build resources and put us on the path to flourishing. We also explore a range of positivity practices such as savouring and gratitude.

Session 2. Engagement: This session introduces the other branch of authentic happiness known as eudaimonic wellbeing. This session focuses on two forms of engagement. ‘Flow’ is a deeply satisfying state of complete absorption, when you are ‘in the zone’. Strengths are the inner resources that we can draw on to reach goals and resolve issues. Your strengths are you at your best. They are the tools we use to help people flourish.

Session 3. Resilience: We’ve added an extra R for Resilience, a core area in positive psychology, to help you maintain your wellbeing in unfavourable conditions.  This session is led by Dr Chris Johnstone, the author of Seven Ways to Build Resilience. We explore how to deal with emotional dips, apply flexible thinking to life’s difficulties, cultivate realistic optimism and bounce forward from adversity.

Session 4. Relationships: Research has shown that the happiest people on the planet have good close relationships and active social lives. Humans need a sense of connection and belonging for wellbeing. This session explores ways to nourish our relationships and build networks of mutual support for interpersonal happiness.

Session 5. Meaning: What gives your life meaning and purpose? What is your ‘ikigai’ – your reason for getting up in the morning? We tend to ‘find’ meaning in life’s positive experiences and ‘make’ meaning from the negative experiences. In this session we explore what motivates you and introduce an uplifting way to discover your purpose through your strengths.

Session 6. Mindfulness: We’ve added the M for Mindfulness as this practice is a proven natural antidepressant, with benefits not only to mood, but also to memory, focus, relationships and health. The session introduces practices that are simple to apply in as little as a few minutes a day to support your mental health.

Session 7. Achievement: How to make change in your life. Goals, grit and the growth mindset are all key ingredients in making progress in life. We explore Heidi Grant Halvorson’s 9 things successful people do differently.

Session 8. Physical: We’ve added the P to reflect the importance of the body-mind connection to mental health. ‘Somatopsychic wellbeing’ is the positive influence that the body can have on the mind, for example, how physical activity is a natural anti-depressant. We look at how body-focused practices can form an essential part of an integrated Positive Psychology wellbeing programme. 

Join our global community for 8 weeks from January 27 – 17 March 2021 1930 UK time, 2030 CET, 1430 EST, 1130 PT.

“I would recommend the Positive Psychology Foundations course to anyone who wants to take responsibility for their own happiness. The course encourages action as well as contemplation… if you follow the very simple practical tools that are recommended on the course you can’t fail to improve your own wellbeing and hopefully the wellbeing of those around you too.” Laura Knightly Brown

The course involves a weekly webinar plus access to online resources, including summary tutorials, audio, video and a group discussion forum. Each session is 75 minutes long and includes a mix of content, discussion, experiential practice and group coaching. You can join us from the comfort of your sofa or your office wherever you are in the world! Or replay the webinar at a time to suit you.

To book your place. The 2020 Positive Psychology Foundations course is now available to buy as a package. The cost is £245, which is also the standard early bird rate for the 2021 course. Please use the PayPal button below and you will be taken to a link for payment. Once your payment has arrived you will be sent a confirmation via email. We’d like to make our online training accessible, so if you’re on a low income or are a full-time student and would have difficulty paying our full rates, we can offer a price reduction on a limited number of places to £195 standard/£165 early bird. We can also extend this to concessionary access to the 2020 package.   Please email Miriam letting us know your circumstances and we will send you the information for payment. Paypal accepts debit/credit cards and converts currencies if needed. You can also arrange a bank transfer.

Positive Psychology Foundations

The 2021 course will run from January 27 – March 17 with a free taster course starting January 1 and a webinar on January 13. Can’t wait? You can obtain the whole package as it ran in 2020, replay previous webinars on Positive Psychology for You, Me and UsHow to be a Positive Psychology Practitioner, What is Positive Psychology  and The Natural Anti-Depressant.

The course was originally based on the Happiness Training Plan, the audio programme that Miriam & Chris co-present. The course, just like the audiobook, is designed to have an anti-depressant effect, to help raise AND recover wellbeing. Our first group in 2014 spanned the globe from west coast Canada to east coast Australia. Our 2nd group stretched from the American Mid-West to India & Singapore. Our 3rd group in 2015 went from Iceland in the north to Argentina in the south. The 4th and 5th cohorts in 2016 and 2017 spanned the globe again. Previous participants have given outstanding feedback with some even describing it as a “transformative” experience. Read the feedback from the Class of 2017 , the Class of 2018  and the Class of 2019.

“This course offers, not only an introduction to key concepts and applications of positive psychology, but also provides a platform for discussions and real examples of applications of positive psychology exercises to real life situations, not just theoretical. The expertise and excellent moderator skills that Miriam and Chris displayed were amazing. They are really professional and caring. I  felt the benefits of having a Positive Psychology Coach over the 8-weeks, as a person who can help you understand different perspectives and to elucidate the sustainable ways to happiness in its broadest sense. The image and audio were always great, despite the fact that I connected with my smartphone or tablet”.  Dr Abraham Salinas, Florida.

“This is an excellent course for providing practical tools to boost your happiness, energy and motivation. Miriam and Chris are very attuned trainers and provide considered and sensitive discussion and feedback. They present a wealth of stimulating material in an accessible way. Some of the tools I have been introduced to on this course have had a powerful effect on my outlook and I have been recommending them to friends. I thoroughly recommend this course to anyone interested in developing their capacity to enjoy an enriched life.” Angela Hill, London.

“As illuminating and compressive an introduction to the world of positive psychology as you could possibly wish for. A colourful interactive journey that builds knowledge and practice for anyone interested in this important and emerging field. Chris and Miriam deliver the training with wit and wonder and a genuine interest and care for all those participating. Marvellous.” Graham Woods, coach.