Certificate in Positive Psychology, Emotional Wellbeing and Happiness

 A Holistic Approach for Personal and Organizational Development


“You will deepen your capacity for happiness and bliss and grow your professional skills and your credibility.”


  • Overview
  • Faculty
  • Curriculum
  • Tuition
  • Dates
  • Loans, Tuition Help

This Positive Psychology Certificate program is dedicated to the vision of creating happier and healthier individuals who therefore contribute to the co-creation of healthier organizations and communities. The program’s mission is to facilitate pathways by which emotional well-being and happiness can be attained, providing program participants a body of updated and effective theories, methodologies and techniques. The scientific framework that grounds this certificate program is based in positive psychology, a newly developed branch of psychology that, instead of dealing with diseases and therapies, focuses on personal health and well-being, assessing and developing human qualities and potential that are already present in individuals and organizations.

Course content will particularly focus on qualities like self awareness, interpersonal awareness, emotional intelligence, resilience, courage, self-esteem, optimism, wisdom etc. At the same it will integrate positive psychology and holistic perspective, identifying a network of key factors and processes operating on different but interconnected levels: emotional, neuroendocrine, cognitive, communicative, relational and sociocultural. The program features an experiential teaching methodology designed to facilitate students’ holistic development of body awareness, emotional awareness, and relational awareness through the implementation of specific knowledge, skills, and exercises, including role playing, role reversal, simulation, self-confrontation, mindfulness techniques, meditation techniques, breathing techniques, and training groups.

During this program students will:

  • Apply positive psychology concepts and tools in their work and life
  • Gain knowledge and skill to increase individual, business and collective well-being
  • Learn practical tools that make a positive difference in people’s lives
  • Participate in powerful personal development activities
  • Experience practices for their personal and work life


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The faculty for Positive Psychology:


Core Faculty

    Enrico Cheli, Psy.D.

An Italian licensed psychologist, psychotherapist, and tenured professor at the University of Siena (Tuscany) where he has been the founding director of a Ph.D program on interpersonal conflict resolution and several other academic programs on positive psychology, emotional intelligence, mindful relationships and relational counseling. He is considered one of the leading experts in the domains of Holism, Positive Psychology, and persona/transpersonal development. He is the author of 27 books and is a frequent contributor to European television of Human Health and Well-being.

Website: www.enricocheli.com

    Cristina Antoniazzi, MA

An Italian licensed psychologist and contract professor at the University of Sienna (Tuscany) one of most ancient and top quality Italian universities. She has a BA in Physical education, a BA in Psychology, a MA in Developmental Psychology and several certificates in Interpersonal Communication and Relationships, in Holistic Psychosomatics and in Holistic Transpersonal Psychology. She has been practicing for many years Hatha yoga, Raja yoga and Vipassana meditation and attending various psychotherapeutic individual and group treatments. She has taught courses and workshops on psychosomatics; emotional release; enneagram; meditation.

Website: www.holiversity.com


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In essence, this Certificate Program is designed to achieve four (4) overarching and measurable outcomes:

  1. To provide program participants a science-based, interdisciplinary theoretical and operational framework for identifying factors and applying processes that promote quality of life, psychosocial wellbeing and self-fulfillment.
  2. To introduce program participants to empirical, (i.e., science-based), research and intervention methodologies and strategies that address and manage psychological and physiological states of being; specifically focusing on emotional intelligence and     interpersonal skills, adaptability and resilience, hedonic and eudaimonic well-being, cultural and personal identity processes, creativity, and personal growth and  transformation.
  3. To imbue program participants with the knowledge and skills to develop a higher level of awareness of their body, their emotions and their communicative-relational processes.
  4. To sectorially address the factors that impede, constrain or promote emotional wellbeing and happiness, and to provide program participants the content and contextual knowledge, skills, and competencies to adopt a holistic framework that highlights the systemic interdependencies of our psychological and physiological states of being.

