Positive Psychology and Well-Being
A New MentorCoach® Master Class with
Christopher Peterson, Ph.D.
(February 18, 1950 - October 9, 2012)
To take the class by recording, click
This is the second of two Positive Psychology
Master Classes that Chris developed and taught many times
for MentorCoach. The first class in the series is Chris'
of Neutral Master Class.
as a Person. Here's a wonderful interview I did with
Chris that was solely about him, not about positive psychology.
If you want content, pass on this. But if you want to learn
more about Chris, how he talked, how he thought, you'll
like it. Toward the end, there's some fascinating detail
about how he would quickly master a new area, how he's been
so productive. His scrabble skills. His GRE scores. How
he approached teaching. And much more. To listen, click
here for streaming
audio or to download
In-Depth Interview (1/20/12)
Here's an extensive, widely-attended interview with Chris
on the latest issues in Positive Psychology with questions
coming in from listeners all over the world (80 mins). To
here for streaming audio or to download
on this class. Hear Chris talk about the Positive Psychology
and Well-Being Master Class (11 mins.). Just click
Chris Peterson will teach this extraordinary
1. Context for Course
Consider the well-known 1946 statement by the World Health
Organization: "Health is a state of complete physical,
mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence
of disease or infirmity."
Although all would agree with this statement, until recently,
it has remained largely a slogan. But in the last ten years,
with the emergence
of positive psychology, the scientific study of what makes
life worth living, theories, studies, and applications directly
relevant to health in the positive sense have emerged.
This course provides an overview of what positive psychologists
have learned about well-being and especially how to achieve
and sustain it with respect to one's personal life, social
relationships, work, and physical health. This course is
a more focused, updated, and elaborated version of the Mentor
Coach class taught several years ago by Christopher Peterson:
"Positive Psychology Immersion 2--The Applications
in Action Master Class."
2. The Eight Class Sessions
1. Key definitions
2. Positive psychology applications and interventions
3. Positive psychology and your personal life
4. Positive psychology and your social relationships
5. Positive psychology and your work
6. Positive psychology and your health
7. Positive psychology and the world
8. The future of positive psychology applications
To take the class by recording, click
Readings: The course entails readings from a primary
text--Chris Peterson's A
Primer in Positive Psychology. New York: Oxford
University Press. In addition, each week Chris will post
relevant research articles, videos, and blog entries for
the next week on the class' password-protected website.
4. Class Website. In this class, you'll use our
password-protected class web site. Here, you'll find Chris'
power points for each class in multiple formats. You'll
also find Chris' special lecture notes for each class, relevant
articles and blog entries. And you'll be able to listen
online or to download a digital recording of each class
to your computer and MP3 player (eg your iPod). When you
listen by recording, it will be exactly the same as if you
had been listening to Chris live as he taught the class.
photo does not come close to capturing how alive, spontaneous,
and funny Chris can be while teaching. It's not for nothing
that he's twice been named the most outstanding teacher
at the University of Michigan.
5. What You Will Learn. In this class, Chris focuses
on the most important, latest research--including, at times,
unpublished papers--and practice. The aim is for you emerge
with an overview of how you and your clients can achieve
wellbeing. How you can sustain it. And how you can do this
in the most important arenas of your life: your personal
life; your relationships; your work; and in your physical
6. Prerequisites: None.
and his University of Michigan colleague, psychologist,
Nansook Park, Ph.D., gave a phenomenal--and very funny--keynote
presentation at our MentorCoach Conference in Bethesda.
To take the
class by recording, click
About Christopher Peterson, Ph.D.
(February 18, 1950 - October 9, 2012)
Peterson taught "The Positive Psychology and Well-Being
Master Class" by global teleconference from his office
in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Chris was the Arthur F. Thurnau
Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan
and was one of the founders and leading figures in positive
psychology. He was noted for his work in the study of
optimism, health, character, and well-being. He was one
of the 100 most cited psychologists in the world and is
now Co-Director of the newly-established Michigan Positive
He received his PhD. in social psychology from the University
of Colorado and respecialized in clinical psychology at
the University of Pennsylvania. He also completed a clinical
psychology internship at the Philadelphia VAMC.
Chris was widely regarded to be one of the seminal figures
in Positive Psychology. He was a member of the Positive
Psychology Steering Committee, a member of the board of
directors of the Gallup Organization Positive Psychology
Institute, a consulting editor of the Journal of Positive
Psychology, and the positive psychology series editor
of Oxford University Press.
He was the research director of the Values in Action
(VIA) project, the most ambitious undertaking to date
from the explicit vantage of positive psychology; the
VIA project describes, classifies, and measures important
strengths of character. Chris' VIA Survey of Signature
Strengths has been taken by more than a million people
throughout the globe. It has been translated into Chinese
and Spanish as well.
Chris was twice named best teacher at the University
of Michigan and in
2010 won the 2010 Golden Apple Award--the most prestigious
teaching award at the University of Michigan. The author
of more than 350 publications, Chris was the co-author
of of the landmark work Character Strengths and Virtues
(2004), the author of the best-selling, A
Primer in Positive Psychology (2006), and Pursuing
the Good Life: 100 Reflections on Positive Psychology
Peterson Memorial Video Link
Chris died unexpectedly on October 9, 2012. It was a
huge shock to thousands of his friends and fans around
the world. There was a huge Memorial Celebration of
Chris' life on Monday, October 22, 2012 at Rackham Hall,
University of Michigan. Attendance was estimated at
1000-1500 with some people coming in from long distances.
I found it to be sad, touching, and also elevating.
I was very glad I went.
Memory of Chris
This was the video that was playing as people walked
into the Memorial Service.
The Speakers at Chris' Memorial Celebration
1. Robert Sellers, Chair of the Psychology Department,
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA),
2. Phill Hanlon, Provost, Donald J. Lewis Professor
of Mathematics and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the
University of Michigan
3. Terrance McDonald, Dean, College of LSA, UM
4. Albert Cain, Professor of Psychology, UM
5. Sheryl Olson, Professor of Psychology , UM
6. Nansook Park, Professor of Psychology , UM
7. Major Mike Erwin, US Army, Former graduate student
8. Bill Chopik, Current graduate student, Department
of Psychology, UM
9. Deepti Joshi, Former undergraduate student
10. Julie Kaplow, Former undergraduate student, Assistant
Professor, Department of Psychiatry, UM
To take the class by recording,
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