How did I learn how to coach experienced professionals aspiring to make a difference?



Experience and Training


Individual Coaching

Group Coaching

Team Coaching

Speaking about

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


In 2005, I took a sudden career about-face.  

I had been a software engineer for 28 years,  and I had risen pretty far up the technical career ladder.  I led software development teams, was a usability champion, and filed 25+ patent applications. 

In September 2005, I took a big step out of my comfort zone to study positive psychology as a member of the first class of the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program at the University of Pennsylvania, the first applied positive psychology masters program in the world. 

Applied positive psychology is all about putting research findings to work to make people's lives happier, more productive, more fulfilling, more engaging, and more meaningful.  After I finished the degree, I had to figure out, "What next?  How do I use what I learned to make a difference?"

For the next 9 months, I focused on helping groups of people inside my company become more engaged and satisfied at work.  Certain aspects of positive psychology make perfect sense in business settings and are not hard for people to learn and apply.  I published a paper about my experiences in 2008.

Then I set out on my own.  I have at least 30 years experience mentoring individuals and groups of individuals.  I've heard a lot of stories.  I've also experienced the magic of helping people bring their own new ideas into existence. That's the core of coaching.

In 2008, I started co-teaching Managing Project Teams in the Project Management Department of the Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland.  We explore many of the ideas described by Kim Cameron and David Whetten in their book, Developing Management Skills.  A significant core of the course involves helping students see themselves more clearly and understand how they are both the same and different from other people.  The course builds on many of the ideas of positive psychology and positive organizational scholarship.  

I came to coaching to put what I learned about positive emotion, resilience, intrinsic motivation, and character strengths into practice to make my own positive difference in the world.

View Kathryn Britton's profile on LinkedIn

...  for more information about my software engineering career and for references from other people I have coached and mentored.


  • Bachelor's degree in English from Stanford University

  • Masters degrees in Library Science and Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Master of Applied Positive Psychology degree from the University of Pennsylvania

  • Myers-Briggs Qualification, Center for Application of Psychological Type

  • Quality of Life Therapy and Coaching 
My initial coach training is from 

Life Coaching, Mentoring and Certification

I have additional coach training from the Falling Awake program.  My clients benefit from the exercises to explore what they want in their lives that are in chapter 1 of Dave Ellis's book, Falling Awake. 

Not surprisingly, love of learning and curiosity are among my top Values-in-Action (VIA) signature strengths.  My other top VIA strengths, creativity, open-mindedness, perspective, and ability to love and be loved, suit me well to be a professional coach.
I have been an editor for Positive Psychology News Daily (PPND) since the site opened in January 2007.  I highly recommend PPND as a source of short articles rooted in research and brought alive with stories.  I have written more than 80 articles for PPND myself about topics such as motivation, building management skills, making changes by experimenting, long-term love relationships, handling grief, and the well-being of the oldest old.  
Building on my editing experience, I now help people grow writing skill and confidence both through individual coaching and through writers' workshops using the approach described by Richard Gabriel in Writers' Workshops & the Work of Making Things.   








Kathryn with Benjamin Franklin statue
Kathryn sitting with Benjamin Franklin


Get in contact for a complimentary consultation about raising contentment and job satisfaction in your life or organization.



Proud member of the following organizations


International Positive Psychology Association Life Coach Certification from Coach Training Alliance


© Kathryn Britton, Theano Coaching LLC, 2008