Courses (12 Credits):

PP 501: Introduction to Positive Psychology - 1 credit

This course provides an overview of the historical, philosophical and theoretical foundations of Positive Psychology. It introduces program participants to the language, themes, and contextual frameworks that comprise the content of each course in the 7-module program.
The course outlines the origins, purposes and characteristics of Positive Psychology, with particular emphasis on a series of consequent shifts that have occurred in the last 2-3 decades: from focusing on cure to focusing on care; from focusing on health to focusing on wellbeing; and from focusing on wellbeing to focusing on happiness. Program participants will be introduced to selected model frameworks that ground of Positive Psychology, clarifying the fundamental difference between edhonic and eudemonic conceptions of happiness. Students will also be introduced to the strengths and limitations of Positive Psychology, encompassing it in the wider framework of Holistic Psychology.

PP 502: Introduction to Holism and Holistic Psychology - 2 credits

This course is an introduction to the view that posits an open and inclusive (i.e., Holistic) vision of the world as being the most meaningful and effective framework for accessing emotional wellbeing and happiness. Course content includes a review of the current, dominant, scientific paradigm of fragmentation, materialism and reductionism, and delineates the epistemological and ethical limitations this approach engenders. Selected holistic frameworks and concepts will be applied to the field of human health, starting with the World Health Organization’s conception of health as a state of full physical, mental and social wellbeing, and moving to the holistic conception of the human being as an interconnected network of physical, emotional, mental, energetic and spiritual dimensions. Program participants will also be introduced to selected research and theories in biomedical sciences, neurosciences and psychology that demonstrate a powerful holistic relevance (i.e., from psycho-neuro-endocrine-immunology to triune brain theory and brain hemispheres research; from integrative psychology to holistic and integral psychology). Program participants will also be oriented to the contributions of alternative medicine (homeopathy, acupuncture, ayurveda etc.) whose clinical evidence is compelling and very meaningful. Lastly, the application of a holistic approach is applied to the developmental process of deep human awareness, highlighting a circular connection between scientific evolution and personal development, which implies that changing the paradigm requires changing ourselves (and vice versa).

PP 503: Pathology, Normality, Wellbeing and Happiness: Stages of a Holistic Continuum - 2 credits

The course deals with the holistic assumption that disease and health are the two poles of a continuum, with the middle stages representing normality (lower middle) and wellbeing (higher middle). The overarching goal of the course is to enable program participants to understand the holistic interdependence among physical, mental and social factors, and to identify the role each plays in co-causing diseases or, conversely, in positively producing/maintaining wellbeing and health. Students will also be introduced to psychosomatics, exploring how mental health is inextricably connected to overall health (and vice-versa). After a short historical overview, students will examine the principal scientific discoveries that have enabled scientists to understand the processes of neural and biochemical transmission of emotions, and to trace their effects on the endocrine and immune system, providing important confirmation of the holistic-psychosomatic hypotheses regarding the interdependence between the systems and levels that make up human consciousness - systems and levels which, up to now, official science has studied and managed separately, (i.e., entrusting the care of the body to physicians, the care of the mind and the emotions to psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists, and the care of the spirit to priests and ministers). In essence, the course outlines a holistic conception of a human’s state of being, hinging on various interconnected dimensions - corporal/energetic, affective/emotional, cognitive, interpersonal, transpersonal and consciential - whose harmonious or disharmonious development and “nourishment” positively or negatively affects an individual’s state of wellbeing and happiness.

PP 504: Models, Concepts and Tools of Positive Psychology - 2 credits

This course is grounded in Positive Psychology’s basic assumption that wellbeing and health can be obtained not only by curing diseases, but also by identifying, developing and addressing unexploited resources already present in individuals, groups and organizations. The overarching goal is to clarify the distinctions between reducing diseases and improving wellbeing, and to understand how to attain this improvement by developing metacognitive and psycho-social skills of interaction. The course introduces students to selected skills which have been proven by empirical research to be most conducive for promoting wellbeing and happiness: (i.e., Self-awareness, Resilience, Self-efficacy, Optimism, Hope, Courage, Wisdom, Inner harmony, Assertiveness). Students will also be introduced to the interrelated topics of flow experiences, expanded states of consciousness, transcendence and self-realization, and to those methods and techniques that facilitate the attainment of such states. Course content includes basic information and techniques on how to process “negative” emotions (i.e., anger, sadness, fear, guilt, shame, embarrassment etc.) as well as positive emotions such as love, joy, and gratitude. Students will also engage in mindfulness, meditation and yoga exercises addressed to develop the non-judgmental (first “witness”) capacity that is essential for creating and sustaining emotional wellbeing and happiness.

