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Positive Psychology Definition

Posted by Julia Stewart


I write frequently about positive psychology and especially, positive psychology coaching. But how do experts define positive psychology and what exactly is a positive psychology coach?

Positive Psychology Definition: Positive psychology is based on research into what causes happiness and well-being and enables people to flourish (Stewart, 2016, A2-1 Coaching Guide:  Introduction to Positive Psychology for Coaches Class 1: Introduction).

This definition was gleaned from the writings of various positive psychology experts, such as Martin E. P. Seligman, Father of Positive Psychology, and Barbara L. Fredrickson, President, International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA).

Positive Psychology Coach Definition: A positive psychology coach is a coach who expertly coaches using research-based positive psychology practices.

Go here for definitions of coaching from the International Coach Federation (ICF) and School of Coaching Mastery (SCM).

How does one become a positive psychology coach? Currently, there are two pathways to becoming a positive psychology coach. One is to hobble together several courses in coaching and positive psychology. The second is to take fully integrated positive psychology coaching classes at School of Coaching Mastery.

How can you get a certificate in positive psychology coaching? Take the Introduction to Positive Psychology for Coaches, which is an 8-hour, 4-week introduction to the positive psychology practices that are most beneficial to coaches. 

How can you become a Certified Positive Psychology Coach®? Enroll in the Certified Positive Psychology Coach® program. Most coaches take about a year to complete it.

What's the difference between the Positive Psychology Certificate and the Certified Positive Psychology Coach® credential? The Positive Psychology Certificate is a certificate of completion. It means you completed a course in positive psychology. The Certified Positive Psychology Coach® credential is a stamp of approval from School of Coaching Mastery that says you have met the requirements for professional positive psychology coaching skills.

I hope these positive psychology definitions are useful to you.

Become a Certified Positive Psychology Coach®:

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Topics: Barbara L Fredrickson, Certified Positive Psychology Coach, Positive Psychology, positive psychology coaching, Martin Seligman, positive psychology coach, positive psychology coach training, positive psychology certificate

Trump, Clinton, Spiral Dynamics Integral, and Coaching - Part 3

Posted by Julia Stewart


Here's the third and final installment in my three-part exploration of 2016 Presidential candidates and their Value Systems. As one reader on Facebook commented, this approach makes sense of a really messy topic. Each installment focuses on a different candidate.

Part 1 introduces Spiral Dynamics integral Values System, which is a theory used by coaches to understand their clients better, and it is mostly about Donald Trump and his supporters. Part 2 took a detour to look at the predominant Values System expressed by the Bernie Sanders campaign and today's post, Part 3, views Hillary Clinton and her supporters via their Values Systems. If you're brand-new to Spiral Dynamics integral, please go back and read Part 1, because it'll introduce you to the basics. Otherwise, this post will sounds like nothing but gobbledygook.

As Part 1 mentioned, the candidates' own Values Systems may differ from their supporters', because the candidates hone their messages to the voting blocks they hope to attract. It's important to note, though, that any candidate who makes it this far in the United States Presidential election is very strong on Orange, the Values System that is associated with rationality and productivity, because it tends to have an emphasis on winning and its values are consistent with those of democracy. Also, our media tends to be dominated by Orange values, so the information we get about the election is almost always filtered through Orange, which can't make sense of much of what's happening this year.

What we've found, so far, is that Donald Trump is attracting voters from the lower end of the Spiral, (Purple, Red, and Blue), while Sanders is hyper-focused on classic Green issues. And if you're wondering why Beige hasn't been mentioned, it's because we don't usually see Beige thinking in healthy adults, under most conditions, so Beige doesn't comprise a voting block. 

And before you Sanders supporters start to feel superior because Green is higher up the Spiral than most of the other Values Systems, I want to note that the Spiral is about Values, not I.Q. or sophistication. Thinking at the lower end of the Spiral doesn't make someone stupid; it just means their thinking is working for them, so they haven't been forced by circumstances to change it. For example: If you are a bully and it's working for you, you may live at Red your entire life, but you could be a very smart, very sophisticated bully.

Besides, there are levels beyond Green.

So where does Hillary Clinton live? That's a challenging question that points to why some people don't like her. She shows signs of nearly all the Values Systems. That's complicated and confusing. Voters prefer simple and clear.

