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International Academy for Professional Development
Blended, Classroom and Distance Learning

Faculty of Positive Psychology & Wellbeing

The Faculty of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing was launched by International Academy members with a strong research and professional interest in positive psychology. The Faculty agrees with Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi who stated:


'We believe that a psychology of positive human functioning will arise that achieves a scientific understanding and effective interventions to build in individuals, families, and communities', Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi

Thought of the day... Happiness is a conscious choice.. pic.twitter.com/no48a9xhwj

— banksy (@thereaIbanksy) April 17, 2015

Traditionally much of psychology has focused on distress or ill-health. In comparison Positive Psychology attempts to understand and build upon a person, organisation or community's strengths and virtues. The goals of positive psychology include people's strengths, people flourishing and people's engagement. (Visit the European Network for Positive Psychology ENPP for more information.) Validated VIA Tools can be used to measure Character Strengths and Virtues (see VIA me!) which can enable users to focus on their strengths.


Over the past decade members of this faculty have published a range of articles and books which are informed by positive psychology including Developmental Coaching: Life Transitions and Generational Perspectives (Palmer & Panchal, 2011). In addition Faculty members have published work that focus on the strengths approach such as Solution Focused Coaching in Practice (O'Connell, Palmer & Williams, 2012).


The Faculty supports the work of the International Academy and Centres. Our coaching, psychological coaching and coaching psychology courses are at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.


We run the Certificate in Work Based Professional Development (Positive Psychology) programme which is a distance learning programme. Students are provided with academic supervision in assist them in their self-directed studies.


Faculty members include Dr Siobhain O'Riordan, Prof Stephen Palmer, Sheila Panchal MSc CPsychol and Helen Williams MSc CPsychol. They are all members of the European Network for Positive Psychology


We have launched the UK Forum for Positive Psychology & Wellbeing on LinkedIn in order to support researchers and practitioners with an interest in Positive Psychology and developing the growing interest and profession within the UK. The Forum also has a Facebook group.


You can use the online WEMWBS Wellbeing Assessment tool to assess your own wellbeing. Click here.