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Neuroplasticity Coach: How Brain States Become Enduring Traits

Posted by Julia Stewart

neuroplasticity coaching

Lately I've been reading the excellent book, Altered Traits, by Daniel Goleman and Richard J. Davidson, two giants in the fields of emotional intelligence and  neuroplasticity.

If you're a neuroscience geek, like me, you may enjoy reading all about the research, but if you're just curious, here's the lowdown, plus the connection with coaching.

They wanted to set the record straight about research into neuroplasticity, meditation, mindfulness, and how states developed via positive practices can, over time, become enduring traits.They're concerned about the hype that surrounds these popular topics, especially mindfulness, because it's so trendy right now, and they share what science really knows about tools that change the brain instantly, and over time, sustainably, leading to greater happiness, equanimity, resourcefulness, and transformation.

States are temporary changes in the brain that impact how we think, feel, and act. They are an important driver of human experiences, relationships, well-being, and success.

Brain states can be measured in a variety of ways, such as fMRI imaging of blood flow to various parts of the brain, EEG measurements of brainwave patterns, or measurement of neurotransmitters present in the brain; to name three. They also can be measured indirectly via observance of behaviors or via self-reports by subjects, but this is more the realm of psychology, specifically positive psychology.

States are fleeting. We may not always notice when our brains change states, but trained observers often can witness these changes. States can be positive or negative, which are generally categorized by how pleasant or unpleasant they feel, how likely they are to promote behavior that results in desired outcomes, and how they may promote wellness or pathology.

Many so-called positive states are pleasant, promote desired behavioral outcomes, and can result in greater health.

Skilled coaches help alter their clients' states in virtually every coaching session. Our main objective is to move the client from a less resourceful to more resourceful state and take advantage of that greater resourcefulness to plan strategies and actions that can promote desired change.

It's pretty profound that coaches can alter their client's brain states, but truth is, we all alter the brain states of others' without even knowing it, often with undesirable consequences. Coaching amounts to communication that leads to positive, or desirable, outcomes for the person being coached, because they are, temporarily at least, more open, more solution oriented, more optimistic, more creative, and more resourceful.

How are traits different from states?

Traits develop over time when someone repeats the same thoughts, emotions, memories, habits, and behaviors. The brain actually changes physically as a result, because the neurons involved strengthen their connections every time the thought is repeated.

As the famous saying goes, by neuropsychologist, Donald Hebb, "Neurons that fire together, wire together."

For example, if you live a stressful life, and especially if you worry and ruminate about what stresses you, the neurons in your amygdala, called "the brain's alarm bell" by neuropsychologist, Rick Hanson, will strengthen their bonds and over time, will cause that structure to enlarge. The downstream results could include more stress, more worry and rumination, and perhaps behaviors that make things worse rather than better.

Neuroplasticity can go the other way, too. Positive practices, such as mediation, mindfulness, appreciation, shared warmth, and many others, seem to have a cascading effect on the brain and resulting behaviors, over time. Theoretically, coaching and being coached, as well as following through on many coaching exercises, such as journaling, practicing gratitude or mindfulness, or even following through on resourceful actions and developing new positive habits, can make enduring changes. The new becomes the default.

So there you have the connection between states, traits, and neuroplasticity coaching.

If you'd like to learn much more about these topics, consider taking the Intro to Coaching with Neuroscience course that is coming soon. You can earn 8 ICF CCEs and it's approved for 8 ACSTH within the Certified Positive Psychology Coach® Program.

Check it out here:

Become a Neuroscience Coach

 

Topics: gratitude, Certified Positive Psychology Coach, coaching with neuroscience, mindfulness, Neuroplasticity, positive psychology coach training, become a positive psychology coach

Positive Psychology Definition

Posted by Julia Stewart

Positive_Psychology_from_Wikipedia.png

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®:

Get Certified Positive Psychology Coach Fact Sheet

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

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

Posted by Julia Stewart

 

APPC_logo_final_2016.jpg

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

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