Pre Congress Workshops

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Full & Half Day Workshops - July 18 2019

This tour will showcase Positive Education in action at 3 thought-leading, award-winning, Positive Education schools. The tour has been designed to expose you to wellbeing initiatives across three different contexts: a state/public school, an independent/private school and an alternative school for disengaged students. You will see how positive education is applied in kindergarten, primary/junior school, middle school, and secondary school. You will see how a range of evidence-based Positive Education frameworks are put into action: PERMA, SEARCH, Visible Wellbeing and the Berry Street model. The schools will connect you with teachers, school leaders, students and parents to give you a rich understanding of how to take positive education science and turn it into effective practice. The range of schools across sectors, year levels and Positive Education frameworks will open your eyes to an array of new practices and leave you with a raft of ideas to take back to your school. The interactive tour will be led by 2 World Expert Scholars in the Field: Associate Professor Mathew White and Dr Alejandro Adler, who will scaffold the learning at each school with interactive and reflective bus ride sessions between the schools. The bus rides give you an opportunity to see the beautiful tree lined streets of Melbourne, get to know other people in the field of Positive Education from across the globe and share what’s happening at your school with those on the bus. IPPA is so proud to have joined forces with the following three schools who have generously opened their doors to our delegates to share their thought-leading practice.

Schools to be visited: Parkmore Primary School, Caulfield Grammar School & Berry Street School

Positive Education Tour 1

SOLD OUT - If you would like to be added to the waitlist please email Kasia at

DATE: Thursday, July 18th 2019

TIME: 8.00 AM - 4:00 PM

FORMAT: Interactive workshop touring 3 schools in Melbourne lead by 2 x world-leading Positive Education Scholars

LOCATION & TRAVEL TIME: This tour is located in Melbourne, participants will spend approx. 2 hours of travel time journeying to the three schools and 5 and half hours in the schools.

IDEAL AUDIENCE: Teachers, school leaders, educational specialists, school counsellors, psychologists, coaches, change agents in the field of education.

In 2018, Geelong Grammar School (GGS) celebrated the tenth year of its successful implementation and embedding of Positive Education, and the fifth year of operation of its Institute of Positive Education.

This Positive Education tour is your opportunity to experience a day at Geelong Grammar School and gain a personal insight into the School’s journey in placing wellbeing at the heart of education. 


  1. To visit Geelong Grammar School and learn from ten years of experience applying positive psychology in an educational setting; hearing directly from the School’s leaders, teachers, students and parents.

  2. To understand how Geelong Grammar School successfully applies and sustains their Learn, Live, Teach and Embed model of Positive Education and the research which supports this work.

  3. To learn from the experiences of the Institute of Positive Education who, over the last five years, have trained and consulted with a wide-range of schools both nationally and internationally.

Positive Education Tour 2

SOLD OUT - If you would like to be added to the waitlist please email Kasia at

DATE: Thursday, July 18th 2019

TIME: 8.30 AM - 4:00 PM

FORMAT:  Interactive workshop touring Geelong Grammar School, the pioneering school of Positive Education

LOCATION & TRAVEL TIME: This tour is located at Geelong Grammar School’s iconic Corio campus in Geelong.  The campus is 62 kms from Melbourne and will take under an hour each way on the tour bus.

IDEAL AUDIENCE: For all those interested in seeing first-hand how positive psychology has been successfully implemented and sustained in one of the world’s leading schools.

Thriving Women, Thriving World: An Appreciative Inquiry Summit

SOLD OUT - If you would like to be added to the waitlist please email Kasia at

DATE: Thursday, July 18th 2019

TIME: 9.00 AM - 4:00 PM

FORMAT:  Appreciative Inquiry Summit, including interviews and dialogue, interactive group discussions and plenary sharing

LOCATION: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre | Meeting Room 216

IDEAL AUDIENCE: People who are interested in Positive Psychology, and who would like to design solutions for the thriving of all women, personally and professionally, both individually and collectively

This daylong Appreciative Inquiry Summit is based on a simple assumption: when women thrive, so too does the world. We all benefit when women are happy, safe and treated as equal, able to freely live a strengths-based life, have access to education, health care and financial resources, and when they contribute their unique gifts, wisdom and leadership in service to a thriving world.

