Last updated on December 8th, 2023.
Do you want to explore the fascinating field of positive psychology, but don’t have the time and money to pursue a Master’s or Ph.D. degree? You can still get a positive psychology certificate from a trusted and reputed online institution to quench your thirst for knowledge.
In this article we’re going to cover the Top 5 Positive Psychology Certificate Courses Online
Many online institutes offer a positive psychology practitioner certificate. However, if you don’t know which ones to pursue or don’t have the time or resources to commit to a traditional institution, here are some of the best and most popular positive psychology certificate courses online.
The 5 Best Positive Psychology Certificate Courses Online
In the traditional approach to psychology, patients or those seeking mental health resources were approached and treated by what was known as the “disease model.” This model followed traditional diagnoses, prescribe and treat method.
One of the many benefits of Positive Psychology is the approach to mental health in leveraging positive experiences, with positive emotions and reinforcing emotional and mental well-being of an individual by leveraging the good, instead of focusing on the ailments.
Each of the programs listed and detailed below were chosen because of their prominence and authority in the space and while thorough, ease of access to the program.
(If you prefer traditional face-to-face programs, check out these centers to study positive psychology!)
Let’s dive in!
1. School of Positive Transformation: Positive Psychology Practitioner Training
If you want to transform your life and the lives of others, you can become a certified positive psychology practitioner through the amazing course the School of Positive Transformation offers. The students get an opportunity to study from the world’s best positive psychologists and receive a Positive Psychology Practitioner Certificate.
The school benefits from a rich curriculum featuring inspiring topics and works with the most influential teachers within each area of positive psychology. Some of these mentors are also prominent scientists in their respective fields.
The course is entirely online, making it the perfect forum for global users who want to study positive psychology from any part of the globe. The school offers a wide range of research-based tools, and all exercises are tested scientifically.
2. Wholebeing Institute: Certificate in Wholebeing Positive Psychology
The Wholebeing Positive Psychology certification course from the Wholebeing Institute is more than just a class on positive thinking – it’s a journey that can change your personal and professional life in a big way. Instead of just talking about ideas, this course teaches you how to actually use scientific knowledge in your everyday life, with practical tools and methods that work.
This course was started by Megan McDonough and Professor Tal Ben-Shahar, who’s famous for teaching one of Harvard’s most popular courses. It’s one of the first places that taught positive psychology outside of a traditional school setting.
You’ll learn by doing, with group activities, online meetings, and ongoing support. There are also in-person events where you can connect with others and apply what you’ve learned to real-life situations, even if you’re not physically present.
The WBI’s unique SPIRE model of Integral Happiness and Well-being
- Spiritual. Leading a meaningful life and mindfully savoring the present
- Physical. Caring for the body and tapping into the mind-body connection
- Intellectual. Engaging in deep learning and opening to experience
- Relational. Nurturing a constructive relationship with self and others
- Emotional. Feeling all emotions, reaching towards resilience and positivity
Some elements of their modules include
- Introduction to Wholebeing Happiness. Integrates research through the SPIRE model, and covers aiming for an ideal self
- What Makes Us Happy(er)? Defines happiness, strengths, and pleasure, and discusses growth vs. fixed mindset
- Moving towards your best self. Focuses on self-compassion, habit change, and character strengths
- Living and working well with others. Emphasizes the importance of positive relationships, and explores loving-kindness meditation
- Realizing dreams. Cultivates hope and explores self-fulfilling prophecies
- Resilience and grit. Builds resilience skills, and discusses post-traumatic growth and archetypal wisdom
- Choosing and realizing your best life. Explores the power of choices in shaping one’s life, and considers major and minor life decisions
Through the Wholebeing Institute, you’ll learn practical strategies backed by science to make positive changes in yourself, your relationships, and even your workplace. This course enables you to discover your hidden strengths and dream big. It’s not just about changing how you see yourself and others, but also about tapping into your amazing potential to make a real difference in the world.
3. Stanford Center for Health Education: Positive Psychology and Well-Being
If you are looking for a course that will set you apart, this is the course for you. The Positive Psychology and Well-Being: The Psychological, Biological, and Social Aspects of Happiness Online Course by Standford Center for Health Education offers practical tools for you to become the best version of yourself. You will also walk away with an official certificate of completion from the Stanford Center for Health Education.
This rich six-week course is based on the latest research from the fields of positive psychology. With its holistic approach, you will use practical strategies as you explore how mindfulness, meditation, and spirituality can help you build resilience and make meaningful life changes.
Dive into a personalized approach to understanding and learning practical methods to become the best version of yourself!
