Canadian Positive Psychology Association

Dr. Martin Seligman, co-founder of positive psychology

Dr. Martin Seligman

Martin Seligman founded the field of positive psychology in 2000, and has devoted his career since then to furthering the study of positive emotion, positive character traits, and positive institutions. Seligman is the director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, developing clinical tools and training the next generation of positive psychologists through the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program. His bibliography includes twenty books and 200 articles. Among his better-known works are Flourishing (Free Press, 2012), Authentic Happiness (Free Press, 2002), Learned Optimism (Knopf, 1991), What You Can Change & What You Can't (Knopf, 1993) and The Optimistic Child (Houghton Mifflin, 1995).

He is the recipient of two Distinguished Scientific Contribution awards from the American Psychological Association, the Laurel Award of the American Association for Applied Psychology and Prevention, and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society for Research in Psychopathology. He holds an honorary Ph.D. from Uppsala, Sweden and Doctor of Humane Letters from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology.

Dr. Seligman received both the American Psychological Society's William James Fellow Award (for contribution to basic science) and the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award (for the application of psychological knowledge).
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 Department of Education, 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 Classification of Strengths and Virtues 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 ethnopolitical 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 and psychologically healthier place.


Dr. James O. Pawelski

Dr. James O. Pawelski

Director of Education and Senior Scholar in the Positive Psychology Center and Adjunct Associate Professor of Religious Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.


Having earned a Ph.D. in philosophy, he is the author of The Dynamic Individualism of William James, in which he presents a major new interpretation and application of the work of this seminal philosopher and psychologist.  He has also authored articles on the history of philosophy and its application to human development.  His current research interests include the philosophical underpinnings of positive psychology, the philosophy and psychology of character development, and the development, application, and assessment of interventions in positive psychology. 

He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Ernest L. Boyer Center, and of the Editorial Boards of William James Studies, International Coaching Psychology Review, and the Journal of Positive Psychology.  Dr. Pawelski is the founding director of the Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Program at the University of Pennsylvania and is a Special Advisor to the Positive Psychology Steering Committee.  He is the founding Executive Director of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) and a charter member of the Board of Directors of that organization.  In addition to his research and administrative work, he is also a teacher and practitioner of positive psychology who regularly makes presentations in Spanish, as well as English. He is one of the principal faculty in the MAPP program (teaching courses on positive interventions), a key figure in the application of positive psychology and philosophy to life coaching, and a sought-after international lecturer and workshop leader.

Dr. Robert J. VallerandDr. Robert J. Vallerand

Professor and Director, Laboratoire de Recherche sur le Comportement Social Département de Psychologie, Université du Québec à Montréal


After receiving his Ph.D. from the Université de Montréal, Professor Vallerand pursued postdoctoral studies in Experimental Social Psychology at the University of Waterloo.  He has taught at Guelph University, has been an Invited Professor at McGill University, and is presently Full Professor of Social Psychology and Director of the Laboratoire de Recherche sur le Comportement Social in the Department of Psychology. He has written or edited 5 books and around 250 scientific articles and book chapters. Professor Vallerand has served as President of both the Quebec Society for Research in Psychology and the Canadian Psychological Association and he is currently President of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA). Professor Vallerand has served or serves as Consulting Editor for several of the top international journals in the field. He has supervised to completion a number of students, including 20 who are now university professors across Canada and Europe. 

Professor Vallerand has received numerous awards and honors from over a dozen learned societies, including being elected a Fellow of the0 International Association of Applied Psychology, the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Psychological Association, and others. He has also received the Adrien Pinard Career Award from the Quebec Society for Research in Psychology (the highest research award for a psychologist in Quebec), the Donald O. Hebb Career Award from the Canadian  Psychological Association, and the Sport Science Award from the International Olympic Committee. Professor Vallerand is recognized as a leading international expert on motivational processes where he has developed theories dealing with intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, as well as passion for activities.

Dr. Tayyab Rashid, University of TorontoDr. Tayyab Rashid, University of Toronto

Dr. Rashid works at University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada as psychotherapist and researcher.  He also is a consultant with the Values in Action Institute, USA.  Dr. Rashid’s expertises include positive clinical psychology and resilience training in school settings. 


