At the core of this hands-on resource for psychologists and other practitioners, including educators, coaches, and consultants, is Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice (MBSP), the first structured program to combine mindfulness with the character strengths laid out in the VIA Institute's classification developed by Drs. Martin E. P. Seligman and Christopher Peterson. This 8-session program systematically boosts awareness and application of character strengths - and so helps people flourish and lead more fulfilling lives.
The author's vast experience working with both Mindfulness and Character Strengths is revealed in his sensitive and clear presentation of the conceptual, practical, and scientific elements of this unique combined approach. It is not only those who are new to mindfulness or to character strengths who will appreciate the detailed primers on these topics in the first section of the book. And the deep discussions about the integration of Mindfulness and Character Strengths in the second section will benefit not just intermediate and advanced practitioners.
The third section then leads readers step-by-step through each of the 8 MBSP sessions, including details of session structure and content, suggested homework, 30 practical handouts, as well as inspiring quotes and stories and useful practitioner tips. An additional chapter discusses the adaption of MBSP to different settings and populations (e.g., business, education, individuals, couples). The Mindfulness and Character Strengths meditations on the accompanying CD support growth and development.
This highly accessible book, while primarily conceived for psychologists, educators, coaches, and consultants, is suitable for anyone who is interested in living a flourishing life.
About the Author
Dr. Niemiec is a psychologist, coach, and international workshop leader. His specialty areas include: character strengths, mindfulness meditation, positive psychology, health psychology, mind-body therapies, and psychology portrayed in media.
He is Education Director of VIA Institute on Character, a global, nonprofit organization in Cincinnati, Ohio that educates individuals about the science and practice of character strengths. The VIA Institute is considered a leading organization in positive psychology and the worldwide leader on the science of character strengths. Ryan currently leads online workshops on the practice of character strengths for practitioners in business, psychology, coaching, and education. He is a regular speaker at international and national conferences.
Ryan has a passion for teaching mindfulness meditation and character strengths as pathways for helping individuals to flourish and live their best life, as well as in the treatment of physical and mental problems. He has led several-hundred mindfulness meditation groups over the last decade, and is the creator of Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice (MBSP), a new 8-week program that integrates the best practices of Mindfulness and Character Strengths. It has been successfully piloted in several countries with many more in progress.
"In Mindfulness and Character Strengths: A Practical Guide to Flourishing, Ryan Niemiec integrates two burgeoning areas of psychology: mindfulness and character strengths. [He] suggests that a mindfulness practice supports character strength development, and identifying and enhancing character strengths facilitate mindfulness practice. The first half of the book is devoted to outlining the inherent shared features of these two concepts [and] provides a theoretical rationale for the integration of two influential lines of research. He provides concrete examples of how contemporary mindfulness-based interventions, including acceptance and commitment therapy and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, can be enhanced by including an emphasis on character strengths. "The outcome of this synthesis is the practical and easily accessible eight-week Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice program - complete with weekly agendas, handouts, homework, and an audio CD with mindfulness practices for each class. Exercises and other practical interventions are peppered throughout the first few chapters of the book, which lead nicely into the complete eight-week program. "This very readable book has a number of strengths. The clean and sharp organization of the chapters, including the chapter snapshot, opening stories, and take-away practice tips, makes this an easy and engaging book for the reader. "Including a primer on mindfulness and character strengths engages the reader who may be new to these practices, without being overly technical. This allows the reader who is naive to these topics to engage directly with the material; however, it is not dumbed down for those who are familiar with the concepts. This is very useful, given the broad target audience, including counselors, psychologists, social workers, mentors, educators, teachers, coaches, and business leaders." Michael Christopher, PhD, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD, and Dharmakaya Colgan, PhD, Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR, in PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 59, 2014 "The first half of the book is educational and explanatory, presenting ideas along with the research that supports them. Thus there is no assumption that readers know the topics before they pick up the book. The second half of the book contains detailed instructions for conducting an 8-session Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice (MBSP) workshop series. Certainly practitioners will find it an invaluable collection of materials, practical advice, and specific activities to help a group of people become more mindful in general, more mindful of their own strengths and those of the people around them, and more accomplished in the application of their strengths in everyday life. Individuals with no urge to teach will also find many ideas, activities, and meditations in this book that they can use." Kathryn Britton, MAPP '06, former software engineer, coach working with professionals to increase well-being, energy, and meaning (Theano Coaching LLC), in Positive Psychology News Daily, 2014, http://positivepsychologynews.com/news/kathryn-britton/2014021128046 "This book represents a first of its kind as a bold integration of two of the most influential lines of research to affect clinical practice in the last two decades (...] densely packed with clinically useful information. The first section offers an overview of the most current research in the areas of mindfulness and character strengths. Even if you are weil steeped in the Iiterature in these areas you are bound to find these chapters to be a complete summary thoroughly discussed in a way that is engaging and thought provoking. "The second half of the book is a session-by-session protocol for the Mindfulness Based Strengths Practice (MBSP) [that] is clearly presented with tips for instruction and handouts for the group [and] includes a wealth of resources and an audio disk with various mindfulness based tracks. "This book is well written, engaging and immediately applicable to the work of nearly any mental health clinician with the desire to center their work on what is "right" with their clients." Nathan D. Tomcik, PhD, in Ohio Psychological Association Review, 2013 "Mindfulness and character strengths go hand in hand if you want to deploy your best qualities - This book is a rich source of material to implement mindfulness [and] of enormous benefit for psychologists and other practitioners, including educators, coaches, and consultants. [It] leads readers step-by-step through each of the 8 Mindfulness Based Strengths Practice (MBSP) sessions." Susanne Strobach, MSc, Coach, Mediator, and Trainer for Organizations and Individuals, Vienna, Austria, 2013, (www.susannestrobach.at)
Mindfulness and Character Strengths A Practical Guide to Flourishing Ryan M. Niemiec Table of Contents (preliminary) Foreword, Preface Acknowledgements Section I: Primers Chapter 1: A Primer on Mindfulness Chapter 2: A Primer on Character Strengths Section II: Integration Chapter 3: The Integration of Mindfulness and Character Strengths Chapter 4: Practice I: Strong Mindfulness (Bringing Strengths to Mindfulness) Chapter 5: Practice II: Mindful Strengths Use (Bringing Mindfulness to Strengths) Section III: MBSP Chapter 6: Overview of MBSP "Of What Avail Is an Open Eye If the Heart Is Blind" Chapter 7: Session 1: Mindfulness and Autopilot Chapter 8: Session 2: Your Signature Strengths Chapter 9: Session 3: Obstacles Are Opportunities Chapter 10: Session 4: Strengthening Mindfulness in Everyday Life (Strong Mindfulness) Chapter 11: Session 5: Valuing Your Relationships Chapter 12: Session 6: Mindfulness of the Golden Mean (Mindful Strengths Use) Chapter 13: Session 7: Authenticity and Goodness Chapter 14: Session 8: Your Engagement With Life Chapter 15: Additional MBSP Features and Adaptations for Different Settings/Populations Section IV: Resources Appendix A: General Tracking Form Appendix B: X and Y: A Marriage of Character Strengths Appendix C: Mindfulness at the Movies Appendix D: Character Strengths Q & A Appendix E: Website Resources References Index Audio CD Content (preliminary): 1. Introduction 2. Body Mindfulness 3. You at Your Best and Strengths-Spotting 4. Character Strengths Breathing Space 5. Strengths Gatha 6. Loving-Kindness Meditation 7. Strength Exploration Meditation 8. Fresh Look Meditation (reframing problems with strengths) 9. Signature Strengths Breathing Space 10. Best Possible Self