The Boston Bombings and Other Tragedies Bring Out Our Character Strengths

April 22, 2013 by ·

Following the bombings in Boston, people rallied in bunches, offering support and care. The American Red Cross received so much help they had to turn people away. Stories of bravery and kindness flooded the news and social media. Such expression of character is not an isolated event. People similarly... Read More

What Matters Most?

November 26, 2012 by ·

As a member of a group or team, consider these two possible scenarios: 1.) You focus on your character strengths and abilities. 2.) You focus on the character strengths and abilities of your team. Which approach is more likely to perform better? Read More

Priming the Good: How Far Can This Take You?

September 26, 2012 by ·

Research studies have shown that if a therapist focuses on their client’s strengths prior to a therapy session (called “resource priming”) that a number of positive outcomes unfold. These include: Improved therapy outcomes Higher use of strengths in the session A stronger practitioner-client relationship More experiences of accomplishment (sense... Read More

Positive Self-Talk Will Help Your Team (If You Take the Right Approach)

September 17, 2012 by ·

  As a member of a team, consider these two possible scenarios: 1.) You focus on your personal strengths and abilities. 2.) You focus on the strengths and abilities of your team. Which approach is more likely to perform better? Read More

VIA Signature Strengths at Work: Four or More is Best

September 10, 2012 by ·

Here’s a question that scientists are saying can really matter: How many of your top strengths do you express at work? Workplaces can be very demanding and stressful. It is not uncommon to hear the advice to “play to your strengths” or “use your strengths more at work.” Some... Read More

Depression? Turn to your VIA Strengths!

April 11, 2012 by ·

Using your top VIA strengths – your signature strengths – has been shown to be effective to increasing happiness and decreasing depression. Several scientific studies have shown this. As a psychologist for many years helping clients with depression, I focused heavily on what was wrong. I asked my clients... Read More

Tiger Woods: A Man of Character?

April 9, 2012 by ·

In the midst of the most prestigious golf tournament of the year, the Masters, Tiger Woods is trying to solidify his comeback. He needs a major championship in order to seal the deal. A few years ago, he lied. He cheated on his wife. Repeatedly. He let down fans.... Read More

Emotions= Character?

May 9, 2010 by ·

In the early stages of formulating the framework for a new “positive psychology,” Martin Seligman spoke with me about how positive character was the backbone holding together the original three pillars he articulated: positive character, positive emotions and positive institutions. As I have observed the science develop, his position... Read More

The Contagion of Character: Building a Better Society, Not Just a Better Self

February 8, 2010 by ·

I have been sympathetic to some criticisms of positive psychology as being too “self”-centered – focusing on how individuals can make themselves happier or otherwise improve their own lives. It can appear that positive psychology is a continuation of a “me-me-me” egocentric, self-indulgent culture. There may well be those... Read More