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Dr. Ryan Niemiec
Education Director of the VIA Institute
Dr. Ryan Niemiec's Mindfulness Background
Ryan M. Niemiec, Psy.D. is creator of Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice (MBSP), an evidence-based program that integrates the science and practice of mindfulness and character strengths. It is the first, and one of the only mindfulness programs in the world to offer an alternative to the deficit-based approach, by targeting what’s best in people rather than targeting problems. This manualized, 8-week program is now used by practitioners and researchers across the globe. It has reached people in more than 50 countries. Ryan gave a speaking tour on MBSP across Australia in 2015 and has led MBSP live virtually for the VIA Institute for nearly a decade.
He created an MBSP Certification in 2021, the first character strengths certification program. This MBSP work emerged from leading several hundred mindfulness groups for clinical and lay audiences; delivering retreats and seminars to various audiences; and discussions with leading mindfulness and character stengths luminaries, researchers, and practitoiners across the globe.
Dr. Ryan Niemiec's Character Strengths Background
Ryan M. Niemiec, Psy.D. is a leading international figure in the education, research, and practice of character strengths that are found in all human beings. He’s education director of the renown VIA Institute on Character, a nonprofit organization in Cincinnati, Ohio, that leads the global advancement of the science of character strengths. Ryan is an award-winning psychologist, certified coach, annual instructor at the University of Pennsylvania, special guest faculty at 5 coaching and positive psychology institutes, and author of 11 books, 90+ academic papers, and several-hundred user-friendly articles. His books include the bestselling consumer book, The Power of Character Strengths, the popular stress workbook The Strengths-Based Workbook for Stress Relief, the 2020 workbook The Positivity Workbook for Teens, and Positive Psychology at the Movies. He’s also author of the two leading practitioner-focused books in positive psychology – Character Strengths Interventions and Mindfulness and Character Strengths. The latter book contains the evidenced-based program he founded, Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice (MBSP), used by practitioners and researchers across the globe. He created VIA’s first character strengths certification program – MBSP Certification – in 2021.
Ryan has been interviewed by a number of luminaries including the legendary Larry King in 2020. He’s given over 1,000 presentations on positive psychology topics, including a character strengths world tour in 2009-2010, a speaking tour across Australia in 2015, a TEDx talk in 2017, a keynote at a Harvard conference, and invited presentations at conferences across the globe. He is Fellow of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) and serves on their Council of Advisors. He is currently co-founder and president of the Spirituality/Meaning Division of IPPA.
On a Personal Level
Ryan is a member of the mindfulness community, Being Peace Sangha, just outside of Cincinnati. In 2003, he was given a dharma name, “Fullest Breath of the Heart,” in the lineage of Thich Nhat Hanh; these names are given by senior teachers who attempt to encapsulate the person’s essence of being in the name.
He lives in Cincinnati with his wife and three young, zestful children. His highest strengths are hope, love, honesty, fairness, spirituality, curiosity, and appreciation of beauty. He’s an avid chess player, zealot of Michigan State University, super-fan of The Walking Dead, and a collector of vintage Pez dispensers; each of these has served as important positive coping strategies during recent turbulent times.
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