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Positive Psychology Coaching: Putting the Science of Happiness to Work for Your Clients 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470042465
ISBN-10: 047004246X
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is definitely a book I would keep" (Human Resources, March 2008)

"…it contains some interesting ideas which challenge standard psychoanalytic theory…" (Journal of Analytical Psychology, 2008)

“…designed to teach how to put [positive psychology]…into practice and empower others to set and meet their personal goals” (Human Givens, Vol. 15, #1)

"…it contains some interesting ideas which challenge standard psychoanalytic theory…" (Journal of Analytical Psychology, 2008)

"This is definitely a book I would keep." (Human Resources, March 2008)

"Reading it was like getting that introduction from two very helpful, enthusiastic and knowledgeable friends." (People Management, Thursday 12th July 2007)

"…designed to help you learn how to put positive psychology into practice…" (Personnel Today, September 2007)

"This book is packed with erudite and reputable references." (Training & Coaching Today, October 2007)

From the Back Cover

Finding the best in people and inspiring them to focus on their strengths and live out their potential is one of the fundamental principles behind positive psychology. Written by respected researcher Robert Biswas—Diener and renowned coach Ben Dean-both established experts in positive psychology—Positive Psychology Coaching is an accessible new guide designed to help you learn how to put positive psychology into practice to motivate, manage, and empower others to set and meet their personal goals, and to live happier, more meaningful lives.

This empirically based book draws on the science and relevant psychological research behind positive psychology and teaches you how to assess, develop, and utilize clients' individual character strengths. Part One presents a foundation of positive psychology coaching: the definition, cultivation, maintenance, and benefits of happiness. Part two covers an additional pillar of positive psychology-the development and use of character strengths and virtues. Finally, Part Three applies positive psychology to the workplace, and discusses ways to use positive psychology to build your practice.

With the authors invaluable firsthand experiences informing the practical advice and wisdom within its pages, Positive Psychology Coaching is a visionary work that guides both he new and seasoned professional in helping clients lead happier, goal-oriented, and ultimately more fulfilling lives.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047004246X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470042465
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #403,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stever Robbins on August 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This was a rare book. I wanted to like this book. Really I did. But it was possibly the most disappointing book I've ever read. A better title would have been, "Authentic Happiness Revisited: a shallow rehash of Marty Seligman's earlier book by academics with no writing skills who collaborated at a distance without editing the end result."

The title claims the book helps coaches apply positive psychology with clients. If you're a coach, leave now and buy "Happier" by Tal Ben-Shahar, "Authentic Happiness" by Martin Seligman, and "Now, Discover Your Strengths" by Clifton and Buckingham. You'll get the same info with better writing, far better organization, and applications and exercises you can use with your clients. Other than the author bios and introduction, nothing in the content suggested either author had ever coached a client or run a coaching business.

This book was so bad, in so many ways, it's hard to know where to start. It reads like a stream-of-consciousness ramble about positive psychology research, arbitrarily divided into chapters. Often, the content didn't even have much to do with the chapter title. Here goes...

Mostly, I wanted applications. How can I use positive psychology in my coaching practice? Maybe a forgiveness exercise. Or some cool, insightful questions to help clients find unexpected gratitude. No such luck. Most of the book monotonously recites research results, leaving it to the reader to figure out how to translate the research into action.

Each chapter does end with 'Action steps.' Chapter 2: "Consider how you might use happiness assessments in your own practice. Will you include them in your welcome packet?" and "What language might you use to talk about happiness with executives?
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Format: Hardcover
*Places positive psychology within a needed historical perspective.
*Provides a new theoretical perspective, including a strength based approach
*Many useful interventions
*Addresses positive psychology in the workplace as a special and important topic
*Helpful summaries at the end of chapters
*Easily usable for the professional as well as the educated lay person
*Excellent resource for the practitioner and researcher
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Format: Hardcover
Until this book, there was not an accessible source to which the coaching psychologist with an interest in applying positive psychology in their coaching practice can readily turn. And what might coaching psychologists be looking for in a book that purports to do this? An understanding of the scientific backbone of positive psychology? Ready applications to coaching psychology practice? Top tips and recommendations for applying positive psychology in the coaching psychology engagement to leverage strengths, enhance well-being, and drive performance? Or all of the above?
The coaching psychology community is fortunate to count Robert Biswas-Diener and Ben Dean amongst its numbers. For not only have they created and delivered a book that ticks all of these boxes, they have done so in a way that makes it a joy to read and an education in itself. They are uniquely qualified to do so. Robert has literally traveled to the furthest corners of the globe in his quest to understand subjective well-being and character strengths across hugely diverse cultures, including Greenland (where he worked with traditional hunters), Calcutta (where he worked with prostitutes), Israel (where he studied empathy in the West Bank), Kenya (where he worked with Maasai tribal people), and the American heartland (where he worked with the Amish). Ben developed and delivered the hugely successful Authentic Happiness Coaching program with positive psychology founder Martin E. P. Seligman, as well as running his own coach training organisation, MentorCoach, for over a decade. Their combined experience, expertise, and insight are apparent throughout the book.
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Format: Hardcover
Typeface gives the `aged' look to give the impression of wisdom and for such a new science (about 10 years old) this contradicts what the author is trying to get over as a new dynamic science for wellbeing.

Spacing, I bought a hard copy which is 1½ spaced to give the impression it has more contents that it really does contain. I wish they had produced a paperback half the thickness and half the price.

Not sure where the author takes us. Nothing definite and certainly feel a protectionist attitude by not wanting to `give away' tests to the reader which contradicts the title `Putting the science of Happiness to work for your clients'?

I find the use of the word and meaning `intervention' a little hard to swallow and off-putting. Positive Psychology does not `remove' root causes' but averts to appreciation of strengths. I cannot imagine asking a client to think of happiness during a panic attack?

As a general book on coaching it does the job of providing ideas and suggestions and explains empirical validated tools, simply and effectively.

I would have liked to see such a book offer tons of tests free of charge if it was to live up to its title Putting the science of Happiness to work for your clients.

Mike Whitenburgh
Psychoanalyst.
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