PP 505: Positive Interpersonal Relations - 2 credits

This course is undergirded by the assumption that the external triggers of emotional states (both pleasant and unpleasant) are very often interpersonal events/processes and therefore prosocial skills are very important for emotional wellbeing. Students will then learn that external triggers does not cause emotions directly, but rather are mediated by an internal process of interpretation, depending mainly on the beliefs of the individual and on his personality. The overarching goal of the course is to enable program participants to understand the implications of the aforementioned factors and to encompass them in a holistic integrative framework where the core concept is the systemic interdependence between interpersonal, intrapsychic and consciential processes. In order to illustrate the nature and role of external social triggers, students will be introduced to the sociological theory of Interpersonal Revolution outlined by Enrico Cheli which explains the when, why and how relationships have become more complex, conflicting and difficult to manage. In order to explore nature and role of external social triggers, students will be introduced to the psychological ABC model, outlined by Albert Ellis, which explains how beliefs (and mainly irrational beliefs) influence the interpretation of an event and, therefore, affect the consequent emotional state of the person. Course content orients students to the basic principles and tools of E. Cheli’s Coremotional Assertiveness Methodology: self awareness, interpersonal awareness, passive and active listening skills, empathy skills, assertive communication skills, conflict prevention and resolution skills.

PP 506: Positive Self-Realization and Transcendence - 2 credits

Based on the humanistic psychological concept of self-realization, and grounded in Maslow’s Theory of Needs (A. Maslow 1954, 1971), this course promulgates self-realization as an indispensable requirement for happiness in both edhonic and eudamonic models. The overarching goal of the course is to enable program participants to understand the distinctions between becoming someone and realizing oneself, i.e. from the common meaning of self-realization (i.e., socioeconomic attainment) and the humanistic psychological meaning (i.e., focused on human potential development). Students will be introduced to the concepts of false self and true self, and to the theories of selected authors who have studied the psycho-pathogenic role of personality distortions. Program participants will also be provided an overview of the personal development process, and to the related theories. Course content will include an overview of two fundamental factors for self-realization: a) self-awareness as an indispensable tool for discovering one’s own talents and potential; and b) unconditional self-acceptance as an indispensable condition for allowing oneself to develop those talents and potential. In essence, the course will orient students to effective techniques for facilitating the discovery of one’s own talents and potential, and for identifying and transforming any irrational beliefs that may limit or hinder development.

PP 507: Tools and strategies for Wellbeing in Organizational Contexts - 1 credit

This course provides an overview of the tools and strategies, inherent in the study of Positive Psychology for implementation in organizational contexts such as business, government, education, and non-profit entities. The overarching goal of the course is to enable program participants to understand the factors and processes related to emotional/relational wellbeing in organizational contexts, as well as understand the systemic interdependence that connects them in a Holistic network. Starting from E. Mayo’s pioneering research in the 1930’s, and extending to the birth of ergonomics in the 1950’s, the course will explore the relationship between an employee’s wellbeing and an organization’s performance, introducing students to the main socio-psychological factors and processes - interpersonal, emotional, motivational, and communicative - that positively affect emotional wellbeing in organizational contexts. The course will also orient students to the factors and processes that negatively affect wellbeing and often produce such symptoms as stress, conflict, and burnout. Course content will also provide students with selected stress prevention and stress management techniques and strategies. Lastly, students will also be introduced to the concepts of positive cooperation and positive team building as well as to specific techniques and strategies for building team cohesion and cooperation.


