It’s November, and things are buzzing here in Wholebeing Institute’s Positive Psychology Coaching Certification program. Our faculty are immersed in teaching, planning, and supporting students as they work their way through the progression of courses we offer.

Faculty member Dianna Collier has just wrapped up facilitating the fall Positive Psychology Coaching Fundamentals course, where this rich and varied coaching journey begins. It’s a fabulous 10-week firehose introduction to an expansive range of positive psychology research and related coaching tools and approaches.

Usually the first live course that students take in our certification, Fundamentals is a blend of weekly live facilitation by Dianna, featuring visiting WBI faculty and weekly recorded lessons with our Coaching Certification founder, Lynda Wallace. We keep this course very accessible, as it’s possible to complete it while watching the recordings (in addition to the weekly peer coaching commitments), though we find students strongly prefer to attend the weekly live sessions as much as possible to engage with faculty and their peers. The next Fundamentals course begins on January 29, 2024.

Meanwhile, Phoebe Atkinson, Anne Gustin, and I are just past the midway point in our live-taught Positive Psychology Coaching: Skill-Building Intensive, typically the next step in the certification program. As its name suggests, this course is all about building those Positive Psychology Coaching (PPC) skills. In these class meetings, we give longer live coaching demonstrations and support students as they deliberately practice core tools like Wholebeing’s SPIRE model for whole-person well-being, VIA character strengths, and Solutions Focused Coaching, and develop fluency with structuring and managing PPC sessions. We also continue to build community among students, through breakout rooms during our class meetings and through our unique peer coaching design. The next Intensive course begins Tuesday, April 30, 2024.

Just around the corner, Sandy Campbell is preparing to facilitate the next offering of Introduction to Wholebeing Happiness for Coaches, beginning January 29. This course is a blend of weekly recorded lessons with WBI’s founder, Megan McDonough, and Sandy’s live facilitation. It offers coaches a deep dive into the neuroscience of positive psychology and targeted practice with several of the concepts introduced in our other courses, including Best Possible Self, SPIRE, and character strengths. Additionally, Sandy teaches coaches how to use an abundance of related resource materials with their clients, by first practicing on themselves. This course can be taken at different points during the certification according to students’ preference and depending on course timing.

Another component of the certification is Building a Thriving Coaching Practice, a self-paced online course with positive psychology–infused practical, detailed exercises and instructions to help participants with the business side of coaching. This is a great one to jump into when you have a few weeks between courses, and since there is no time limit for completion, this is often one that students dip into and come back to, as it fits with their schedules.

Phoebe, Anne, and I are also gearing up for the next PPC Mentorship. This three-month capstone course is the final live-taught piece of the certification. The orientation webinar becomes available on January 8, 2024, and one-on-ones with faculty will begin during the month of January, with the first circle meeting on February 5.

Our mission in Mentorship is to consolidate and expand on all the learning to date, and to create a bridge for students to confidently move forward as Positive Psychology Coaches. Class size is limited to 12 students, and once a class is full, prospective students will be put on a waitlist for the next Mentorship. Space is currently available for our January–April cohort. If you have completed or are currently enrolled in the Skill-Building Intensive, you are eligible.

In the Mentorship’s nine circle meetings and two one-on-ones, faculty hold a dynamic, structured and flexible space to support a small cohort of emerging Positive Psychology Coaches as they hone their skills and develop their vision for how they will apply them after Certification is complete. The course includes revising core concepts, with students applying them during class and with real clients in parallel to circle meetings. There is also weekly pre-work focused on coaching competencies and eliciting student questions, and above all, there is mutual support. As with all our WBI courses, the community we create will last long after our final meeting.

Jennifer Hanawald

Jennifer Hanawald

Program Faculty

Jennifer is a core faculty member of WBI’s Positive Psychology Coaching Certification program. She is a health coach who helps her clients to live their healthiest and best lives. She holds National Board certification as a Health and Wellness Coach, Duke University certification as an Integrative Health Coach, and a Certificate in Positive Psychology from WBI.