However, that complexity points to the Yellow and Turquoise Values Systems, which are the first and second systems that become aware of, and see value in, all the systems, depending on circumstances. This allows tremendous flexibility to take approaches that works best in any situation. There are, so far, relatively few people who've evolved to these levels, which care about many of the same things people at lower levels care about, but in new ways. The general population is moving up the Spiral, though, rather than down, so numbers are growing, and there are notable politicians who've already taken this approach.

Among them are Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Barack Obama, and Tony Blair. Sometimes called, the "Third Way", this approach seeks to integrate the best of conservative and liberal approaches. The results tend to focus on cooperation vs. competition, solutions vs. problems, positivity vs. negativity, and even forgiveness vs. blame.

The Third Way is a great idea, but it does trigger resistance from people who don't resonate with it, which so far is a lot of people. Obama came into office wanting to compromise with Republicans to get things done, but instead met resistance from Tea Party Conservatives who shut down the government, rather than talk to him.

No doubt, some of that resistance was based in racism, but some may have been for another reason: people intuitively understand others who agree with their Values Systems and even intuit the thinking of those who operate at lower Values Systems, but when they encounter someone who operates at a higher level, it feels false, foreign, and untrustworthy.

They can't get a gut or intuitive feel for them and that's scary. Democrats and Republicans working together? Government and business? There must be backroom payoffs! Something fishy is going on! These people are crooked!

I'm not claiming Third Way politicians are automatically more honest than other politicians, but I am saying that we can't assume they are corrupt just because what they're doing is different.

Is Hillary Clinton a Third Way politician? Yes, she appears to be. Her politics are generally liberal, but she seems to take the approach that she can destroy her enemies best by making them her friends (a point of view championed by Abraham Lincoln, who may have been a forerunner of Third Way politicians), rather than making friends into enemies, as Sanders does, or simply making everyone an enemy who isn't a supporter, as is Trump's approach.

But there's something else. Clinton, being female, has a tough time running for what has traditionally been a masculine job. She seems to resonate best with the values most obviously associated with female concerns, for instance, Purple family and children. She picks that concern up again and again at the "feminine" levels of Blue, Green, and Turquoise. Each level approaches it a bit differently. But these "soft" concerns don't play well next to grand visions of wiping out terrorism, or of retooling the entire economy. 

Also Clinton is not a great speech maker. She doesn't attract enormous crowds. If she talks too loudly, people complain she's screaming. If she talks too quietly, they say she's "low energy". She is pioneering how a woman can run for president, because no other woman has made it this far.

What do they say about pioneers? That you can always spot them, because they're the ones with the arrows in their backs.

There's another thing about Hillary's reputation for being dishonest. If you recall the Jimmy Stewart film classic, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, the main character, perhaps the only honest man in Washington, was vilified for profiteering and worse, by the corrupt old guard who didn't want him and his idealistic plans getting in the way of their graft. My point is, you can't believe what politicians and their surrogates say about each other. Whenever I've taken the time to look up whether Hillary has done something dishonest, I've been pleasantly surprised. 

But she has some cards on her side. Yellow and Turquoise are disinterested in rallies and protests, so you won't find them there. They are too busy in their offices, labs, and workshops; innovating solutions and creating the future. But they do pay attention and they vote. This is one reason Clinton fails to attract the crowds of her rivals, but still gets millions more votes.

Crowds don't elect presidents. Voters and delegates do. 

Plus, with Trump running as the ultimate alpha male, he has handed Hillary the opportunity to run like a woman, as a woman. She's at her best in small groups talking to women and children. Women, people of color, and those at the highest levels of the Spiral are her base. When Sanders drops out, his liberal supporters will mostly go to Clinton. His populist supporters will mostly go to Trump.

May the best man or woman win.

You're welcome to comment on this post, below, but keep it respectful. Comments are moderated and trolls and spammers won't be tolerated.

Interested in understanding coaching clients and their values better? You may want to learn about positive psychology coaching. Our courses are listed here:

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Topics: Coaching, Spiral Dynamics, Barack Obama, Values, Trump, Sanders, Clinton

Trump, Clinton, Spiral Dynamics Integral, and Coaching - Part 2

Posted by Julia Stewart


Yesterday, I published Part 1 of this blog series, which now looks like it'll be three parts long. I mostly focused on Donald Trump, because people (love him or hate him) are absolutely fascinated by his campaign and Spiral Dynamics integral (SDi) explains a lot about it.