   Full course descriptions are available in our Catalog of Programs.



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Tuition and Fees

Tuition for Master of Arts Degree Programs

Total tuition for each 36-credit MA program is $15,408, at $428 per credit. A one-time, non-refundable, application fee of $60 – and a program fee of $385 – are also required. The graduation fee is $90.

After paying the application fee of $60, MA students pay a deposit of $483 upon acceptance or conditional acceptance to the program. Students then make 20 monthly payments of $770, which includes the program fee of $385 and the graduation fee of $90. The total of all tuition and fees is $15,943.

Tuition for Certificate Programs

Tuition for certificate programs is $428 per credit. A one-time, non-refundable, application fee of $60 – and a program fee of $195 – are also required. The graduation fee is $90.

After paying the $60 Application fee, Certificate students pay as follows:

12-Credit Certificate Program students pay a deposit of $521 upon acceptance or conditional acceptance to the program. Students then make 7 monthly payments of $700, which includes the program fee of $195 and the graduation fee of $90. The total of all tuition and fees is $5,481. If the student decides to matriculate to an MA program, the student will pay $1,222 in the 8th month, followed by 12 monthly payments of $770. (Certificates in Ecotherapy, Applied Storytelling, and Positive Psychology)

11-Credit Certificate Program students pay a deposit of $793 upon acceptance or conditional acceptance to the program. Students then make 6 monthly payments of $700 which includes the program fee of $195 and the graduation fee of $90. The total of all tuition and fees is $5,053. If the student decides to matriculate to an MA program, the student will pay $880 in the 7th month, followed by 13 monthly payments of $770. (Certificate in Integrative Energy and Eastern Medicine)

9-Credit Certificate Program students pay a deposit of $637 upon acceptance or conditional acceptance to the program. Students then make 5 monthly payments of $700 which includes the program fee of $195 and the graduation fee of $90. The total of all tuition and fees is $4,197. If the student decides to matriculate to an MA program, the student will pay $966 in the 6th month, followed by 14 monthly payments of $770. (Certificate in Integrative Health and Healing)

6-Credit Certificate Program students pay a deposit of $753 upon acceptance or conditional acceptance to the program. Students then make 3 monthly payments of $700 which includes the program fee of $195 and the graduation fee of $90. The total of all tuition and fees is $2,913. If the student decides to matriculate to an MA program, the student will pay $710 in the 4th month, followed by 16 monthly payments of $770. (Certificate in Consciousness, Transformation and Mindfulness)

Tuition for Coaching Program

Tuition for the Transformative Coaching program is $ 3,168 which includes three one-on-one mentor coaching sessions with Guthrie Sayen, PCC. 

A one-time, non-refundable, application fee of $60 is also required. 

Students pay a deposit of $918 after acceptance to the program. Students then make 3 monthly payments of $750.

In addition, Non-TGI costs associated with the acquisition of the ICF ACC coaching credential are:

  ICF membership dues paid directly to the ICF $245
  ICF exam fee, member rate, paid directly to the ICF $300

NOTE: Admission to the Transformative Coach Training program only requires a completed Application form, the application fee of $60, and Proof of Immunization.

Acceptable Forms of Payment 

Payment may be made by check or money order (payable to The Graduate Institute), or online payments can be made using credit or debit cards through PayPal. Please click here for more information on making a PayPal tuition payment.

Admission: Acceptance and Conditional Acceptance 

Please see Admissions section for complete information about Admission requirements.

Students are given Conditional Acceptance after they have submitted their application, paid the application fee and submitted a resume, CV, or employment and educational history. 




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Enrollment Dates

All of The Graduate Institute's programs operate via a cohort model, which means you will join a group of approximately 12-15 students and complete the entire program of study as a cohesive learning community. We are continually starting new cohorts as existing cohorts become filled. 

Most of our programs begin in the fall (September/October), although certain Master of Arts degrees and certificate programs are also available in the spring (April/May) of each year. Please check back frequently for new cohort start dates.

