Netherlands, Nijmegen

Positive Psychology: the Science Behind Flourishing Individuals and Organizations

when 8 August 2016 - 12 August 2016
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 ECTS
fee EUR 525

Positive Psychology is the scientific study of optimal functioning; what makes people and organisations flourish and thrive? It is a fast growing field in many disciplines of psychology (e.g., child-, family-, and organisational psychology) that aims to counterbalance the current predominant focus on disease, deficits, problems and pathology. For decades, the main focus in psychology (but also in business organisations and schools) has been on what people can not do: what their problems and deficits are; on what is going wrong; and how we can fix that; to the point where someone is problem-free. A positive psychology perspective does not negate these aspects but also asks: What is right with you? What are your strengths; what are you doing well; how can you amplify that? and how can we bring individuals (happy or depressed, sick or healthy) and institutions from a state of being problem-free to a state of flourishing and thriving?

Some people associate Positive Psychology with a pseudo-scientific field that ignores and dismisses negativity or problems. This view is incorrect in two ways:1) the scientific study in this field has increased by 410% since the late '90s using sound research methods and designs; and 2) positive psychology does not ignore or dismiss "negativity". In this course you will learn how positivity and negativity are both necessary and beautiful aspects of life and how they interact in the complex interplay that makes up human behaviour.

A well-known citation of Martin Seligman summarises it well: "The message of the Positive Psychology movement is to remind our field that it has been deformed. Psychology is not just the study of disease, weakness, and damage; it also is the study of strength and virtue. Treatment is not just fixing what is wrong; it also is building what is right. Psychology is not just about illness or health; it is about work, education, insight, love, and growth. And in this quest for what is best, Positive Psychology does not rely on wishful thinking, self-deception or hand-waving; instead it tries to adapt what is best in the scientific method to the unique problems that human behaviour presents in all its complexity."

Topics in this course include among others:

- Resilience, happiness, positive emotions, character strengths, flow, optimism, interpersonal relationships, self-esteem, self-compassion, gratitude, mindfulness, authentic leadership, psychological capital, positive institutions, benefit-finding, post-traumatic growth and solution­focused thinking.
- Biological, social and evolutionary mechanisms behind these topics.
- How to practically apply Positive Psychology in clinical practice, schools and business corporations.
- Your own personal growth in the abovementioned topics.

This course is a perfect mixture of theory and practice. The study and critical discussion of state-of­ the-art scientific articles will be alternated with powerful hands-on tools and exercises. These tools and exercises equip you with lifelong skills that enable you to strengthen your resilience and to foster your own wellbeing and happiness.

Course leader

Dr. R.M.P. van Zundert
Faculty of Social Sciences
Radboud University

Target group

- University students of all disciplines of psychology (neuro-, family-, child-, developmental-, and organizational psychology).
- University students of other areas of study
- PhD students
- Professionals with a bachelor or master degree who are working in (mental) health care, schools and businesses.

Course aim

After this course you will:
- Be familiar with the most important theories and scientific research within Positive Psychology.
- Know how to practically apply what you have learned to any client or organisation you work with or in.
- Know how to use this scientific knowledge to enhance your own resilience and wellbeing.

Fee info

EUR 525: The course fee includes the registration fee, course materials, access to library and IT facilities, coffee/tea, lunch, and a number of social activities.

10% discount for early bird applicants. The early bird deadline is 1 April 2016.
15% discount for students and PhD candidates from Radboud University and partner universities.
EUR 195: Housing (optional)