Character Strengths Interventions: A Field Guide for Practitioners

Just Released! 

Dr. Ryan Niemiec's new book, Character Strengths Interventions: A Field Guide for Practitioners, is the epitome of positive psychology: it takes the “backbone” of positive psychology– character strengths – and builds a substantive bridge between the science and practice. No matter what kind of practitioner you are, this one-of-a-kind field-guide is a goldmine in science-based applications. You’ll be able to immediately bring the science of well-being into action! Get your copy here: Character Strengths Interventions: A Field Guide for Practitioners



Learn More about the Author and Book 


Dr. Ryan Niemiec presents at Tedx on how the VIA Classification is a common language to describe what is best in ourselves and others. He explains how work around character strengths can be compared to 4 levels of lights: the initial pilot light of awareness, a flicker of positivity when a strength is used, beam of light when the strength is noticed by others, and finally a full glow when the strength is appreciated.


In this podcast with workplace wellbeing expert, Michelle McQuaid, Ryan explains how your character strengths are the fuel that makes your other strengths rise. He reviews ways to identify and develop your strengths at work each day, how to find your "power zone" of strengths and 3 of his favorite strengths-based interventions from his new book,  Character Strength Interventions: A Field Guide for Practitioners.


This video shows one of the best research-based activities from the book, Character Strengths Interventions, for improving strengths awareness and fluency. 


When thinking about your strengths, remember the 4 E's: Engage, Explore, Explain, and Enhance. 

Conferences, meetings

Ryan was honored as a 2017 IPPA Fellow. This was granted to Ryan for his work contributing to the scientific advancement of knowledge in character strengths, mindfulness, positive media/movies, and positive interventions. 

More about IPPA 2017


Ryan will be a keynote speaker at the 4th Canadian Conference on Positive Psychology 2018, May 23-25, in Toronto, Canada

More about CPPA 2018


Ryan will be a keynote speaker at the 9th European Conference on Positive Psychology 2018, June 27-30, in Budapest, Hungary

More about ECPP 2018

Social Media

Connect with Dr. Ryan Niemiec




Practitioner Handouts:

Breaking the Ice: Ways to Introduce Strengths to A Group

Breaking The Ice With Strengths


Get Your Copy of Character Strengths Interventions! 

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Praise for the Book

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The GO-TO book for building character. 

-Martin E. P. Seligman, PhD, Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology, and Director of Positive Psychology Center at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. 



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Review from The Psychologist (February 2018)

The application of positive psychology and strengths is growing in organisations, education and in the clinical setting. But the published literature supporting that and offering guidance has been trailing. This book is therefore a really valuable and welcome resource to go some way towards filling that gap. 

The VIA Survey has been around for a number of years now and is one of the few academically sound strengths diagnostics that is available at no charge. This book acts as a 'handbook' to understanding the theoretical model, the strengths themselves, and contains descriptions of 70 research-based interventions - quite a lot of return for your investment in the book. 

It is extremely well written and, more importantly for me, strikes a perfect balance between academic rigour and practical guidance. It is very accessible, but still provides a robust explanation and discussion of the strengths approach. The suggest interventions provide a treasure trove of exercises to apply with yourself and with others if you have a role as a coach or developmental practitioner. 


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As inspiring as it is practical. The practical applications of this holistic approach to human behavior are dizzying. Thei guide to positive psychology is tailor-made for leaders, and is a must-have book that will inspire any leader!  

-Marshall Goldsmith, PhD, The Thinkers 50 #1 Leadership Thinker in the World, and international bestselling author and editor of 35 books including What Got You Here Won't Get You There and Triggers




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Ryan Niemiec takes one of the most important scientific tools in modern psychology for improving our well-being and makes that research come to life in a practical way for practitioners, parent and coaches. In challenging times, we each desperately need to know, hone, and utilize our unique strengths to tip this world toward hope, health and happiness. 

