REGISTER FOR THE SUMMIT

Pre-Summit Master Classes

April 30–May 1
Sunday, 7:30–9:00 pm and Monday, 8:30–11:30 am and 1:30–3:30 pm

Choose One [optional; additional fee]

The Effort and Ease of Goal Attainment | Caroline Adams Miller and Maria Sirois
Questions for Answers: Writing Toward Clarity | Joan Borysenko

Find out more Pre- and Post-Summit Master Classes

CONFERENCE

MONDAY, MAY 1


7:30–9:00 pm | Opening Session

Cultivating a Growth Heartset
Megan McDonough
Psychologist Carol Dweck defines a growth mind-set as “the understanding that we can develop our abilities and intelligence.” In this opening keynote, Wholebeing Institute’s CEO and cofounder, Megan McDonough, introduces the concept of a “growth heartset”—the idea that you can develop your ability to open your heart and connect to humankind’s highest emotion: love. Starting with a foundational model of wholeness, Megan moves deeper into the heart’s role in well-being, setting the intention for the summit experience—connecting with self and others to give and receive more of what sustains human flourishing.

TUESDAY, MAY 2


8:30–9:00 am | Meditation with Megha Nancy Buttenheim; Announcements

9:00–10:00 am | Morning Keynote
Seeing and Being Seen: The Virtue of Love
Neal Mayerson
The meaningfulness of love deepens when those giving and receiving love are showing their authentic selves and seeing one another’s authentic self. Seeing and showing authenticity can be understood in terms of signature strengths of character. Neal reviews VIA’s character science and discusses it in the context of loving relationships.

10:15–11:30 am | Morning Workshops [choose one]

Love Your Life: How to Get Happier with Meaningful Goals and Grit
[TUE-AM-01]  1 PSY credit
Caroline Adams Miller
Studies have found that the happiest people, those who love life, are those who wake up every day to clear-cut goals that give their lives meaning and purpose. Their goals are often quite challenging to achieve; but they don’t quit or make excuses. Instead, they rely on the characteristic of grit to overcome and thrive. In this session, Positive Psychology expert Caroline Adams Miller shares her unique, comprehensive, and evidence-based approach to helping you create and accomplish tough goals with grit. 

Schools as Agents of Love: Fostering a Sense of Wholeness in Students and Teachers
[TUE-AM-02]
Alan Brown
Schools often place a focus on testing, college placement, and other measurable outcomes of success. However, a significant body of research now tells us that students who feel better, do better. How do we create schools that prioritize students’ well-being? What would it look like if teachers spent as much time preparing for the relationships they have with students as they do preparing for the content they transmit? In this workshop, learn how schools can embed Positive Psychology and mindfulness into their practice and culture, and look at recent research on the efficacy of fostering a sense of wholeness for teachers and caregivers, and best practices for doing so.

Move2Love, Thriving, and Soaring
[TUE-AM-03]
Lisa Honig Buksbaum and Elaine O’Brien
When people move together, enjoy music, and share social support, it leads to a positive, cascading impact on wellness. Appreciative movement (both physical and through imagery) can transform lives, leading to greater health, healing, embodiment, compassion, and post-traumatic growth. In this workshop, Elaine O’Brien and Lisa Honig Buksbaum share hands-on, empirically validated exercises from their latest initiatives; guide the group in experiences of positive motion and imagery; and look at Wholebeing Institute’s SPIRE model of spiritual, physical, intellectual, relational, and emotional well-being in the context of appreciative movement.

OPEN PROGRAMMING

11:30–1:15 pm Lunch

12:00–1:00 pm Let Your Yoga Dance for Positive Psychology with Megha Nancy Buttenheim

12:15–1:15 pm Meals with Mentors Coaching Circle

1:15–2:15 pm | Afternoon Keynote
Love’s Biological Impact: The Cutting Edge of Mind-Body Medicine
Joan Borysenko
Intuitively, human beings understand that love heals. Sociologically and scientifically, we’re beginning to understand why. Data from the emerging fields of psychoneuroimmunology and neurobiology illustrate the effects of connection and compassion on health, emotional balance, and well-being. In this accessible, research-based presentation, you learn about the pivotal role relationships play in creating a healing field, and how your DNA, neurochemistry, immune function, and brain wiring respond to your narrative interpretation of events—in either a constructive or destructive way.

2:30–3:45 pm | Afternoon Workshops [choose one]

Creating a Path to a Career You'll Love
[TUE-PM-01]
Lynda Wallace
As we move through our lives and work, many of us feel a desire to create new careers in fields we find deeply meaningful. In this workshop, certified Positive Psychology Coach and career expert Lynda Wallace leads exercises and discussions to help you

  • Clarify the priorities and values most important to you as you plan your next chapter
  • Consider the strengths, skills, experience, expertise, and resources you can marshal to make the change a reality
  • Begin to create a practical path in the direction of a career you'll love.