This is a theory that helps coaches understand their client's more quickly. When we understand what matters to them, also known as their values, we can empower them to get what they want more easily. 

I finished that first post with some research that claims Trump appeals to authoritarians ("Authoritarian" is one of those words, like "communism", that freaks out Americans) and I described what authoritarian values look like through the SDi lens. It explains so much!

If you missed yesterday's post, start with it here, especially if you're new to the levels of SDi.

Well, it turns out there's other research that refutes Trump's authoritarianism (So relax, already!) and it helps explain why Trump and Sanders supporters share some characteristics, even though they live at different levels on the Spiral. And since Sanders has been eating up the headlines, lately, I thought I'd wrap up Trump and compare and contrast Sanders, today.

Stealing the cable news cycle from Donald Trump for 24 whole hours is like getting your song to Number One on iTunes the day after Adele releases a new album, so let's reward Bernie with the attention he deserves. We don't know how much longer he'll be with us, but he's loud and clear, right now. (Don't worry, Hillary, I'll get to you, Hon.)

So this other research measured populism, contrasted with authoritarianism, and focused on several candidates' supporters, instead of just Trump's. It turns out Ted Cruz's supporters scored higher on authoritarianism than Trump's. Yup, I'm sure they did; as a candidate playing to evangelicals, Cruz's message appealed mostly to Blue traditionalism/authoritarianism.

So what is populism and where does it live on the Spiral? Populism combines anti-elitism, mistrust of experts, and nationalism (American identity) and it can live almost anywhere on the Spiral, except Blue, because Blue reveres those at the top.

Populism believes The People are good and the elites and experts have stolen their power away from them.

How does a billionaire, like Trump, who travels around in a Boeing 757 with his name plastered on it, attract anti-elitists? Simple. He's an amateur, when it comes to politics, so he's a Washington outsider, not a member of the Party elite. That gets him around mistrust of experts, as well. The dumber his policies sound to pundits (elites), the more his populist supporters love him. His followers hate Washington, but love their country and they mostly live at the lower levels of the Spiral: Purple, Red, and Blue. Remember, he also scores pretty high on Blue traditionalism, so apparently some of his followers do love the American-Royalty veneer of Trump's family.

But Trump's not the only populist in the race.

Sander's supporters, who live mostly at the level of Green egalitarianism, also score high on one dimension of populism: anti-elitism. They don't mind experts, in fact most are at least college educated, but they're not particularly patriotic.  They hate both government leaders and the very rich (elites). That helps explain why they detest Hillary Clinton so much, even though her policies are often similar to Sanders'; she's a political insider and multi-millionaire, so she can't be trusted. That's not the only reason, though.

The brand of populism that fits with Green is sometimes referred to as, "flatland", because Green hates hierarchy (Blue), only recognizes its own values, and wants everybody to be on exactly the same level (Green thinkers, by the way, hate the idea of levels so much, they will argue that the Spiral in Spiral Dynamics integral should really be flat, but that's another conversation.) No surprise that promises of socialized medicine and free college tuition are hugely popular with Sanders' supporters.

Green populism demands rights for the disenfanchised.

We need Green, because it helps point out what's unfair in our world, but it reacts emotionally and distrusts rational Orange, while detesting traditional Blue (remember, when Blue is weak, Red spills out). Because it blames the elites, who it believes have stolen its power, it is particularly prone to paranoia and conspiracy theories.

That last point is interesting, because the Sanders campaign has been accused of intentionally spreading misinformation about conspiracies against his campaign and some of his supporters say things that are mind-bogglingly paranoid. I'm not so sure the Sanders campaign even has to try to scare their supporters; they seem to come pre-loaded with paranoia.

A few days ago, Sanders' supporters failed to add any delegates to his side at the Nevada State Democratic Convention. There was anger and yelling; a few chairs were thrown, but nobody got hurt. That's actually not unusual for a political convention. But then they emailed the contact information for all the delegates and party officials to their supporters, who then sent hate texts and voicemails to the NV President of the Democratic Party, saying they were going to set her on fire, hang her in public, and that they knew where her grandchildren went to school. Wow.

To be fair, not all of Sanders' supporters engaged in terrorizing Democratic officials and, so far, nobody has turned up dead, but it's hardly surprising that party officials are incensed and demanded that Sanders publicly condemn the actions of his own supporters. For four days, he avoided saying anything, while campaign officials claimed he couldn't control them (Previously, Trump also claimed, for a while at least, that he wasn't responsible for violence among his supporters.) Last I checked though, a great leader say, Martin Luther King Jr. for instance, could definitely cool public outrage by appealing for calm.

