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Digital Seminar

Applied Positive Psychology: A Strengths-based Approach

Key concepts and practical skills training for use in clinical practice

Renata Porzig-Drummond, PhD, BSc Psychology (Hon), Grad Dip Psychology, BA, Cert Holistic Couns
One full day
Jul 23, 2020
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Digital Seminar
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Positive psychology is at times, mistakenly, interpreted as being simply positive thinking and as having the aim of producing perpetually smiling clients. This is, of course, not the case. Rather, positive psychology is a research-based branch of psychology that encourages therapists, as well as clients, to widen their focus from being largely problem-centred to also include clients’ strengths and the things that go right in their lives. Balancing the illness focus of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM, American Psychiatric Association, 2013), “the aim of positive psychology is to catalyse a change in psychology, from preoccupation only with repairing the worst things in life to also building the best qualities in life” (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000).

The morning session of the seminar will explore: (1) key concepts in positive psychology, including signature strengths, flow, mindfulness, gratitude, positive emotions, complex optimism, resilience, post- traumatic growth, forgiveness, engagement, and meaning; (2) the relationship between these concepts and clients’ cognitions, emotions and behaviours; and (3) evidence-based positive psychology techniques and their scope in the context of therapy. The session will include audio-visual material and practical examples, and I will be using an interactive presentation style that encourages participants.  

The afternoon session will focus on the practical application of evidence-based positive psychology interventions. Skills training will be provided in using techniques related to (1) signature strengths, (2) explanatory style, and (3) gratitude. Participants will watch demonstrations of how these techniques are used in clinical practice and will have the opportunity to practice all three techniques in role-plays as clients as well as therapists. The afternoon will conclude with time for questions and for reflections on how the practised techniques can be incorporated into participants’ own clinical practice.

References: American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, DC; Author. Seligman, M.E.P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55, 5-14).


“This seminar provides useful tools and practical skills to help clients shift their view from one that is solely problem-focused to one that also includes clients’ personal strengths and the positives in their lives.   Renata Porzig-Drummond


“Renata’s enthusiasm, attention to detail, going over and beyond expectations made it an absolute pleasure.”

“Excellent course and thoroughly enjoyed it.”

“Renata has a warm and friendly style and was professional and engaging. She clearly knows her stuff on Positive Psychology. It was great to hear real life examples as well as the video segments of positive psychology in action.”

“The day was well paced and informative with skills and awareness I can use in my work with clients and in my own personal life. I enjoyed the interactive activities discussed and the video."

“Renata’s enthusiasm makes such a difference to the training. She is a very knowledgeable and positive trainer.

“Thank you, today was very engaging, practical and informative, really clear and I will apply it to my practice.”

“Renata was very encouraging of us to ask questions and engaging with her knowledge in that way was fantastic and contributed to everyone’s learning. Just great!”

“The enthusiasm, knowledge on this subject and in general an engaging teaching ability made this an enjoyable and valuable training. Thank you!”

“Renata’s knowledge and experience is impressive! She was well prepared, approachable and helpful throughout.”



PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This program is worth 6 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Renata Porzig-Drummond, PhD, BSc Psychology (Hon), Grad Dip Psychology, BA, Cert Holistic Couns's Profile

Renata Porzig-Drummond, PhD, BSc Psychology (Hon), Grad Dip Psychology, BA, Cert Holistic Couns Related seminars and products

Renata Porzig-Drummond, PhD, is a highly experienced professional development facilitator, specialising in applied psychology for over 15 years. Renata is passionate about behaviour change and her interests include emotional intelligence, positive psychology, and workplace communication.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Renata Porzig-Drummond has employment relationships with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, the University of Adelaide, and the Australian College of Applied Professions. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Renata Porzig-Drummond is a member of the Australian Psychological Society, the International Coaching Federation, and the Anxiety Practitioners Network.


Learning objectives of this training:

  1. Appreciate the importance of including strength building and positive emotions in therapy practice.
  2. Understand key concepts of positive psychology.
  3. See how positive psychology concepts translate into therapy techniques that positively impact clients’ beliefs, emotions and behaviour.
  4. Use evidence-based positive psychology techniques that have been shown to increase clients’ wellbeing.

How will you benefit from attending this training?

  • Understand the key concepts of positive psychology, one of the newest directions in psychology that inform therapy practice.
  • Be able to balance a problem-focused therapy approach with strengths-focused techniques.
  • Become skilled at using three evidence-based positive psychology techniques that can be used with clients throughout the course of their therapy, both in-session and as homework..


Session 1 

  • Brief overview of the origins of positive psychology.
  • Strength focus versus illness focus.
  • Key concepts of positive psychology (signature strengths, flow, mindfulness, gratitude, positive emotions, complex optimism, resilience, post-traumatic growth, forgiveness, engagement, and meaning).
  • Their relationship with client beliefs, emotions and behaviours.
  • Overview of positive psychology techniques used in clinical practice.

Session 2 

Skills training:

  • Identifying and using signature strengths to increase flow, wellbeing and resilience
  • Changing explanatory style to increase optimism and resilience
  • Using gratitude to decrease depressive symptoms and increase positive emotions and wellbeing

Reflections on how techniques can be incorporated into participants’ clinical practice.

Questions, evaluation and closing.

​Evaluation and quiz - your payment includes a quiz which when completed with a minimum of 80% correct answers, will enable you to download your Attendance Certificate.

To complete the quiz, please log into your account at and click the orange "Certificate" button under the program's title.

Target Audience

This seminar has been designed to extend the clinical knowledge and applied skill of Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Coaches, Psychologists, Hypnotherapists, Social Workers, Community Workers, Mental Health Nurses and Psychiatrists.

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