VIA Courses: Grounded in Science; Tailored to You

Explore how character strengths can elevate you or those your work with.

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Whether you are a strengths novice or a seasoned practitioner, the VIA Institute's Courses will provide you with insights, strategies and solutions to reach your maximum potential. VIA Courses equip you with the skills you need to begin your own journey, or guide others on their personal strengths journey. Not sure where to start? Contact us and we'll help find the right courses for you. 

Courses for Personal Practice: Empower Yourself

Creating a Strengths Based Life

This 2-session webinar provides introductory training for understanding, building and employing the fundamentals of a character strengths-based life. Learn how your life can change when you focus and apply your character strengths.

Mindfulness Based Strengths Practice

An 8-week, interactive, online program that will help you develop and learn about mindfulness practices and character strengths practices. Preliminary research finds that MBSP boosts well-being, purpose, positive relationships, and engagement, and will help you deeply express your character strengths and manage problems.


Courses for Professional Practice: Empower Others

Character Strengths at Work: Using Strengths to Engage Employees, Clients and Students

This 7-session online on-demand course, specifically designed for professionals, provides a comprehensive exploration of the fundamentals of using strengths with others. Character Strengths at Work is entirely asynchronous and self-guided so you can start immediately and work at your own pace.

Developing Effective Teams

A 3-session on-demand course designed for professionals interested in applying strengths to motivate and empower teams. This training uses the VIA Team Report as a guide to the latest strengths applications and interventions for creating synergy and improving team functioning.

Mindfulness Based Strengths Practice + Learning to Lead MBSP

This registration is for the 8-week experiential MBSP course (MBSP Part II) that will help you develop and learn about mindfulness practices and character strengths practices, as well as an additional 4-week course (Learning to Lead MBSP) that will teach you how to lead MBSP with your particular groups. In total, a 12-week in-depth course to first experience MBSP and then learn how to guide others through MBSP.

Courses by Topic Area:

Navigating Transitions

This course focuses entirely on how to navigate through life transitions (for example, a change in employment or relationship status; retirement; etc.). The emphasis is placed squarely on the use of character strengths to support and provide balance and perspective throughout the transition process. The purpose is intended for both personal growth and as a guide for use with clients.

Positive Relationships and Character Strengths

A course designed to help you enhance, nurture and improve your close relationships. This course guides you through a 5-model framework for examining your relationships with a character strengths lens, allowing you to see opportunities for greater growth and connection.

Personalized Coaching:

Personalized Character Strengths Coaching

Personal, individual coaching sessions with a VIA expert, who is also a certified coach, will guide you through developing and implementing strategies to reach your unique personal and professional goals.

Customized Webinars and Workshops:

Customized Webinars and Workshops

Work with VIA Education Director, Dr. Ryan Niemiec, to plan a customized character strengths webinar for your group or organization. Dr. Niemiec will deliver the webinar based on your groups' specific needs and goals so your team can get the most useful and relevant guidance on how to leverage their character strengths.

VIA Course Leaders:

Dr. Ryan Niemiec, Education Director of the VIA Institute, is a licensed psychologist and international workshop leader on character strengths. He is author of over 50 peer-reviewed articles and several books, including Mindfulness and Character Strengths; Movies and Mental Illness (now in its 4th edition), and Positive Psychology at the Movies (now in its 2nd edition). He’s the creator of Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice (MBSP), the first manualized program to boost strengths of character.

Dr. Donna Mayerson, Advisor for Applied Practice at the VIA Institute, is a licensed psychologist and earned her master's degree in special education. She was formerly coaching director of Hummingbird Coaching Services, now Humana. She is a certified coach who has used her deep knowledge of the VIA strengths as a framework for individual and organizational change with hundreds of education administrators and teachers, leaders of youth-serving organizations, in training coaches/practitioners, and with individuals and families.


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