Finally, Sanders made a public statement condemning violence, but it focused primarily on perceived slights against his campaign and hinted that those slights excused his supporters' behavior. That hurt him. A lot.

But with Green blame and self-righteousness, mixed with populism's foregone conclusion that The People are always right, while elites are always conspiring against them, that statement is hardly surprising. Remember, Green only recognizes its own point of view, so their own viciousness feels completely justified to them.

The philosopher, Ken Wilber, dubbed this thinking, "The Mean Green Meme."

So both political parties appear to be cleaving apart amidst a hot campaign. Where does Hillary fit in? Do you see her anywhere on the Spiral, yet? No? Don't worry, you will. Just give me a couple of days.

We'll revisit all of these questions in...

Trump, Clinton, Spiral Dynamics integral, and Coaching - Part 3

You're welcome to comment on this post, below, but keep it respectful. Comments are moderated and trolls and spammers won't be tolerated.

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Topics: Coaching, Spiral Dynamics, Values, Trump, Sanders, Clinton

Trump, Clinton, Spiral Dynamics Integral, and Coaching - Part 1

Posted by Julia Stewart


These days, everybody is trying to explain the Trump phenomenon. How did this guy, Donald Trump, who expresses bigotry against practically anyone who isn't a supporter, who has no experience in politics, and whose own party seems to want nothing to do with him; how did he become the presumptive Republican Party nominee for President of the United States? And what makes people at Trump's rallies so passionate, so unruly, so violent, even? And why did each of Trump's Republican rivals shrivel up like the Wet Wicked Witch of the West, every time Trump made fun of them?

Then what about Hillary Clinton (Donald calls her, "Crooked Hillary")? How is it this "unlikable" female Democratic candidate takes Trump's insults and, instead of shriveling up, turns them into millions of dollars in contributions? (Woman Card, anyone? How about the Stop Trump Fund? Republicans for Clinton?)

And then there's that liberal guy, Sanders, who Hillary can't seem to shake off, completely. What keeps him going? What makes people so passionate about his promises? And why do his followers troll the internet, attacking anyone who disagrees even slightly with their candidate, virtually mirroring violent Trump supporters, only with liberal views instead of conservative? How can it be that Sanders' supporters have anything in common with Trump supporters?

And finally, what does all of this have to do with coaching?

Three words: Spiral Dynamics integral (SDi).

What is Spiral Dynamics integral (the "i" in "integral" is usually small case)? It's a psycho-social-spiritual "theory that explains everything", based on the research of psychologist, Clare Graves, and popularized by the 1996 book, Spiral Dynamics (by Don E. Beck and Christopher Cowan). I had the opportunity to study Spiral Dynamics integral intensively with Don Beck several years ago and have been teaching it to coaches ever since.

Understanding this theory is like turning the lights on: suddenly you see everything clearly.

The theories of Spiral Dynamics integral can be complex, but they make perfect sense of our crazy political dramas in a way that nothing else can. No, the nuttiness of this political season isn't just because older white men are angry that they don't always get special treatment, anymore (although that helps fuel it), and no, it's not because feminists just want a woman President (although many do), and no, it's not because millennials are saddled with student debt and a lousy job market (although they certainly are).

Governments, politicians, and political campaigns, among other groups, have been employing Spiral Dynamics integral consultants for decades to help them understand how different demographics think. For instance, SDi was used to help peacefully transition South Africa from apartheid to democracy. No small accomplishment!

Here's the bottom line: It's Values, or Values Systems, to use SDi jargon, that make the difference.

Values are what matter most to you. As any great coach knows, values are one of the most, or perhaps the most, important topic for any coaching conversation, because they are often transformative. But what we've learned from Clare Graves' research is that people also develop psychologically, (or evolve, as SDi puts it) according to their Values Systems.

Values change our brains as well as our choices. They impact individuals and entire cultures.

We think of values as being positive, but they often conflict with each other, which causes real problems. If you value freedom, but also security, for instance, you may desperately want to quit your job and travel the world, but may choose to keep your regular paycheck, instead. We all experience conflicts like this and they often point to our level of development, as well. Savvy coaches help their clients understand their values and make the most of them.

