Canadian Positive Psychology Association

VIA Character Strengths – One-Day Intensive for Teachers

  • 06 Nov 2015
  • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Centre for Social Innovation Annex, 720 Bathurst Street Toronto, ON M5S 2R4 - Room: The Garage
  • 1


  • This price is for CPPA members in good standing.
  • This price is for non CPPA Members

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Educating for Resilience: Pre-Conference Workshop

Facilitator: Jillian Darwish 

In a recent Psychology Today article, resilience was described as “that ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes”. In our increasingly turbulent and demanding world the need for resilience has likely never been more clear.  But what does it look like to cultivate resilience?  To answer this question, we will take a deep dive into one of the essential elements of positive psychology, that of character strengths.  Character strengths reveal “who you are,” at your core and include capacities for thinking, feeling, willing, and behaving. They reflect what is best in you and can be viewed as part of your positive identity. 

We will examine character strengths through the lens of the VIA Survey, a self-assessment tool created by Dr. Martin Seligman and Dr. Christopher Peterson.  VIA is the only scientifically validated and freely available online tool to assess character strengths and have been taken by 2.6 million people in more than 190 countries. 

In this highly interactive workshop participants will build their understanding of the concepts and research related to character strengths, explore their own character profile and signature strengths, understand how to capitalize on personal strengths and develop strategies and a plan to apply their unique character strengths to expand learning, motivation and performance in the face of challenges.  Participants will leave with a plan to be at their best every day!

One Day Workshop

  1. Overview and Welcome
  2. What are Character Strengths?
    Introducing the concept of focusing on “what is right with people” and the supporting research for the VIA virtues and values 
  3. Why Consider Character Strengths?
    Exploring how individuals can be at their best through a review of character strengths research.
  4. How to Recognize Character Strengths?
    Examining what character strengths look like in practice
  5. What Are My Character Strengths and How Do They Work?
    Engaging in personal reflection based on individual VIA reports and plan for leverage and application opportunities 
  6. Conclusion  
    Moving forward with a plan to be at your best every day!

More About Jillian Darwish

Jillian currently serves as president of Mayerson Academy, a professional learning services firm dedicated to transforming individual, team and organizational performance through extraordinary learning experiences, making it possible for everyone to be at their best every day.  Prior to her current role, Jillian has held leadership positions across the education sector, including work in philanthropy, public television, service agencies, higher education and the K-12 system. In her work at KnowledgeWorks, a national education foundation based in Cincinnati, she led the development of a highly regarded and internationally distributed future trends publication, consulted and advised hundreds of organizations across the education sector to construct future-oriented organizational visions and strategies, developed multiple state collaborations to transform education, and created a robust, state-wide, teacher-to-teacher learning community. In her former roles, Jillian led teams to create widely distributed multimedia educational products and services, and received national recognition for the design and implementation of an organizational learning system.  She is an award-winning educator who has delivered more than a hundred national and regional keynotes and panel discussions on innovation, the future of learning, and character strengths to build social emotional competencies and vibrant organizational cultures for learners of all ages.

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