Poster Presentation 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

Igniting Character Strengths From Awareness To Embodied Practice In 30 Days (#511)

Jane S. Anderson 1 , Karen S. Whelan-Berry 2
  1. Strength Based Living LLC, Glen Ellyn, IL, United States
  2. Wholebeing Institute, Hardwick , MA, United States

Engaging VIA character strengths optimally can lead to personal and professional transformations. Yet, a gap exists between a basic awareness of one’s strengths and transformative practice. We propose that a guided daily practice for 30 days can help fill this gap and facilitate positive changes. Our research includes quantitative and qualitative data from 100+ participants who explore and apply their strengths using the book 30 Days of Character Strengths: A Guided Practice to Ignite Your Best. It translates evidence-based interventions into daily activities, simple to complex, plus offers reflection prompts and weekly themes that follow VIA’s aware/explore/apply model. 

Participants meet weekly, either face-to-face or via video conference, with a facilitator using a common protocol for six weeks. We measure the change in awareness or knowledge and the practice of VIA character strengths, as well as pre- and post-measures of validated positive psychology measurements. Our results include discussion of what moves participants from awareness to an embodied practice of VIA character strengths, and the impact of an embodied strengths practice on Subjective Happiness, BPNS, Self-Compassion and satisfaction with life and work.  We discuss how this work can serve practitioners and individuals, whether already using or new to character strengths work.