In addition, our values conflict with the values of other people and most of us are so unconscious of this that people who disagree with us can seem like idiots, or crazies, because what's most important feels obvious - but different - to each ot us.

This is why most people avoid talking about religion and politics at parties. Our religious beliefs and political choices are governed by our deeply held values. In fact, sociologist, and author of the book, Cultural Creatives, Paul H. Ray, says our values determine our actions much more so than our demographics.

So how do we talk about Values Systems? Don Beck, co-author of the book, Spiral Dynamics, devised a color coding system while consulting in South Africa, to take people's focus off skin color and ethnicity (types of people) and focus instead on Values Systems (types of thinking). Focusing on types of people, versus types of behavior or thinking, leads to  stereotyping and bigotry.

Here, very simply, are the identified Values Systems of Spiral Dynamics integral:

  1. Beige: survival and comfort, kind of like a baby.
  2. Purple: safety and nurturance, family and tribes come together for this.
  3. Red: self expression and adventure, adolescents and warriors break free from the tribe to embrace these.
  4. Blue: tradition and rules, we find our place in the larger order.
  5. Orange: productive and rational, we work to create a better world through progress.
  6. Green: compassionate and sensitive, we notice and stand up for those who are disadvantaged.
  7. Yellow: flexible and aware, we innovate solutions to the world's problems.
  8. Turquoise: holistic and integrated, we feel one with the whole world.

Each of the above Values Systems has a shadow side (less healthy), which may comprise a rejection of the previous Values System, or a perverted version of it. Some Values Systems are more masculine or feminine than others, while certain Values Systems may resonate with others. For example, both Orange and Green tend to resonate with Red. No healthy adult exhibits just one Values System, all the time. In fact, most of us think at a variety of levels under different circumstances.

Here are some shadow sides of Spiral Dynamics integral:

  1. Beige: infantile and regressive.
  2. Purple: suspicious, controlling, over-protective, us against them.
  3. Red: angry, rebellious, destructive, violent.
  4. Blue, judgmental, rejecting, rigid, holier then thou.
  5. Orange, shallow, sleazy, corrupt, materialistic, win at all costs.
  6. Green: blaming, passive, irresponsible.
  7. Yellow: disloyal, dismissive, impatient, above it all, overly reliant on technology.
  8. Turquoise: hubris, superiority, overly reliant upon intuition.

Back to the Trump phenomenon:

Donald Trump was identified in the book, Spiral Dynamics, as a great example of Orange thinking. This productive and rational Values System dominates the world of Big Business and politics. In fact, virtually any successful politician has a strong streak of Orange. But Orange gets its ethical underpinning from Blue tradition and rules. Without a good streak of  Blue rules and traditions, Orange becomes sleazy and will say and do anything to win, succeed, or make money.

Sound at all familiar? Both Democratic and Republican leaders are shocked by Trump's refusal to follow the rules and traditions of American politics.

Also, Trump projects an air of hyper-masculinity and seems to be weak on the more feminine Values Systems of Purple, Blue, Green, and Turquoise. With these weaknesses, especially weak Blue, Orange tends to resonate strongly with unhealthy Red: angry destructive, even violent.

As Don Beck says: When Blue is weak, Red spills out. Remember the Trump supporter who was interviewed after sucker-punching a protester at a Trump rally, who said, "We may have to kill him,"?

This brings us to the research of Mathew MacWilliams, which shows Trump supporters are strong on authoritarianism. Authoritarians obey. They become angry when others don't obey the same rules. This group is similar to what Paul Ray calls, "traditionalists", and is strongly consistent with the SDi levels of Purple, Red, and Blue.

Whether you call them traditionalists or authoritarians, it's helpful to know why they think as they do. Purple, being about family or tribe, tends to follow the rules laid down by the chief, parent, or head of household; because that keeps everyone safe and avoids conflict. Think of the wife who doesn't follow politics, because she just votes the same as her husband.

Red, being about freedom, believes "might makes right" and tends to only follow leaders who who are "mighty" in some way. Tony Soprano from the old gangster TV show, is the perfect example: he was bigger and smarter than all the other members of his crew.

Blue, believes in a rightful order that includes a hierarchy of privileged elites. Think of the Queen of England, the Catholic Pope, or Hitler.