Unfortunately, in many homes, organizations and parts of the world, this is not the case today. Women are suffering and so, too, are their children - our future.  While the long arc of history shows many gains for women and girls, there is still work to be done by both women and men to create conditions for thriving women, families, schools, and organizations around the world.

This full-day session is organized around the Appreciative Inquiry 4-D Cycle:

  • Discovery - We will begin by sharing stories and discovering what is currently being done around the world in support of women as full and equal leaders and contributors. We will explore what positive psychology has to offer as an antidote to systemic gender inequality and abuse, and as a support of the #metoo and #timesup movements, among others.

  • Dream - Recognizing that the world is not yet fully as we wish it to be, we will dream and envision thriving families, communities and workplaces where women are safe and supported to be strong and successful.

  • Design - With our visions in our hearts and minds we will courageously prototype design new programs, policies, and practices to create equality, and support women to give voice and form to our shared future.

  • Destiny - Finally, we will each ask ourselves, “Given this day of rich dialogue, learning and creative collaboration, what one thing - large or small - will we do, locally or globally, to create a world of thriving women as our human destiny?

The day is designed to be a powerful, full engagement, highly experiential, illustration of how Appreciative Inquiry can be used to create dialogue, build and strengthen relationships, and foster learning, co-creation and inspired action around a “hot” topic of global significance. Join us if you are a positive psychologist, researcher, coach or consultant committed to transforming historical and cultural patterns of gender inequality and abuse. Join us if you have been asking yourself, what more can I do to support and create safe and equitable families, communities, schools and work places where women thrive? Join us if you have a gender equality experiment, program or practice that you want to share. Join us and add your voice and your ideas to the global conversation, “Thriving Women, Thriving World.”

Science for Scientists

DATE: Thursday, July 18th 2019

TIME: 9.00 AM - 4:30 PM

FORMAT:  Keynote speakers, flashtalks, Group questions and discussion, posters, and networking lunch and drinks

LOCATION: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre | Meeting Room 218

IDEAL AUDIENCE: Scientists that want to get inspired by other scientist on the latest state of the art methods, scientific breakthroughs, and best practices.

Advancing the Science of Positive Psychology

Objective: Science for Scientists Day supports IPPA’s mission to help build research skills and networks for our scientists. The Day aims to introduce the audience to a range of experts across different methods, support interdisciplinary dialogue, and ensure that early career scientists get good value from the Congress.

3 learning objectives:

  1. Get updated with the latest findings in the field of PP

  2. Learn about the opportunities and value of large international collaborations

  3. Gain insight in the latest application of big data including social media data, sensor data, and genetic data

Positive Mindfulness

DATE: Thursday, July 18th 2019

TIME: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

FORMAT:  Interactive workshop, filled with theoretical and practical tools,  lead by a world-leading researcher and practitioner of mindfulness and positive psychology.

LOCATION: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre | Meeting Room 212

IDEAL AUDIENCE: Anyone interested in expanding their knowledge, experience, and application of mindfulness within positive psychology – this includes (but not limited to): Therapists, Coaches, Positive Psychology students, Educators, Yoga teachers, and Mindfulness teachers and practitioners.

Mindfulness in Positive Psychology: The Adventure of Meditation and Flourishing

Mindfulness meditation is one of the most popular interventions in psychology, the interest in which grows year after year. Positive psychology (PP) is the fastest developing branch of psychology, whose expanding journey of investigating human flourishing has attracted great interest. What happens when these two are brought together?

This workshop will inform you about the fascinating points of convergence between mindfulness and PP. We will explore various mindfulness programs focused on increasing positive variables, such as meaning, compassion, positive emotions, strengths, and gratitude. These programs are flourishing-focused, thereby embodying the spirit of PP.

The workshop covers three aspects: Theory, Research, and Practice. We will discuss some theoretical background to the convergence between PP and mindfulness, including the role of savoring and meaning in the creation of what I call the “positive mindfulness cycle”. Research will be addressed as well, and studies that bring to life the impact of mindfulness on the experience of flourishing, growth, and positive transformation will be highlighted. Finally, we will practice different mindfulness exercises designed to increase self-compassion, meaning, and savoring.

This workshop is intended to provide an adventurous, creative, and open space, where we learn about mindfulness and PP, while being mindful and playful.

