My Own Contributions

 

Positive Psychology Sources

 

I am proud to be an editor and contributor to the three books published by the online publication, Positive Psychology News.

The first book, Resilience: How to Navigate Life's Curves, addresses the thoughts and behaviors that build resilience.  Sixteen authors from five continents bring practical suggestions based on the latest research to your fingertips. This little book explores an important question:  Why do some people go through hard times and become stronger? Do they think differently than other people do? Do they behave differently?  What can we learn from them that can make our lives better?

The second book, Gratitude: How to Appreciate Life's Gifts, explores the value of thankfulness to human flourishing.

The third book, Character Strengths Matter: How to Live a Full Life, explores the 24 character strengths defined by the Values in Action research as they appear in many domains of life.  

 

Polly, S. & Britton, K. (Eds). (2015).  Character Strengths Matter: How to Live a Full Life. Positive Psychology News.

From the endorsement by Jon Haidt, author of The Happiness Hypothesis and The Righteous Mind:

"This is among the best books in all of positive psychology. It takes one of the most important areas of research -- the character strengths-- and makes it as accessible, as practical, and as inspiring as could be. I particularly love that it is written to be shared. Every couple and every family should have a copy. This will become my standard dinner party gift, instead of a bottle of wine."

 

Monthly newsletter on applications of the science of positive psychology to everyday life:  Click here to sign up.   Earlier newsletters are available on topics that include laughter at work, the importance of active leisure, giving gifts that have an ongoing impact on the receiver's happiness, the search for meaning, and lots more.

 

 

Building Resilience Article:  Times are hard.  What can we do to prepare ourselves in case we get laid off from work or need to deal with other uncertainties?  I wrote Building Resilience for Hard Times for the Anita Borg Institute at the request of the editor.

 

Shaar, M.-J. & Britton, K. (Eds). (2011).  Smarts and Stamina: The Busy Person's Guide to Optimal Health and Performance. Positive Psychology Press.

From a review by Caroline Miller, author of Creating Your Best Life

"This book offers a fresh approach to living a flourishing life, and ought to be on the bookshelves of anyone who wants a smart, evidence-based workbook that will walk you through every part of your daily life and show you how to challenge and improve your habits." 

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Speaking about

  • Optimism
  • Gratitude
  • Energy
  • Flow
  • Resilience
  • Job satisfaction, 
  • And more 

 

I published a paper based on team coaching experiences:  Britton, K. (2008).  Increasing job satisfaction: Coaching with evidence-based interventions.   Coaching: An International Journal of Research, Theory, and Practice, 1(2), 176-185.
 

Click here to access the paper.

This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Taylor & Francis (copyright holder) for personal use, not for redistribution.  The definitive version was published in Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, Volume 1 Issue 2, September 2008.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17521880802328152

 
Maymin, S. & Britton, K. (Eds). (2009).  Resilience:  How to Navigate Life's Curves.  Positive Psychology News Press.

From one of the reviews:

"My favorite part of the book is the concreteness of the tips. Some chapters give concrete words to say out loud when in a bad situation. Some describe specifically how laughter can be used as an antidote, and in which cases. One chapter describes how I can use resilience in a group. It's usable info."

See also the companion book, Gratitude: How to Appreciate Life's Gifts.

 

 

In partnership with Sulynn Choong and Jocelyn Davis, I presented a poster at the 2009 World Congress of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA)

The title of the poster is Taking Positive Psychology into Business:  Entry Points and Practical Experiences.  In the poster and accompanying handout, we describe four entry points, labeling them  Strategic, Tactical, Operational, and Enabler.  Then we illustrate them with 6 short cases.  

 

Lyubomirsky, S. (2008). The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want.  New York:  Penguin Press.

This is a great source about positive psychology for a general reader.  It's both research-based and full of practical ideas for practicing positive psychology for personal benefit.  I reviewed this in my blog on January 31, 2008.  The author prevents 12 well-tested actions that can improve life, and also explains how to find a good fit for yourself.

 

See also her book, The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, but Doesn't, What Shouldn't Make You Happy, but Does, for a deeper understanding of where happiness comes from.

 

Podcast interview of Kathryn Britton by Karel Vredenburg as part of his Life Habits series. 

The interview covered a range of applied positive psychology topics including self-efficacy, strengths-based organizations, effective feedback, the role of positive emotion at work, and realistic optimism.

 

Miller, Caroline Adams & Frisch, M. (2008).  Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List Guide.  New York: Sterling.

This is the first book written by a graduate of the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program that started in 2005, and it is a great example of what that program produces:  information that is accessible, practical, research-based, and full of useful exercises.  Check here for a review.  

 

These images show a structured arrangement of positive psychology topics.  Each name in an image is a live link to an article about the topic.  The article includes a short summary, relevant Positive Psychology News Daily articles, and references to publications by leaders in the field. See also the introduction by Senia Maymin, the PPND editor.

 

Fredrickson, B. (2009).  Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive. New York: Crown.

Barbara Fredrickson is the originator of the Broaden and Build Theory:  that positive emotions broaden our behavioral repertoires and build durable resources. She explains how she has tested her theory empirically and how people can use awareness of the power of positive emotions to enrich their lives.  There is a tipping point where a small change makes a big difference:  when people pass the point of 3 positive emotions to 1 negative emotion, they tend to feel dramatically better.

See also her 2013 book, Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become. It explores positivity resonance between people.

 

 

 

Choong, S. & Britton, K. (2007).  Character strengths and type:  Exploration of covariation.  International Coaching Psychology Review, 2 (1), 9-23.

 
This was an expansion of our joint capstone research for the Master of Applied Positive Psychology degree.  We explored covariation between Values-in Action character strengths and psychological type, as per MBTITM

We found some meaningful covariation and expounded on implications for coaching. 

