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Course: Virtue and Psychology: Pursuing Excellence in Ordinary Practices
by Blaine J Fowers, Ph.D.

CE Credit Hours: 10
Fee: $60

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Virtue and Psychology offers a fresh and groundbreaking understanding of how psychologists can help people to flourish as human beings by cultivating their best selves. Virtues are character strengths--such as generosity, loyalty, and courage--that make it possible for individuals and relationships to flourish. The virtue perspective provides a deeper, richer account of many psychological topics than current theory is able to generate and can significantly enrich wide areas of current theory and practice.

The text presents research results, clinical vignettes, and teaching and supervision experiences to illustrate how, individually and collectively, virtues make a very practical contribution to individual physical and psychological health, the quality of personal relationships, social harmony, and strong communities. The book has an extensive section on the centrality of practical wisdom. Numerous examples show how practical wisdom guides all of our activities, personal and professional by making it possible to see what is most important and choose actions that address the central aspects of our circumstances in ways that help us to reach our cherished goals.

Educational Objectives

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

  • Understand the concepts and structure of virtue, character, and flourishing.
  • Understand the roles of virtues, character, flourishing, and practical wisdom in psychological research and practice.
  • Recognize how values, virtues, and character ideals are inherent in psychological research and practice and how to engage in this ethical dimension of psychology productively.
  • Be able to understand and apply the distinction between internal and external goals.
  • Be able to understand and apply the distinction between individual and shared goals.
  • Be able to understand the role of practical wisdom in psychotherapy, research, and ethics, and how to apply practical wisdom in these domains.

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 Amazon.com 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: Blaine J Fowers, Ph.D.

Blaine J Fowers (Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin in 1987) is Professor of Counseling Psychology at the University of Miami. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. His primary scholarly interest is in exploring the ethical dimension of psychology, both in research and practice. His current scholarly work is on how virtue and human flourishing contribute to a richer understanding of research and clinical practices in psychology and in ordinary life. He directs the Goals and Life Success (GOALS) Project, which is focused on documenting the existence and functioning of higher order goals and investigating the links between pursuing inherently valuable goals and human flourishing. He is the author of Virtue and Psychology, Beyond the Myth of Marital Happiness, and a co-author of Re-envisioning Psychology. Fowers has published numerous peer reviewed articles on virtue and practical wisdom in psychology, including The Virtue of Multiculturalism (American Psychologist, September, 2006). He has trained psychologists for over 20 years. He is a licensed psychologist with many years of clinical experience.