Positive Psychotherapy: Integrating Symptoms & Strengths Through Case Studies

DATE: Thursday, July 18th 2019

TIME: 9.00 AM - 12:00 PM

LOCATION: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre | Meeting Room 213

Positive Psychotherapy (PPT) is the therapeutic arm of Positive Psychology. It integrates symptoms with strengths, risks with resources, weaknesses with values, and regrets with hopes in order to understand the inherent complexities of human experience in a balanced way.

Positive Psychotherapy is the clinical dimension of positive psychology which, unlike its names is not just about positives. PPT is about skillful integration of symptoms and strengths, vulnerabilities and potentialities, and ruminations and reflections. This workshop is a compilation of case studies of six most common clinical conditions including depression (uni-polar and bi-polar), anxiety, attentional and hyperactivity difficulties, post-traumatic stress, relationship challenges and borderline personality symptoms. Each case study begins with the narrative of the client, providing participants a snapshot of the clinical concerns for which they sought psychotherapy. With the help of worksheets, participants will have the opportunity to apply PPT framework both individually and in small groups. Each case will include a large group debrief. Throughout the workshop, importance of integrating theory and empirical evidence will be highlighted. 

Three learning Goals

  • Develop case conceptualization skills of integrating positive psychology principles in assessment and treatment of six most common psychological disorders

  • Deepen understanding of accentuating positives in specific clinical conditions to ward off burnout effects on clinicians such as emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and feelings of inadequacy

  • Broaden strengths-based clinical skills set for multicultural clients who may not benefit from

  • traditional deficit-based approaches

Happy Together

DATE: Thursday, July 18th 2019

TIME: 9.00 AM - 12:00 PM

FORMAT: Interactive and engaging workshop featuring lecture, reflection, fun individual exercises and dyad discussions.

LOCATION: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre | Meeting Room 211

IDEAL AUDIENCE: Researchers, practitioners, students - anyone interested in exploring ways of applying positive psychology research to improve relationships of all kinds

Using Positive Psychology to Build Stronger Relationships

Positive psychology research indicates that one of the most important factors in human flourishing is building close relationships with others. Enjoying strong bonds with family members, romantic partners, friends, and co-workers is critical for thriving. Yet we all too often assume that these bonds will stay strong automatically and then are surprised if they begin to fray.

A better approach is to nurture and care for our relationships by learning skills and developing habits that can keep them strong. Working at our relationships like we work out our bodies at the gym can build relational muscle and flexibility—and the science of positive psychology can help us do so effectively.

In this lively and interactive session, husband-and-wife team Suzann Pileggi Pawelski and James Pawelski, co-authors of Happy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts  (Penguin Random House, 2018), invite you to join them in the “relationship gym” where they will be presenting and applying key research findings from the field of positive psychology to relationships of all kinds.

Three key take-aways:

  1. Distinguish between a healthy and harmful passion in relationships by recognizing the red flags of obsession and learning how to build a nourishing connection

  2. Practice prioritizing positive emotions and savoring shared experiences

  3. Identify, build, and facilitate strengths use in relationships

IPPA Wellbeing Adventure Race Around Melbourne

DATE: Thursday, July 18th 2019

TIME: 1.00 PM - 5:00 PM

FORMAT:  Interactive workshop touring Melbourne CBD and passing by the Center for Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne, led by 3 world-leading applied positive psychology practitioners.

LOCATION & TRAVEL TIME: This race starts and ends at the conference venue. Participants will leisurely stroll and use public transport (i.e., free trams) to different locations for the activities of the race.

IDEAL AUDIENCE: With the theme of the congress being connection, we invite a) people coming alone to the congress so they can connect with others, b) people relatively new to positive psychology so they can connect with positive psychology, and c) people new to Melbourne and Australia so they can connect with and Australian and Melbourne way of life. Humanness is the only prerequisite.

Join all the cool people for an amazing afternoon of wellbeing skill building and adventuring around Melbourne. Aaron, Jo, and Suzy will make experiential learning fun, and you will take away at least half a dozen new skills that you can use immediately to increase your powers of connection at the Congress. This adventure is ideal for individuals coming alone to the congress so they can connect with others (you will be based in teams for the race), individuals relatively new to positive psychology so they can connect with positive psychology and experience it, and individuals new to Melbourne and Australia so they can connect with an Australian and Melbourne way of life. Also, running is frowned upon during the race and you risk small children mocking you for a considerable amount of time…

Three key take-aways:

  1. You can build wellbeing skills whilst adventuring

  2. Experiential learning is fun

  3. You will take away at least half a dozen new skills that you can use immediately to increase your powers of connection.