4. The Flourishing Center: Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology
Emiliya Zhivotovskaya founded The Flourishing Center, which provides a CAPP program in Canada and all over the U.S. This program focuses on coaching, mentoring, and flourishing. The Center recently integrated an online option that lets students access the same curriculum as the in-person course.
The center offers an extensive certificate program in applied positive psychology (CAPP) and serves as a leading institution to offer online training in positive psychology. Claiming as the only program to focus equally on theory as well as practical application, the course equips graduates with all the skills that they need to become a successful, positive psychologist.
The CAPP program is ideal for social entrepreneurs, motivational speakers, HR professionals, leaders, yoga teachers, and health/wellness practitioners. Anyone who wants to benefit from this amazing field of psychology must enroll in this program. Graduates enhance their professional and personal lives through the course, which revolves around Dr. Martin Seligman’s model of Flourishing, with an added emphasis on physical well-being.
5. The Greater Good Science Center
Since its launch in September 2014, more than 45,000 students have registered in The Greater Good Science Center’s Science of Happiness Online Course (Free to take but only $149 for the certificate) Emiliana Simon-Thomas and Dacher Keltner take students on a memorable journey to discover the fundamental concepts of positive psychology.
The eight-week course allows students to explore the roots of a positive life through science and practice. Students get the opportunity to learn the latest and most practical lessons in the program. The course comprises eight one-week segments plus an additional week for a midterm and an extra week for a final exam. However, students can complete the material within six months, at their own pace.
Students get a chance to explore learn positive psychology through engaging videos from both Emiliana and Dacher and other expert guest instructors. The program also offers accessible reading material, exercises, and a weekly ‘emotion check-in.’ Participants report a significant increase in life satisfaction and happiness.
What is an example of Positive Psychology?
Now that you know about all the amazing places online where you can receive a Positive Psychology Certificate or a Positive Psychology Practitioner Certificate, let us explore some common examples of positive psychology.
Here are a few examples of how we can implement positive psychology in practice.
Positive psychotherapy works pretty much like well-being therapy. However, it blends numerous exercises and techniques into one treatment. The focus is to build positive emotions and identify character strengths. The therapy involves making a gratitude visit, using your signature strengths, and maintaining a gratitude journal.
Keeping a Gratitude Journal
Maintaining a gratitude journal is a way of reflecting on and identifying all the good things in your life. You count and jot down all the things you are grateful for each day or every week. The purpose is to be thankful for all the things we have, be it our career or our relationships.
Interventions typically involve prompting people to jot down three things they are grateful for each day. Make sure you choose different things every single day. You are sure to experience a quick boost in your self-esteem and well-being within a week or month.
Making a Gratitude Visit
The exercise involves writing a gratitude letter to a person to whom you are grateful and why. You need to identify this person so you can express and explain your gratitude. If that person lives nearby, you can also drop off the letter in person. In some cases, dropping the letter in the mailbox works as well. This exercise gives a phone call, video chat, or simply dropping the letter in the mail can work as well. This exercise provides a significant boost to both gratitude and well-being.
Focus on Your Strengths
A significant difference between positive psychology and other fields of psychology is that this approach focuses on your strengths instead of your weaknesses.
This field revolves around the philosophy that the human strength is a more effective path to success rather than trying to force perfection in areas we are not suited for. The methodology involves identifying individual strengths and learning how to use those strengths for succeeding in life.
The holistic psychology approach to therapy is the same as cognitive behavioral therapy but emphasizes both alleviating the negative and promoting the positive in your life. Based on Carol Ryff’s model of well-being, the theory acknowledges six facets of well-being: personal growth, autonomy, mastery of the environment, self-acceptance, purpose in life, and positive relationships.
You keep a journal to recognize the positive events that take place every day and start identifying negative beliefs and thoughts that distract you from positive events. The goal of the therapy is to challenge and change negative thinking to enable positive events and have an impact on your life.
What are the goals of Positive Psychology?
Positive Psychology is a research-based study that offers more than just strategies. The real goal of positive psychology is to help individuals thrive. This field of psychology enables us to live life to the fullest by identifying our strengths. Moreover, it also emphasizes on enhancing our positive states such as life satisfaction, optimism, courage, awe, love, joy, and contentment.
Before the arrival of smartphones, positive psychologists used the ESM or experience sampling method to help participants collect information about their experiences of daily life as it occurs. But today, positive psychology exercises and principles are applied in various different settings, such as the workplace, the classroom, and even in our home. You can enroll in any of the above online programs to receive a Positive Psychology Certificate or a Positive Psychology Practitioner Certificate.
If you are looking for great courses for continuing education for mental health professionals check out that article!