As a billionaire, Trump qualifies as an elite. If you've seen pictures of his homes, you know they are palatial. He's also a Big Boss, who seems to bully anyone who gets in his way. If you're thinking at Red, you will actually find this attractive. Finally, when talking about women, Trump says all they want is to be safe and secure, so he tries to present the image of the big chief who will build a big wall and keep all the terrorists out.

Trump may think primarily at Orange, but he resonates with Red. And, being weak on Blue, his sleazy Orange will say and do anything to stay popular with Purple and Blue authoritarians.

So are Trump supporters really authoritarian? Some disagree. Are authoritarians the same as fascists, as some Trump accusers say? Is this something to be alarmed about? What levels are Clinton and Sanders playing to? Are they any better?

Would you coach any of these people? And if so, how?

We'll revisit all of these questions in...

Trump, Clinton, Spiral Dynamics integral, and Coaching - Part 2

You're welcome to comment on this post, below, but keep it respectful. Comments are moderated and trolls and spammers won't be tolerated.

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Topics: Coaching, Spiral Dynamics, Values, Don Beck, SDi, Trump, Clinton

The Future of Positive Psychology Coaching: Here's an Exciting Opportunity

Posted by Julia Stewart



I have exciting news plus a request for assistance. We have an opportunity to shape the future of positive psychology coaching and I want you to help – and benefit - from the results!

Please help us design the new Association of Positive Psychology Coaches (APPC). It's a networking and learning organization for professional positive psychology coaches and people who are interested in joining this fast-growing profession.

Membership is currently fre*e.

A little history: The APPC is a joint brainchild of certified positive psychology coach, David McQuarrie, CPPC, and me, Julia Stewart, founder of the Certified Positive Psychology Coach® program. It’s just getting started, right now.

What’s the plan? The APPC is a networking and learning organization specifically for positive psychology coaches, who have interests and concerns that are not fully addressed by existing professional organizations. These include:

  • What are the current opportunities opening up for positive psychology coaches, like me?
  • What is the latest research in positive psychology and, more importantly, how do I successfully apply it in my coaching sessions?
  • How do I meet, get to know, and collaborate with other positive psychology coaches?
  • How do I market my positive psychology coaching and attract the people who want to hire me?
  • How do I make a name for myself in positive psychology coaching?

What the APPC isn’t: We’re not designing the APPC to compete with the ICF, IOC, IAC, or any other professional coaching organization, nor any positive psychology organization, such as the IPPA. We have no plans to certify coaches and the APPC is not a coach-training school. Also, the APPC is not a not-for-profit, 501c organization – yet. It will be supported by School of Coaching Mastery until it is self-sustaining, but positive psychology coaching is much bigger than just us, so we plan to expand.

As I said, we are just getting started and you have the opportunity to get involved and influence the direction of this exciting new profession.

How can you help? I was hoping you’d ask…

I’d love to know how the APPC can best help YOU with your positive psychology coaching career. Our original idea was to host virtual networking sessions and interviews with top scientists, authors, and teachers; plus showcase leading positive psychology coaches. But is that what YOU want?

How can APPC serve you in a way that other organizations do not? Specifically, what are your concerns that aren’t fully addressed elsewhere?

If you’d like to get involved, answer a few quick questions below, and you’ll be taken to the page where you can sign-up to join APPC, fre*e!

[UPDATE May 5, 2016: The survey mentioned in this email is now closed. Thanks to everyone who filled it out - very helpful! Our first meeting will be on May 18th. To join the APPC (currently free of charge) and get email updates, invitatioons to meetings, and more; please join the APPC here:

Go Here to Join the APPC Now

Topics: Certified Positive Psychology Coach, Positive Psychology, positive psychology coaching, positive psychology coaches, positive psychology coach, positive psychology coach training

Should You Become a Positive Psychology Coach? Take This Free Quiz

Posted by Julia Stewart

positive psychology coach

Many coaches say positive psychology is the future of coaching, personal development, success, and high performance.

So what does it take to become a successful positive psychology coach? Take this quick positive psychology coaching quiz to find out. If you want to see how other people responded as soon as you click, “Finish”, or if your device doesn't show the quiz below, take the quiz here. Otherwise, take the quiz directly below.

If positive psychology coaching really is a great fit for you, why not fill out the Certified Positive Psychology Coach® application, too? Just click the big blue button at the bottom of this post to get started. We’ll keep you posted about upcoming opportunities such as the new Association of Positive Psychology Coaches.


