Last updated on October 20th, 2023.
Positive psychology is a fascinating subject for many, which is exactly why so many choose to study at a positive psychology center. Studying positive psychology, and learning more about human emotions, can ultimately result in mental health benefits for the entire community surrounding the student. Choosing a center to study positive psychology is the first step in making a positive impact.
The five biggest centers to study positive psychology are:
Positive psychology studies things like uplifting emotions such as joy, beneficial habits like strength or gratitude. If topics like these are you’re interested in diving deeper into, check out this list of the biggest centers to study positive psychology.
The 5 Biggest Centers to Study Positive psychology
Each of these centers offers courses and programs covering topics like happiness, mindfulness, and other personal and communal strengths that help people thrive throughout their lives. All of these topics are part of positive psychology.
Programs like these are geared towards people who want to learn more about the benefits of incorporating positive psychology into their own behaviors and the lives of the people around them.
Leaning into your strengths and cultivating the aspects of yourself that are positive may seem simple, but it’s not always easy. That’s it’s important to choose a quality center to study positive psychology. Up next, the five biggest centers to study positive psychology.
1. The School of Positive Transformation
Certified and accredited by The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Certification Service, the School of Positive Transformation offers various courses and trainings ranging in price to make Positive psychology accessible.
Founded by Dr. Itai Ivtzan, a positive psychologist (learn how to become a positive psychologist here!) and professor, this center’s courses are facilitated and taught by knowledgeable senior lecturers, researchers, and practitioners in specialized topics under the umbrella of positive psychology.
Dr. Itai Ivtzan is passionate about helping transform and grows in healthy, positive ways using positive psychology, mindfulness, and spirituality, which is why he chose to start the School of Positive Transformation.
Their courses and trainings focused on positive emotions. They thought processes that help students build up those positive aspects of themselves, providing them with tools to improve their resilience, grow in compassion, and find greater happiness.
Peruse their site to learn more about the various teachers and their backgrounds and what course topics seem interesting to you.
Positive psychology is a wide umbrella with many different subcategories and specialties under it, so it’s a useful starting point to look through the many different courses and identify the ones that would be most useful or interesting to you.
2. Wholebeing Institute: Introduction to Wholebeing Happiness
If you’re on a quest for a holistic understanding of happiness and personal growth, then you’re in the right place. The Introduction to Wholebeing Happiness from the Wholebeing Institute is a self-directed, 5-week online course designed to equip you with the scientific insights and skills to ascend to your highest potential.
In this academic adventure, you will leap into the realms of positive psychology, neurobiology, and the social and behavioral sciences. These disciplines come together under the overarching framework of the SPIRE model of well-being. You’ll be well-versed in aiming for your ideal self, harnessing the power of a positive mindset, exploring the five perspectives of well-being, utilizing your character strengths, and wielding evidence-based tools for lasting transformation.
Course objectives and outcomes
- Master positive psychology. Uncover the key principles of positive psychology, the science that unravels the secrets of happiness
- Mindset mastery. Learn how to shift your mindset as a lever for creating positive change. Your mindset is your magic wand, and we’ll show you how to wave it effectively
- SPIRE for well-being. Deep dive into the SPIRE model of well-being (Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Relational, Emotional) gaining an enriched perspective on thriving in multiple dimensions
- Positive focus power. Discover the art of focusing on the positive, a skill that can supercharge your creativity, motivation, health, and overall success.
- Craft your ideal self. We’ll help you weave a personal narrative that leads to your ideal self. It’s like plotting a map to your best self.
Who’s this course for?
This course is tailor-made for individuals who aim to define, understand, and advance toward their ideal selves, be it on a personal or professional level. From day one, you’ll learn actionable lessons that propel you towards greater happiness, resilience, joy, and connection. Whether you’re an aspiring coach, consultant, therapist, or simply someone navigating the maze of life, you’ll find this course to be a serious asset.
3. The Positive Psychology Center
The Positive Psychology Center focuses on enhancing what leads communities and individuals to thrive. This center also focuses on important emotions and how to incorporate positivity into every aspect of life.
The Positive Psychology Center offers multiple certificates and programs where students can learn about positive psychology and how to apply them. They can also take a course on mindfulness where they can learn to manage stressors improve their mental sharpness and clarity. They strive to provide tangible, real-life strategies for using positive psychology.
Other offerings this center provides include resilience workshops where participants are taught to strengthen their resilience and optimism. These programs usually focus on identifying and building upon people’s strengths rather than addressing and fixing their problems.
The Positive Psychology Center studies the effectiveness of their own courses and have concluded that students typically finish courses with overall stronger mental health, being less inclined towards depression or anxiety, and a strengthened sense of optimism and overall healthier well-being.
Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman is the head of the center and has authored multiple books in numerous areas of positive psychology. He’s written many articles on Positive psychology as well.
The center conducts its own research on positive psychology topics to stay updated on recent trends in psychological studies and to further their mission of helping individuals and communities flourish by enhancing their strengths and cultivating the aspects of living and working that bring them happiness
4. Harvard Positive Psychology Course
If you’re looking for a single course from a large and accredited institution, or one on the benefits of and how to apply positive psychology to your life, the Harvard online course on Positive psychology is a fantastic place to start.
The course is taught by Dr. Ronald D. Siegel and Mallika Marshall, MD. It provides “easy-to-apply tools to help you enjoy enduring happiness — not just fleeting emotional highs, but a deeper long-term satisfaction and contentment in your life!”
The Harvard Positive Psychology Course offers background into why happiness is important and why we crave this emotion so much and general background into the history and usefulness of positive psychology.
From their students of the course will learn about actionable steps to living a happier and more content life. There are also quizzes at the end of each section to ensure that students understand the material and know the key takeaways.
This course is accessible and a great place to start learning more about the basics of positive psychology and the different ways that it can help individuals thrive. There are even sections on mindfulness and how to lead a more fulfilling life.
The course is portrayed as a way for people to learn from trained professionals about behaviors and actions we can implement to bring ourselves more joy and lead lives that are meaningful and fulfilling.
The Harvard Course on Positive Psychology is an engaging and accessible starting course, taught by esteemed faculty, that is sure to provide a basic overview of why Positive psychology is important and how it can help people lean into their strengths and develop the positive aspects of themselves that lead to happier, and therefore healthier, lives.
5. The Flourishing Center
You can complete a Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology from The Flourishing Center and become knowledgeable about how positive psychology can be applied in various professional and personal settings.
The Flourishing Center was started by Emiliya Zhivotovskaya over ten years ago. The center has been educating and spreading awareness about the science-based benefits of positive psychology and how it can enable people to strengthen their resilience and compassion.
This program provides a holistic experience in learning about positive psychology as it incorporates theory and research as much as it provides applicable tips that, in practice, will benefit individuals and groups.
If you’re a bit past the basics of positive psychology and want to know more about how to disseminate and teach the information to others, this certificate is right up your alley.
You can even take the course and achieve the certificate all online, but make sure to check out their website periodically to keep track of their upcoming enrollment dates.
How is Positive Psychology Different from the Rest of Psychology?
Historically, psychology has focused on alleviating the habits, emotions, and thought processes that plague people and cause them to suffer. In contrast, positive psychology works to educate people about and further cultivate and strengthen the aspects of themselves that help them thrive.
Psychology generally tends to focus heavily on mental illnesses and addressing the parts of people’s lives and experiences that cause them pain. Subsequently, it works to create coping mechanisms and ways of dealing with these things.
However, those whose research and teachings are founded in Positive psychology find evidence that was nourishing the parts of human behavior and emotion that help them grow and feel more joyful and deserve to be researched and tended to as well.
Rather than focusing too much on how to relieve people from pain and suffering, which is important and deserves its due attention, Positive psychology comes in very handy for those who are ready to work towards thriving rather than surviving. A helpful tool to guide people in positive psychology is having leadership skills. Check out the best leadership certifications online in that article!
It’s important to work on healing emotional and mental wounds and addressing the psychological processes that can cause people pain. Still, positive psychology serves as a useful next step that many people find helpful.
Positive psychology works to shift people’s perspectives towards the optimistic or constructive parts of individuals and communities and works to strengthen them.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t come with a handbook (lifebook online is about as close as you can get to a handbook). And often, traditional psychology can seem to have an overwhelming focus on the negative parts of our minds and behavior. These Positive psychology centers and institutions offer multiple resources for anyone looking to focus more on the good and grow their strengths to new levels.
While on the journey to personal development and testing out the ways of being and thinking that bring us the most peace, it can become tiresome to feel like you’re constantly focusing on how to fix what is wrong rather than placing attention on the parts that are working and how to lean into those even more.
Taking part in a course or certification program where you can gain access to the science and research about Positive psychology can help you feel better equipped to thrive and feel greater fulfillment in your life.
If you’re hoping to gain a certificate and learn how to teach others Positive psychology, or if you’re just beginning to dip your toes in and want to start with a holistic psychology overview of the basics or maybe you just want to get your positive psychology certification online, there is a course and an institution for you.
Make sure to peruse each center’s website to see what courses and programs they offer and which one will bring the most value to you.