Positive Psychology Foundations Online

Positive Psychology Foundations: 25 January 2022 – 15 March 2022

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 based on the science of wellbeing, aimed at people and practitioners who want to use positive psychology in their personal and professional life. The course consists of 8 weekly webinars hosted by two leading UK experts – Miriam Akhtar MAPP and Dr Chris Johnstone. Plus access to an online resource of handouts, videos, articles, book extracts and discussion forums, where you can share your experience of these scientifically-grounded practices. Bonus extras include the downloadable audiobook The Happiness Training Plan.

Join the 10th cohort of the Positive Psychology Foundations, which begins on Tuesday 25 January 2022.  Come along to the live weekly webinar or replay it at a time that suits you.

“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 broadened it into a PERMA+ model, adding an extra R, M & P to include some other foundations of wellbeing – 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 increase your happiness, well-being and quality of life.  The group format will suit people who are focusing on their own wellbeing alongside 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, 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. 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 4. 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 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 these practices act as a proven natural antidepressant, with benefits not only to mood, but also to memory, focus, relationships and health. The session introduces practices that include kindfulness 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 Tuesday January 25 – March 15 2022 1930 GMT, 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 has a weekly 90-minute webinar, which focuses on each of the elements in the PERMA+ model of wellbeing, with a mix of content, discussion, experiential practice and group coaching. There’s also access to a supporting online resource, where community life continues outside of the sessions,  which includes summary tutorials, audio, video and a group discussion forum. So you can join us live from the comfort of your sofa or office wherever you are in the world! Or replay the webinar at a time to suit you. The course is accredited for CPD by the Association for Coaching.

The 2022 course runs from January 25 – March 15. If you can’t wait until then, you can access the 2021 completed course with the recorded webinars and online resources. This package is priced at £245.

To book your place. Please use the PayPal button below to book your place on the 2022 course and to access the recorded package of the 2022 course. PayPal accepts debit/credit cards and converts currencies if needed. We can also accept payment via bank transfer. Once your payment has arrived you will be sent a confirmation of your place via email.

Positive Psychology Foundations

If you are on a low income or are a full-time student and would have difficulty affording the full rate, you may qualify for one of the limited number of places at the concessionary rate of £195 standard/£170 early bird available. Please email Miriam with details of your  circumstances and we will send you the information for payment. You can then use the concessions page.

You can also access some of our previous webinars introducing the course. Choose from Positive Psychology in a Time of Pandemic , 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 produced in 2008. 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 described the course as “life-changing” and a “transformative” experience. Read the feedback from the Class of 2017 , Class of 2018,  Class of 2019 and Class of 2020.

“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.