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