From Me to You: The Ripple Effect of Positive Psychology Learning
[TUE-PM-02]  1 PSY credit
Catherine Flavin and Karen Whelan-Berry
In this workshop, explore how learning and using Positive Psychology can lead to helping others, and how it can support the development of highly valued interpersonal skills in the workplace. Evidence for these benefits is derived from a multi-year, mixed-method evaluation in which data was collected from 153 alumni of the year-long Certificate in Positive Psychology program. The research shows that graduates’ learning and attention to their own happiness and well-being impacted others in their family, community, and/or workplace. Catherine and Karen also zero in on data from the survey suggesting that embodied learning activities contribute to self-reported increases in happiness, relationship satisfaction, work skills, and health.

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone: Connection and Courage for Positive Action
[TUE-PM-03]  1 PSY credit
Stephen Redmon and Mina Simhai
According to recent polls, cross-cultural and interracial interaction and communication are at an all-time low. Wholebeing Institute and Multicultural Bridge are collaborating to improve understanding and communication between people in all communities. This workshop is an interactive discussion on cross-cultural communication, with a focus on improving self-awareness. Stephen Redmon and Mina Simhai share deeply personal and professional experiences to guide you in enhancing self-awareness, recognizing your blind spots, and developing ways to improve and sustain cross-cultural communication and collaboration.

OPEN PROGRAMMING

4:15–5:45 pm Gentle Yoga for Positive Psychology with Megha Nancy Buttenheim

5:30–7:00 pm Dinner

5:45–6:45 pm Book Signing and Speaker Showcase

7:30–9:00 pm | Evening Keynote
Heart Intelligence: Connecting with and Experiencing the Intuitive Guidance of the Heart
Howard Martin and Megha Nancy Buttenheim
Learn to navigate the myriad of emotions you experience by accessing the intelligence of the heart—intuitive, dynamic, and wise. Heart intelligence provides insight, understanding, and the capacity to make emotional choices that regenerate, reduce turmoil, and provide greater fulfillment in everything you do. Howard Martin shares breakthrough research on human health and performance, and speaks on the power of positive emotion, practical intuition, and how to increase your ability to catalyze global change. Megha Nancy Buttenheim guides an experience of embodied Positive Psychology, using Let Your Yoga Dance and moving meditation to delve into the heart of compassion.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 3


8:30–9:00 am Meditation with Megha Nancy Buttenheim; announcements

9:00–10:00 am | Morning Keynote
Why Friendship Matters: The Role of Deep Friendship in Optimal States
Stephen Cope
As our understanding of human functioning deepens, we see more and more clearly how “the self” is actually a socially and interpersonally created phenomenon. In this workshop, psychotherapist and author Stephen Cope, founder of the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living, dives into the six interpersonal mechanisms by which the self is evoked, affirmed, and sustained—and the precise way in which these mechanisms, when fully experienced in deep friendship, produce optimal states of human experience. He offers examples from his personal experience, from the historical record, and from recent research done by the Institute.

10:15–11:30 am | Morning Workshops [choose one]

Authentic Strengths: Positive Psychology Coaching to Maximize Resilience and Well-Being
[WED-AM-01]  1 PSY credit
Fatima Doman
Drawing on the science of Positive Psychology and from her two decades of experience as a coach and trainer, Fatima Doman, best-selling author of Authentic Strengths, shares practical, strengths-based coaching tools and embodied techniques to boost resilience, life satisfaction, and well-being. Research shows that focusing on using your strengths rather than correcting weaknesses results in greater energy, enthusiasm, adaptability, and fulfillment in every aspect of life. This workshop is designed to bring out the best in you and in those you seek to positively influence.

Rooted and Winged: Integrating Intentions and Best Self
[WED-AM-02]
Karen Whelan-Berry
It’s a uniquely human capacity to positively focus and shape your personal and professional identity and self. This reshaping frequently means setting a goal and then working toward it. This hands-on workshop explores an integrated approach to setting intentions in alignment with your best self, with goal setting as a subsequent, related outcome rather than a singular, isolated pursuit. There will be time to practice integrating intentions with the best self, using a setting or experience of your choosing.

Love in the Community: Opening the Happiness Toolbox
[WED-AM-03]
Gwendolyn Hampton VanSant and JV Hampton VanSant
Multicultural BRIDGE is a social justice organization which infuses Positive Psychology tenets into its work with children, youth, and families. In this workshop, you experience

  • The tools that young people in the Berkshires are using
  • Ways to tackle tough conversations with openness and mutual respect
  • The community-building effect of embracing shared and diverse values
  • The joy of having our buckets filled and filling each other’s buckets.

