We are social creatures. Science is confirming what many people have known for decades, that is, relationships are important for our well-being and our health. In fact, studies are showing that our relationships might be the most important factor that contributes to our happiness. This course is designed to help you enliven, refresh and/or improve any of your close relationships. We will walk you through a 5-module framework that allows you to take a step back and view your partner/friends/family members/etc. from different perspectives. We provide research-based guidance to help you become a better listener, supporter and companion and, in turn, positively impact the way others engage with you.

Session Topics

Course Reviews a 5-Module Framework for Positive Relationships:

Module 1. Knowing and Being Known: This session focuses on the importance of respecting and admiring one another and also understanding that each person possess a unique array of character strengths. We'll review how these strengths play a role in the relationship through strengths-spotting and the neural basis of felt understanding.
Module 2. Appreciating and Accepting: In this session we'll discuss the conceptual and scientific links of strengths appreciation, taking a particularly close look at gratitude.
Module 3. Nurturing: The third module describes the importance of deliberately nurturing relationships using strategies such as upward positive spirals, active-constructive responding, and savoring the good.
Module 4. Resolving and Repairing: In session four we will review how character strengths can be viewed in the context of problems and conflicts. Hot button areas, overuse/underuse, retrospective problem management, compassion-focused reappraisal, letting go of grudges, and character strengths synergies/collisions are among the topics discussed.
Module 5. Growing Together: We conclude by discussing the complexity of the integration of character strengths and positive relationships. We'll review challenges and strategies for maintaining relationship bonds through arranging positive rituals, shared meanings, mindfulness, and acceptance.

ICF: This course provides 5 credits for the International Coach Federation in Resource Development

Register and get started immediately! You have access to this course for 14 weeks so you can work through the materials at your own pace.

Please note: Effective July 13, 2020, the VIA Pro Reports referred to in this course are no longer available. Learn more about the new VIA Total 24 and VIA Top 5 Character Strengths Reports here.

Course Faculty

Dr. Ryan Niemiec
Ryan M. Niemiec, PsyD, is author or co-author of nine books, an award-winning psychologist and a widely traveled international speaker. Ryan is the creator of MBSP and has led hundreds of mindfulness groups over the last two decades. As education director of the global nonprofit, VIA Institute on Character, he's a leading voice in the education, research, and practice of character strengths. He lives with his family, which includes three young and zestful children, near Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dr. Donna Mayerson
Dr. Donna Mayerson is a licensed psychologist and earned her master's degree in special education. Formerly a coaching director of Hummingbird Coaching Services, she is a certified coach who has used her deep knowledge of the VIA strengths as a framework for individual and organizational change with hundreds of education administrators and teachers, leaders of youth-serving organizations, in training coaches/practitioners and with individuals and families.