-Shawn Achor, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage 



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Dr. Niemiec - the world authority on character strengths - has masterfully married science with practice in this book which provides practitioners with a comprehensive field guide of character strengths interventions. This book guides practitioners in the importance of understanding context to ensure the right intervention is used for the right reason with the right person. It is thought-provoking and hope-promoting. The raft of character strength interventions are clearly explained and the handouts are a particularly useful resource. This is a must-have book for anyone doing work with character strengths!  

-Lea Waters, PhD, President of Interntaional Positive Psychology Association: Gerry Higgins Chair at Centre for Positive Psychology, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne Australia 

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I'm so glad you wrote this book! Very important work. This book provides an invaluable guide for teachers and parents, consultants and managers - in fact, for anyone passionate about human flourishing. 

-Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD, Bestselling author of Happier and founder of Happier.TV





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For the reader who seeks to understand why Harvard's Howard Gardner once said that the science of human character strengths is the most important development in psychology over the past half century my advise is: Begin with this book. Ryan Niemiec's brilliantly conceived "strengths interventions" brings it to life an helped me see the vast vistas ahead with character strengths psychology--for revolutionizing everything from early childhood education to leadership development in business, government, and civil society.  

-David Cooperrider, PhD, Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH



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The gap between theory and practice of strengths has now been officially closed - all you need to do is read this book and you could easily apply strengths interventions and exercises for yourself, clients, or research. With the inspiring Dr. Ryan Niemiec navigating this boat of applied strengths you simply can't go wrong - read the book and unleash the super-powers of Strengths.   

-Itai Ivtzan, PhD, Director of Masters in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) at University of East London, UK. 



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Sufficient scientific research has accumulated such that it cannot be denied, recognizing, appreciating, and harnessing strengths in yourself and other people, is one of the most efficient and effective paths to a life of success and fulfillment. What has been missing is a manifesto on HOW to do this. In your hands is the most comprehensive account to date.    

-Todd Kashdan, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Senior Scientist at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA; Author of The Upside of Your Dark Side



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This book is a wonderful resource for clinicians or coaches who want to incorporate a strengths-based approach into their work in a vairety of settings. Built around the strengths and virtues of the VIA Classification, this book is comprehensive, based on evidence when available, and remarkably practical. I think it will be essential reading for anyone interested in a strengths-based approach to intervention.     

-Robert McGrath, PhD, Professor at School of Psychology, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, NJ; Senior Scientist at VIA Institute



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Ryan Niemiec's new book is an all in one place resource for those interested in theory, research, and application of character strengths. Research on character strengths and signature strengths have matured and we know that their use in interventions is effective. Therefore, it is time to disseminate the research-informed, best practices in applied areas. Being the first of its kind and written by the Education Director of the global leader in the science and practice of character, this book will have a long shelf life.     

-Willibald Ruch, PhD, Professor of Psychology at University of Zurich, Switzerland; Founder and President of Swiss Positive Psychology Association; Senior Scientist at VIA Institute



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I just finished reading Ryan Niemiec's Character Strengths Interventions: A Field Guide for Practitioners and I had to stop for a few minutes to take in a savor the feat he has accomplished. His book truly is a field guide. As someone who deeply knows and clearly loves the exciting territory of character strengths, Ryan expertly guides us so we can see the wonders that can be found there, shares its history, warns us about possible pitfalls, and invites us to explore and enjoy its riches. And we can even take them home with us, thanks to Ryan's generosity in sharing so many resources that he has created and compiled. 

He sees strength practitioners as gardeners who can't - and shouldn't try to - "mold" their clients, but rather, can create optimal conditions for growth and development. I believe that Ryan's own strengths of love, hope, perspective, and appreciation of beauty may have created the conditions for the flowering of this wonderful work, and I'm grateful for it.     

-Margarita Tarragona, PhD, Director of PositiveMente; Honorary Fellow at the Centre for Positive Psychology at the Univeristy of Melbourne, Australia

Get Your Copy of Character Strengths Interventions! 

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