How did you do? If most of your answers were, "I'm working on it" or "I've mastered this", you'll probably make a great positive psychology coach. Maybe your next step is to apply to the Certified Positive Psychology Coach® program, below...

Apply to Be a Certified Positive Psychology Coach®

Topics: Certified Positive Psychology Coach, Positive Psychology, positive psychology coaching, positive psychology coaches, positive psychology coach, positive psychology coach training

Positive Psychology Coach Training Video

Posted by Julia Stewart

Here's a new video about positive psychology coach training by actor, coach, and host of "Marcus Recommends", Marcus Freed, SCM-CCC. He quotes positive psychology coaches, Valeria Pittaluga of Italy, Paula Facci of Brazil, and Jess Dods of the U.S.A.; about their experiences becoming certified positive psychology coaches.

If you want to quickly learn about positive psychology coaching, this video is packed with information in just over two minutes. Valeria calls positive psychology coach training a "brilliant opportunity" to learn about "healthy entrepreneurship". Paula mentions her increased confidence, "astonishing" results, and the "double digit growth" of her business. Jess says the results are "powerful and lasting" and he "highly recommends" this path to other coaches. Thanks to everyone who made this video possible.!

Enjoy the video here:


Learn more about becoming a Certified Positive Psychology Coach® here:

Learn More About Positive Psychology Coaching

Topics: coach training, Certified Positive Psychology Coach, video, Positive Psychology, positive psychology coaching, positive psychology coaches, positive psychology coach, positive psychology coach training

What's Really Behind the Huge Success of Professional Coaching?

Posted by Julia Stewart

love_is_more_powerful_than_greed.jpgToday I turned down a potential client whose business would have brought me thousands of dollars. She seemed a like a good client, with clearly defined goals to build her coaching business, which is a coaching specialty of mine.

But there was one big problem: Her goals were simply to make more money.

And her requirements were that her mentor coach must  have made a certain amount of money, which I've made, but I still turned her down.

Why did I turn her down, when helping coaches succeed is one of my specialties? Because I went into coaching and coach training to help people succeed at creating a better future for themselves and others, a better world, if you will.

Money matters. Helping others matters more to me. That's because one of my highest values is: Love.

The funny thing is that coaches who love what they do and love helping others to have better lives and careers, are the coaches who most succeed at professional coaching.

And they often make the most money.

Because the professional coaches, who are most likely to succeed, want to thrive by helping others thrive.

They're not martyrs. And they're also not greedy. They're more complex than that.

Probably only 5-10% of people, worldwide, who are interested in becoming coaches, have achieved this level of complexity.

Have you achieved this level of complexity?

If you're interested in coaching only because you've heard it's one of the highest paid professions in the world, don't train at School of Coaching Mastery.

And if you're only interested in helping others, instead of also helping yourself and the people you most care about, then coach for a hobby and make a living doing something else.

I wrote a blog post about this, The Top Ten Worst Reasons to Become a Coach, nine years ago, and it is as true today as it ever was.

If you want to thrive and help thrive doing what you love, let's talk.

School of Coaching Mastery's training programs may be perfect for you. And my mentor coaching often includes training, as needed, at no extra charge. It's expensive and well worth it.


I'm in the thrive and help thrive business.


By the way, if you love someone or something so much that you'd change the world for them, World Clan Mothers on Facebook may also be right for you. It's about turning back the tide of Climate Change so our grandchildren, and Nature, have a chance to thrive like we do. I invite you to join and get involved.


Visit World Clan Mothers on Facebook

Topics: professional coach, Coaching, professional coaching, coaching success, successful business

Coach Training Schools: How to Identify a Fake Coaching School

Posted by Julia Stewart


After fifteen years in the  business of coaching and coach-training, I've seen my share of fake online schools. So when I stumbled across a "new" online school with a few tell-tale signs, I intuitively knew it was bogus. Just to be sure though (like any good coach), I checked to be certain. Yup, I was right the first time.

Unfortunately, there is seemingly no limit to the number of people who will spot something popular on the web and will try to scam the unsuspecting into sending money. Don't be fooled!

If you're wondering if a coach-training website, or any educational website, is legit, here's what to look for...

7 Clues a Coach-Training Website is Fake:

1. The site doesn't clearly indicate who owns it or runs it. This new site that I found just states, in the "About Us" section, that it's a membership site for people interested in positive psychology. Pretty sketchy.

