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Articles by Dr. Elaine O'Brien

Elaine O'Brien, PhD, MAPP, CAPP is an Educator, Trainer, Author, and Presenter. She is the Creative Director and CEO of Lifestyle Medicine Coaching and Training, LLC, a consultancy, and FitDance: Move2Love training and presentations for whole health and optimal performance. Her recent doctorate in Kinesiology: Psychology of Human Movement aligns with her background, early vision, and dedication to Positive Public Health, Well-Being and Social Justice for the greater good through positive action. Dr. O’Brien is one of the first 100 people in the world to have earned the University of Pennsylvania Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) degree, and she is a frequent MAPP presenter, including leading elevating Energy Breaks for Dr. Martin Seligman’s classes. At Penn, she also worked as a Recitation Leader for Dr. Angela Duckworth’s Introduction to Positive Psychology classes. Dr. O’Brien is the author of journal articles, and has been a speaker at recent presentations, including at Kripalu Institute for the Wholebeing Institute’s premiere Embodied Positive Psychology Summit, and for Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, Happier TV. She will be presenting at Canada Positive Psychology Association, the European Positive Psychology Conference, Angers, France, and at the American Psychological Association in Denver. An international speaker, educator, and consultant, she has presented positive education, psychology, presentation and performance training programs throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Korea, and in China, where she presented at the first two Positive Psychology Conferences at Tsinghua and Beijing Universities. Dr. O’Brien’s areas of research and applications include the Science of Thriving, Positive Health and Aging Well, Positive Adult Education and Generative Development, Enjoyment and Motivation, Performance, Positive Movement, Medical Wellness in Action, Community Wellness and Positive Groups, Self-Determination, Positive Mental Health and Pro-Active Therapies, like Flow: Aqua Fitness. Elaine has contributed to Positive Psychology books including by Kathryn Britton, and Marie-Jose Schaar, Lucy Hone, and Dr. Marsha Snyder. Her dissertation, “Positive, Active, Older, but Youthful Women and FITDANCE: Uplifting Community Dance Exercise” will be the topic of her APA presentation in Denver, August 2016.

Big Vision Drives Big Action
June 5, 2016 – 1:52 pm | 8 Comments

The United Nations has 17 sustainable development goals that create a broad vision of a positive future. In service of these goals, Kunal Sood intends to have a positive effect on the lives of a billion people by combining technology and entrepreneurship. Whether or not you think as big as Kunal does, there are things you can do on a daily basis to move us toward a positive future.

New CAPP Programs Springing Up in 2015
November 21, 2014 – 9:45 am | No Comment

Today I highlight experiences and perceptions of five MAPP alumni who also participated in the CAPP program with me. The CAPP program has prepared us to go teach similar programs elsewhere. We are starting several new CAPP programs at new locations in 2015. Sign up to be informed when a program near you comes available.

PERMA-V: Training with Rigor & Vigor
November 19, 2014 – 8:19 pm | 6 Comments

Like the burgeoning global MAPP programs springing up around the world, the high quality Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology (CAPP) experience leads people toward whole health, well-being, healing, flourishing, and love across all domains of life. CAPP is relatively accessible with more locations being established worldwide. It is helping to bring Martin Seligman’s 2051 moonshot goal to fruition.

Celebrating a Transformational Inner IDEA® (Part 2)
June 4, 2012 – 9:46 am | 2 Comments

Kathie and Peter Davis are the visionary founders of IDEA® Health and Fitness Association. One of their main goals for IDEA is to bring positive psychology and the science of happiness into the field of fitness, thereby creating a wholeness model of health for the world.

Celebrating a Great IDEA® (Part 1)
May 31, 2012 – 1:04 pm | 4 Comments
Elaine leading Senior Fitness Dancers

The promotion of health is a positive and proactive measure that is in line with the field of Positive Psychology’s vision of increasing well-being in the world. Guiding forces in the health, wellness, and fitness industry, Kathie and Peter Davis are the harmoniously passionate founders and visionaries of IDEA Health and Fitness Association. With a focus on optimism, appreciation, integrity, core values, and positive transformation, Kathie and Peter have set a standard for excellence since 1982.

A Passion for Sustainable Change: SOMO Leadership in Cleveland
September 2, 2011 – 1:10 pm | One Comment

This week marks the third annual Sustainable Cleveland 2019, an Appreciative Inquiry (AI) summit led by David Cooperrider for the city of Cleveland. I had the opportunity to interview one of the participants, Louis Alloro, who is also involved in SOMO Leadership, a business that emerged from the first Sustainable Cleveland conference held in 2009.

Medical Wellness In Action: Exercise is Medicine®
July 25, 2011 – 9:51 am | 23 Comments

We can merge Positive Psychology and Positive Physical Activity to establish Positive Exercise Prescriptions (PEP) for flourishing individuals and communities. People can reach for healthier, happier, and richer lives by moving well, reducing the grave risks of inactivity. Let’s seek harmonious passion in moving well.

American Roots Music: Building Positive Communities Through Music Appreciation
March 31, 2011 – 9:10 am | 2 Comments
American Roots Music: Building Positive Communities Through Music Appreciation

This year, Asbury Park has been chosen as a site for the Smithsonian roots music exhibition. Tapping into our souls, music transcends economics and unifies us as human beings. Music historian Robert Santelli believes that through music, “We can accept one another for our differences, and this is embedded into our overall heritage.” Music is experienced by everyone and helps define who we are, both individually and in communities.

Do or Die: Healing Care at the End of Life
February 10, 2011 – 11:08 am | 7 Comments
Do or Die: Healing Care at the End of Life

Primitive man’s reaction to death was one of fear. Today, man still reacts to death with fear. Without exchanges about end-of-life issues, there is confusion, which adds a psychological, spiritual, and financial burden for those dying, and their families. Our failure to address these concerns can lead to greater suffering.

Spotlight on Two Dynamos of China
October 31, 2010 – 12:59 pm | 5 Comments
Spotlight on Two Dynamos of China

China’s rise in the global community generates widespread uncertainty at home and abroad. Chinese fiscal expansion has already fundamentally changed the nature of the world’s economy. All of our futures are intimately linked to what happens there. The recent contributions of Yukun Zhao and Timothy So to Positive Psychology are important to the improvement of living conditions and quality of life in China.

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