The dates listed below reflect the current cohorts that are available for each of our programs. If you have any questions about admission to a particular program, please contact Admissions at (203) 874-4252, or email admissions@learn.edu.

To fill out an inquiry form: Click Here

Master of Arts Degrees and Certificates in Emerging Fields of Inquiry:

MA Programs First Session Apply By Link to Schedule
Writing and Oral Traditions May 26 - 27, 2017  Call! Link to Full Class Schedule
Integrative Health and Healing June 9 - 10, 2017 Call! Link to Full Class Schedule
Consciousness Studies & Transpersonal Psychology June 9 - 11, 2017 Call! Link to Full Class Schedule
Organizational Leadership Aug. 18 - 20, 2017 July 1, 2017 Link to Full Class Schedule
Learning and Thinking - Bethany Oct. 20-21,2017 Sept. 15, 2017  
Learning and Thinking - Middletown Oct. 27-28, 2017 Sept 15, 2017  
Certificate Programs      
Positive PsychologyEmotional Wellbeing and Happiness June 2 - 4, 2017 Call! Link to Full Class Schedule 
Applied Storytelling May 26 - 27, 2017 Call! Link to Full Class Schedule
Integrative Health and Healing May 19 - 21, 2017 Call! Link to Full Class Schedule
Energy and Eastern Medicine Sept. 15 - 16, 2017 Aug. 1, 2017 Link to Full Class Schedule
Ecotherapy and Cultural Sustainability June 23-25, 2017 Call! Link to Full Class Schedule
Non-Credit Program      
Transformative Coach Training - ICF Approved Sept. 15 - 17, 2017 August 1, 2017 Link to Full Class Schedule and Details


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Student Loan Opportunities

Students may apply for Connecticut state loans through the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA), which offers low-fixed-interest-rate loans, with no application fees. Applicants – or co-applicants, if any – must have a minimum $20,000 gross annual income, and monthly loan installment payments must amount to 40% or less of monthly gross income. Students may defer interest while in school and for a 6-month grace period (interest is capitalized annually). The CALS Graduate Institute School Code is 117777-00. Access the loan hotline at 800-935-2275 or visit www.chesla.org for more information.

Alumni Partial Tuition Waiver 

An alumnus of any of The Graduate Institute's Master of Arts degree programs qualifies for a partial tuition waiver of $2,000 towards another MA degree, or $1,000 towards a Certificate program, or $300 towards the TCT coaching program. 

Tuition Waiver for Six Credits for Educators

Applicants for the spring of 2017 for MA degrees who teach full time in Priority and Alliance School Districts* are eligible for a $2,568 tuition waiver. 

*Ansonia, Bloomfield, Bristol, Bridgeport, Danbury, Derby, East Hartford, East Haven, East Windsor, Hamden, Hartford, Killingly, Manchester, Middletown, Naugatuck, New Britain, New Haven, New London, Norwalk, Norwich, Putnam, Stamford, Vernon, Waterbury, West Haven, Winchester, Windham, Windsor, and Windsor Locks.

Tuition Waiver for up to Six Credits for an MA Program

Master of Arts students may apply for a tuition waiver for up to six (6) credits if they show evidence (official transcript) for credits of graduate study as a non-matriculated student. Requests for this tuition waiver are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The Academic Affairs Committee renders all decisions regarding transfer of credit.  

Need-Based Scholarship

Need-based scholarships are available to eligible candidates who have financial hardship and can provide documentation (most recent tax return and asset statement) to support their need. Fill out and mail the TGI Need-Based Scholarship Form, link below, to: The Graduate Institute, 171 Amity Road, Bethany, CT 06524 Attention: Bursar

   TGI Need-Based Scholarship Form


Important considerations regarding tuition waivers:

  • Tuition Waivers will be credited at the end of the degree program.
  • Tuition Waivers may not be combined.
  • Tuition Waivers will not be applied retroactively.
  • Other restrictions may apply. Policies are subject to change.



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Photo Credits: Maureen Edwards.
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