2. It claims to be a university or graduate school, but the web address doesn't end with .edu or .org. Read number 4 for more about this. In the United States, there are specific laws about who can claim to be a university. Generally, a university offers many topics and awards degrees based an specific requirements. This one claimed to be a US organization, but didn't seem to fit the definition.

3. It claims to be a college or university in the United States, but it gives out diplomas. In the US, you get a diploma when you graduate from high school. If you go on to post-secondary school, such as a college or university, you earn a degree, certification, or certificate of completion, not a diploma.

4. It claims to be accredited by an official-sounding not-for-profit organization that is approved by the United States Department of Education, but the web address doesn't end with .edu (only educational institutions with this type of accreditation can use .edu addresses). This one made such a claim, but the address ended with .us. Curious whether there was any validity to the claim, I went to the Department of Ed. website and searched their list of approved agencies. Nope, not there.

A hallmark of fake schools is the claim of being accredited by official-sounding organizations that don't exist.

By the way, Department of Ed. approval is the gold-standard in university accreditation. However, legitimate coaching schools that claim accreditation are generally accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF), which is not approved by the Department of Ed. ICF is a good organization. In fact, it is the oldest and largest such organization in the world. This type of approval or accreditation is the gold standard in coaching. You can trust coaching schools that are approved or accredited by the ICF. Just check the ICF's site to be sure.

5. Information about the courses and topics taught is scarce. This new site shares basic information that anyone can find with a quick web search on positive psychology and copy & paste it onto a fake site.

6. There are no trust marks or confirmation links on the site. Trust marks come from third-party organizations, such as the Department of Ed, or the International Coach Federation, or the Better Business Bureau. They usually include links to the accrediting site that confirm the school's claims and may even rate the school on trust and best practices.

7. Here's the scariest red flag: to join this new "organization" that I discovered, you're instructed to copy & paste their payment form into an EMAIL with your name, address, credit-card number, security code, and expiration date! No legitimate organization will EVER ask you to put sensitive payment information into an email.  Email is just not secure. My conclusion is that this site is designed to steal identities from people who are interested in positive psychology and that if you are foolish enough to "join", you will soon discover that your credit card has been maxed out. And because of the tell-tale "diplomas" mentioned on the site (#3 above), it is likely outside the United States, even though it claims to be "American". It's difficult, if not impossible, to catch international scammers, such as these.

So How Can You Find Trustworthy Coaching Schools?

There are many good coach training schools, but Google isn't the best way to find them. Use the ICF's Training Program Search Service (TPSS). They have a huge number of approved and accredited coaching schools to choose from that they have already vetted for you.

Looking for an ICF Approved Coach Training Program?

The Certified Positive Psychology Coach® program approved for 125 ICF hours. Check us out at the ICF TPSS under the following name:

Julia Stewart Coaching & Training LLC, DBA: School of Coaching Mastery

ICF Approved 125 hours

Or go here:

Become a Certified Positive Psychology Coach

Topics: coach training, ICF, Certified Positive Psychology Coach, Life coaching school accreditation, coach training school, Positive Psychology

Discover Whether Positive Psychology Coaching is for You with this New Free eBook

Posted by Julia Stewart


Curious about positive psychology coaching?

If you're looking to make a positive change in your career and you're curious about positive psychology coaching, you're in luck, because a new free eBook called, Become a Positive Psychology Coach, answers most of your questions and can point you in the direction where you can learn more.

The free Become a Positive Psychology Coach eBook even includes comments from practicing positive psychology coaches who represent a variety of coaching niches within the general specialties of life, business, and executive coaching.


  • In a nutshell, you'll learn how much fun it is to help clients reach their goals and flourish.
  • Plus, knowing that the tools of positive psychology coaching have been tested and researched is a huge confidence builder for all coaches, especially when they are new.
  • In addition to confidence, positive psychology and related sciences help positive psychology coaches fine tune their tools, so they know who, what, when, and how to introduce them for greater effectiveness.
  • And that scientific background lends credibility with skeptical potential clients.
  • Coaching is advancing as a profession and positive psychology coaching seems to be the next phase.

To find out whether you should join the pioneers of positive psychology coaching; download the eBook for free:

Free Become a Positive Psychology Coach eBook


Topics: Certified Positive Psychology Coach, Positive Psychology, positive psychology coaching, free ebook

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