Resilience in the Age of Burnout: Becoming a Big Wave Surfer

This session applies the science of resilience to a pernicious 21st century problem. Burnout affects those most deeply invested in their careers, for whom work is a calling and source of meaning -  including teachers, physicians, and even wellbeing researchers and practitioners.

While burnout can appear to strike suddenly, we will explain how to identify early warning signs and implement evidence-based strategies to manage them. The individual cannot avoid burnout by managing personal wellbeing alone, however. “Burnout is the  individual’s response to a systemic problem”1. Organisational drivers include long hours, high responsibility with low autonomy and flexibility, and a perceived lack of institutional support.

This workshop provides a framework for identifying individual and organisational factors affecting wellbeing, covering the warning signs of burnout (e.g., interrupted sleep, frustration, cynicism, work/home conflict and difficulty “unplugging” from work) and sharing the resilience strategies for prioritising and addressing these challenges. Many of us live very committed lives, with little or no slack in the system. As one school principal commented, “We are all one rogue Board member, one rogue staff member, or one traumatic student incident away from not coping”. If we want to ride big waves, we need to protect our wellbeing.

Building Your Resilience

DATE: Thursday, July 18th 2019

TIME: 1.00 PM - 4:00 PM

LOCATION: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre | Meeting Room 212

IDEAL AUDIENCE: Anyone who is so highly engaged in their job that they sense they may be at risk for burnout (teachers, lawyers, physicians, and even wellbeing researchers and practitioners, plus HR, L&D, Occupational Health, H&S, or others who manage those at risk of burnout. 

Character Strengths Interventions

DATE: Thursday, July 18th 2019

TIME: 1.00 PM - 4:00 PM

FORMAT:  Interactive workshop featuring experiential activities, dyad discussions, lecture, and handouts.

LOCATION: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre | Meeting Room 217


  • Any practitioner who wants to take their “strengths-based approach” to the next level!

  • Anyone wanting to delve into the latest science and practice of character strengths.

  • Examples include executive coaches, psychologists, counselors, social workers, health and wellness coaches, educators/professors, managers, and human resource professionals.

  • Researchers interested in getting ideas, new knowledge/practices, or greater comfort in the science/practice of character strengths.

Character Strengths Interventions: The latest strengths applications for boosting well-being & managing stress


It’s easy to say – “I’m strengths based” or “I practice with my strengths” but what does this really mean? This workshop takes “strengths-based” to the next level. It will delve into a myriad of character strengths applications with clients, highlight the latest research, distinguish the many types of strengths that people have, and offer how to self-improve with your own strengths-based practice.

This interactive workshop will bring the new science of character strengths to life. You will practice with character strengths activities – through experiential activities and discussions – that help people flourish and manage stress and problems more effectively. You will walk away with essential tools you can begin using with your clients (and yourself) tomorrow.

This workshop will build from the new book, Character Strengths Interventions: A Field-Guide for Practitioners, which was hailed by Martin Seligman as “The GO-TO book for building character.” The book has been applauded by luminaries in leadership (Marshall Goldsmith), organizations (Shawn Achor), positive psychology (Lea Waters), happiness (Tal Ben-Shahar), basic research (Willibald Ruch, Robert McGrath), and coaching (Robert Biswas-Diener).

Strengths-Based Coaching

DATE: Thursday, July 18th 2019

TIME: 1.00 PM - 4:00 PM

LOCATION: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre | Meeting Room 213

IDEAL AUDIENCE: This workshop is appropriate for a wide range of professionals interested in applying the science of strengths. Although we will focus on coaching conversations this material is easily applied to managerial conversations, the education sector, and to psychotherapy. Specific attention will be paid to coaching and non-coaching uses of strengths. 

In this highly experiential workshop, attendees will build advanced skills related to the science of strengths. The workshop will begin with an overview of strengths-- including definitions and popular taxonomies. From this foundation, the presenter will introduce a wide variety of interventions related to the identification, use and development of strengths for individuals and for teams. This workshop will include an emphasis on research, as well as skills demonstrations, and opportunities for practice. ICF continuing education units are available.

Learning Objectives

  • By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define strengths

  • Explain the relationship of strengths to weaknesses

  • Identify two ways that strengths affect mindset

  • List 3 ways to develop strengths

  • Name at least 15 strengths