 

Diener, E. & Biswas-Diener, R. (2008).  Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth.  Malden, MA:  Blackwell Publishing.

Ed Diener was one of the first modern psychologists to study happiness. He and his son have explored why happy people function better, what causes happiness and genuine wealth, and ways to manage your well-being balance sheet.

 

 
  Britton, K. Monthly contributions to Positive Psychology News Daily.   
Positive Psychology News Daily is a collection of short articles on positive psychology written by alumni of one of the two Master of Applied Positive programs in the world - one at Penn, one at the University of East London.  I write an article for the 7th of each month, and other authors have their own assigned dates.  Sometimes the articles result in spirited discussions with people who want to know more.
 Britton, K. Positive Psychology Reflections.  Blog. 
I write about various applications of positive psychology to daily life.   My blog here on Theano Coaching has some summary articles with pointers to individual postings in my long-running blog, which allows you to post comments and ask questions.
 


Dutton, J. (2003). Energize Your Workplace: How to Create and Sustain High-Quality Connections at Work.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

This book describes strategies for achieving three aspects of high-quality connections:  respectful engagement, task enablement, and building trust.  It also has several strategies for dealing with corrosive connections at work - those that make people feel less capable than they really are. 

I was reviewing it on an airplane to help the publisher decide whether to republish it.  The army officer sitting next to me was very curious.  He found the ideas so useful and relevant to his situation that I gave him my review copy as we deplaned.

 

Britton, K., Atterstam, T., Judge, E., & Ufberg, M. (2006).  A values-based authenticity model: Implications and interventions for leaders.  Presented at the Gallup Leadership Institute, Washington, DC, October.
This paper defines authenticity as acting according to ones values. It then provides the model shown below formed by the cross-product of authenticity versus inauthenticity by instinctive versus rational.  Behavior can begin either instinctively through habit or intentionally through rational thought.  The model suggests a number of positive interventions for increasing authentic behavior.   These include ways to increase awareness of actions out of alignment with values so that one can make amends rather than rationalize.  They also include ways to build habits of acting according to values through practice and intentional repetition.  

 

 
Vaillant, G. (2008).  Spiritual Evolution: A Scientific Defense of Faith.  New York:  Broadway Books..
This book explores the evolution of man's inherent spirituality, showing  intercessions of the transformative power of positive emotions such as love, joy, awe, compassion, and hope.  George Vaillant is a great storyteller.

 

AuthenticityModel.JPG

 

Buckingham, M. (2007).   Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance.   New York: Free Press.
Once you know your strengths, now what?  People find it interesting to think about their own talent themes and it's useful to recognize that other people may not share them.   But how do they use that information in their day-to-day jobs?  

Buckingham answers that question with this book in a very pragmatic, experiential way.  The 6 steps include self-observation, finding strengths and weaknesses in experiences that invigorate or drain, followed by planning for incremental change.
 
 

 

 

Linley, Alex (2008).  Average to A+: Realising Strengths in Yourself and Others.  Coventry, England:  CAPP Press.

This book is a very practical guide to recognizing, refining, and expressing strengths.  It describes skills such as strengthspotting, role shaping, complementary partnering, and organizing teams based on strengths.  Each chapter ends with a quick summary of the key points and some areas for reflection and action.  


 

Edelman, S. & Britton, K. (2007).  What people with diabetes want their caregivers to know:  Patient consensus statement.  Insulin 2(3), 146-147.  Retrieved December 30, 2007 from 
 
This statement is the product of a workshop that I conducted at the Taking Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD) conference in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2003.  Participants shared ideas about things they wanted to tell their doctors, nurses, and educators about caring for them.  Dr. Edelman, founder of the non-profit TCOYD organization,  and I drafted the top ten ideas into this statement.  Others have told me that it is useful for people with other chronic ailments, not just diabetes mellitus.

 

Haidt, J. ( 2006).  The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom.  Cambridge, MA:  Basic Books.
I have bought 6 copies of Jon Haidt's book for myself - the first 5 then were given away to friends.   

The metaphor of the rider on the elephant  is a wonderful way to view the relationship between thought and habit.  Jon Haidt argues that thought often comes into the picture after a decision, when the mind needs to make sense of it.  The rider has some control -- more if it understands the way the elephant works.  Hence this book.

 

Atterstam, T., Britton, K., Judge, E., & Ufberg, M. (2006).   Bringing Positive Psychology to the Footlights After-School Center.  A Service Learning Project. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania, Master of Positive Psychology Program.

This paper describes a proposal for applying positive psychology at Footlights – a performing arts after-school center for underprivileged teenagers in Hartford, CT. The paper describes Footlights, including daily operations, instructors and participating teenagers. It then outlines a proposed application plan for introducing and using positive psychology at the center. It concludes with an overview of the relevant empirical research that constitutes the basis for the proposed application plan. Appendices give the plan in more detail and describe a particular exercise included in the plan.

 

Peterson, C. (2006).  A Primer in Positive Psychology.  New York:  Oxford University Press.  ISBN: 0-19-518833-0

This is a wonderfully readable book that covers the breadth of the field by an expert who is too humble to call himself one.  Chris Peterson's humor shines through on every page.  He published it in paperback format so that students can afford it as a textbook. 

Topics include:  Positive experience, character strengths, values, wellness, positive relationships, and institutions that enable happiness.

 

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According to the site producers, happier.com goes beyond the self-help books by providing tools  that make the science of positive psychology easy to understand and implement. Learn about yourself. Track your progress. Be happier.

 

 

Get in contact for a complimentary sample session to explore the meaning of positive psychology in your life.

 

 
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© Kathryn Britton, Theano Coaching LLC, 2008-2015