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Course: Learned Optimism
by Martin E.P. Seligman, PhD

CE Credit Hours: 9
Fee: $50

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Our Client's Thoughts About This Course

Great book on optimism. I especially liked the later chapters using specific techniques. I plan to construct some examples for my caseload of teenagers who are discouraged and lack confidence to be successful. - Michelle, Licensed School Psychologist, California


In this groundbreaking bestseller, Martin Seligman, PhD, shows how to chart a new approach to living with 'flexible optimism'. Dr. Seligman outlines in this text the easy to follow techniques that have helped thousands of people rise above the pessimism and the depression that accompanies negative thoughts and build a life of rewards and lasting happiness.

Learned Optimism shows one how to:

  • Recognize a persons 'explanatory style', what to say to yourself when you experience setbacks, and how it influences your life
  • How clients can boost their moods and their immune systems, with healthful thoughts
  • Help children and adolescents practice the thought patterns that encourage optimism
  • Break the 'I give up' habit with Dr. Seligman's ABC techniques
  • Change interior dialogue and experience the positive results
  • Educational Objectives

    Upon completion of this course, the clinician will be able to:

    • have a better understanding of the connection between optimism, mood and general health
    • be able to help clients apply the ABC model to foster a more positive way to view and resolve adversity
    • have an increased understanding of the origins and maintenance of optimism and pessimism from a developmental perspective
    • posses a greater ability to diagnose and treat clients with a habitual pessimistic and depressive explanatory style
    • have more techniques and strategies at their disposal to help children escape pessimism

    Syllabus / Course Instructions

    • The Course consists of reading the selected book, successfully completing an online posttest and filling out a course evaluation.
    • The book is not included. It must be purchased separately. We have supplied a link to for your convenience.
    • Purchasing your course will give you access to both a printable copy of the test and an online version. Print the test to use as a companion as you read the book and answer the questions.
    • You cannot exit the online test once you begin, so have your answers available.
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    Bio: Martin E.P. Seligman, PhD

    Martin Seligman, PhD, received his MA. from Princeton University, Summa Cum Laude (Philosophy), and his Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania (Psychology), in 1967.

    His research on helplessness, depression, optimism and pessimism, has been on the forefront of positive psychology. He is currently the Fox Leadership Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.

    His bibliography includes more than 20 books and 170 articles on motivation and personality. Among his better-known works are Learned Optimism (Knopf, 1991), What You Can Change & What You Can't (Knopf, 1993), The Optimistic Child (Houghton Mifflin, 1995), Learned Helplessness (Freeman, 1975, 1993) and Abnormal Psychology (Norton, 1982, 1988, 1995, with David Rosenhan).

    Dr. Seligman's research and writing has been broadly supported by a number of institutions including The National Institute of Mental Health (continuously since 1969), the National Institute of Aging, the National Science Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation. His research on preventing depression received the MERIT Award of the National Institute of Mental Health in 1991. He is the network director of the Positive Psychology Network and Scientific Director of the Values-in-Action Project of the Mayerson Foundation.

    In 1996 Dr. Seligman was elected President of the American Psychological Association, by the largest vote in modern history. His primary aim as APA President was to join practice and science together so both might flourish a goal that has dominated his own life as a psychologist. His major initiatives concerned the prevention of ethno political warfare and the study of Positive Psychology.

    Since 2000 his main mission has been the promotion of the field of Positive Psychology. This discipline includes the study of positive emotion, positive character traits, and positive institutions. As the science behind these becomes more firmly grounded, Dr. Seligman is now turning his attention to training Positive Psychologists, individuals whose practice will make the world a happier place.