Dr. Rashid, completed his pre-and post-doctoral clinical training at the University of Pennsylvania, where he worked with Dr. Martin Seligman, one of the leading experts in the field of optimism and happiness, on several studies.  Dr. Rashid is part of University of Pennsylvania’s team which has trained mental health professionals and educators in Australia, United Kingdom and United States.

He has also worked with Asian tsunami survivors and 9/11 families. His teaching and research were recognized with several awards and has been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, featured in Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, Toronto Star and Globe & Mail.

Dr. Lucie Mandeville, Sherbrooke University, Quebec

Lucie is a professor in the psychology department at Sherbrooke University, in Quebec and has been teaching for 20 years. Her main focus in teaching and research is positive psychology and humanistic psychology. The program of professional doctorate in psychology is the first and only program in Quebec to offer PhD training in positive psychology. Lucie leads a team of 15 positive psychology research students interested mainly in the application of positive psychology in psychotherapy. The questions which the students try to answer are: How do you make a positive diagnosis? How do you increase hope in psychotherapy? How can we generate resilience of the patients in rehabilitation? 

Lucie has been a psychologist since 1992 and a member of l’Ordre des psychologues du Québec (OPQ). She also works as a psychotherapist with adults and is a frequent conference speaker, columnist writer, and radio show guest.  She is the author of two books; The Extraordinary Happiness of Ordinary People; Positive Psychology for Everyone (2010);and Be happy without effort, Pain or Worry (2012).

Dr. Veronika HutaDr. Veronika Huta, University of Ottawa

Veronika Huta is an Assistant Professor at University of Ottawa. She obtained her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at McGill University. Her primary program of research focuses on the outcomes and predictors of two main ways that people define and pursue well-being: hedonia, the pursuit of pleasure, enjoyment, and comfort; and eudaimonia, the pursuit of excellence, virtue, authenticity, and personal growth. In terms of well-being outcomes, she is especially interested in meaning and elevation. 

She teaches positive psychology research and practice, as well as advanced graduate statistics. She is on the editorial board of the journal Psychology of Well-Being: Theory, Research, and Practice and the Journal of Happiness Studies. In 2011, she co-organized the first cross-disciplinary conference on eudaimonia, bringing together leading scholars from both psychology and philosophy. She is also a past president of the Royal Canadian Institute, Canada's oldest scientific organization. Her papers and measures can be found on her website, at

Dr. Tami Kulbatski

Dr. Kulbatski holds a Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology and is a registered psychologist in Toronto, Canada. In her private practice, she provides therapy to a diverse range of clients (including couples, individuals, adolescents, children and families). Through her career, Dr. Kulbatski has placed a strong emphasis on the importance of educating students, clients and the public at large. 

She has served as a core faculty member at the Adler school for Professional Psychology and in 2010, she founded the Toronto Centre for Positive Psychology (TCPPSY). Education based on positive psychology research is provided to organizations, colleges, schools, and individuals through TCPPSY. The broad range of seminars and workshops offered are designed to enhance participants' movement towards greater well-being and happier more fulfilled lives. She continues to operate as the director of TCPPSY and is currently serving as the Teaching Co-Representative for the APA's Division 17 Section on Positive Psychology. Dr. Kulbatski is author of Ten Commandments for Couples. 

Dr. Marie-Hélène Budworth

Marie-Hélène Budworth (York Univeristy) is an Associate Professor of Human Resource Management. Marie-Hélène researches and teaches in the areas of individual development and learning. She holds a PhD in Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management, a Master’s in Counselling Psychology, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Psychology. Her early work in psychology and natural science guides her work and her approach to research. Her current research program is focused on development and interpersonal interactions within the context of work. She is interested in how people learn, acquire knowledge, make choices, and negotiate with one another in order to succeed. 

She believes that learning and development are socially constructed and, therefore, looks at the individuals and networks that surround people as a way of understanding conditions for success. She also examines the value of psychologically based interventions for enhancing and promoting development within systematically disadvantaged populations. She has a particular interest in issues related to gender and emerging workers.

Please view our DISCLAIMER about the uses and application of positive psychology. 

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