OPEN PROGRAMMING

11:30 am–1:30 pm Lunch

12:00–1:00 pm Kripalu YogaDance® and Kripalu Yoga Classes

12:15–1:15 pm Meals with Mentors Coaching Circle

1:15–2:15 pm | Panel Discussion | Moderated by Maria Sirois
In this open conversation, panelists share perspectives on questions relating to the theme of love and connection.

2:30–3:45 pm | Afternoon Workshops [choose one]

A Wholebeing Approach to Care During Illness
[WED-PM-01]
Darshan Mehta and Maria Sirois
As the science behind mind-body medicine has demonstrated, human beings have an innate capacity to move toward health, ease the experience of suffering, and prevent illness. This work is further bolstered by emerging research in Positive Psychology. In this workshop, Darshan Mehta and Maria Sirois invite you to engage in a facilitated conversation about how to take a compassionate approach to your own care and the care of others. You leave with strategies, tools, and perspectives that support an integrated understanding of health.

Windows to the Soul: The Impact of Eye Contact on Health, Happiness, and Well-Being
[WED-PM-02]
Linda Jackson
The eyes are windows to the soul, as well as portals to expanded well-being. In this workshop, life coach, acupuncturist, and massage therapist Linda Jackson focuses on how eye contact, as a means of connection with others, releases oxytocin, the versatile neuropeptide that promotes bonding, trust, and maternal behavior. Oxytocin is one example of how our inner ecosystem is designed for positivity: When we make positive choices and practice positive action, chemicals are released that enhance our resilience, our sense of purpose and meaning, and our ability to adapt to whatever we encounter in our daily life.

Love in Teams: The Foundation of Workplace Well-Being
[WED-PM-03]
Phoebe Atkinson and Ruth Pearce
Ongoing Positive Psychology research on groups, morale, and teamwork increasingly reveals the importance of connection in energizing and engaging teams. Blending experiential learning with practical examples and case studies, Phoebe Atkinson and Ruth Pearce explore how character strengths impact our interactions, as well as how positive emotional and social contagion can transform teams into communities. This workshop includes individual and group activities framed in the context of real-life teams that implemented positive psychology tools with great success. You leave with practical ways to enhance your own and your colleagues’ work experience.

OPEN PROGRAMMING

4:15–5:45 pm Gentle Yoga for Positive Psychology with Megha Nancy Buttenheim

5:30–7:00 pm Dinner

5:45–6:45 pm Book Signing and Speaker Showcase

7:30–9:00 pm | Evening Keynote
The Science and Practice of Cultivating Healthy, Meaningful, Loving Relationships
Todd Kashdan
Gain insight into key findings on the topic closest to our hearts: relationships. Todd Kashdan, an internationally recognized authority on well-being, strengths, and social relationships, shares cutting-edge science on appreciating and harnessing the personality strengths of our romantic partners. Learn how the brain responds to other people and how that understanding can help us alter our relationship patterns. Take away new insights, practical skills, and ways to experiment with new modes of relating.

THURSDAY, MAY 4


9:00–10:00 am | Morning Keynote
Love 2.0
Barbara Fredrickson
Our everyday experiences of shared positive emotions have a significant and lasting impact. They are perhaps the most essential emotional experiences for thriving and health. Barbara Fredrickson’s findings on the benefits of social connections have inspired her to redefine love as micro-moments of positivity resonance between people—even between strangers. A steady diet of love influences how people grow and change, making them healthier and more resilient day by day. Barbara describes how the heart’s capacity for love can be measured and strengthened, and illuminates the implications of her research for promoting individual and communal well-being.

10:00–11:30 am | Closing Session
Practicing a Growth Heartset
Megan McDonough
Having a heartset experience (also known as the “retreat high”) does not ensure sustained change. In this closing session, Megan McDonough shares steps to help you integrate your learning—looking at what you’ve received throughout the week and selecting the seeds to sow upon your return to “real life.”

OPEN PROGRAMMING

11:30 am–1:30 pm Lunch

12:15–1:15 pm Meals with Mentors Coaching Circle

Post-Summit Master Classes

May 4–5
Thursday, 1:30–3:30 pm and 7:30–9:00 pm and Friday, 8:30–11:30

Choose One [optional; additional fee]

The Science and Practice of Positivity Resonance | Barbara Fredrickson
The Art of Teaching Positive Psychology | Maria Sirois

Find out more Pre- and Post-Summit Master Classes

REGISTER FOR THE SUMMIT