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Emily vanSonnenberg’s Bio

By on January 1, 2007 – 12:12 pm  3 Comments

Emily vanSonnenberg, MAPP 2010 designed and teaches the 4-unit UCLA Extension course, Happiness: Theory, Research, and Application in Positive Psychology. She has been a researcher for the the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center, UCLA Relationship Institute, UCLA Psychology department, and UC Riverside. Emily has also helped instruct UC Berkeley’s The Science of Happiness and UCLA’s Human Motivation.

In addition to teaching, Emily operates a private practice to help people cultivate meaningful and fulfilling lives. She specializes in working with individuals to design evidence-based strategies that aim to support their innate gifts, activate creative expression, and propel personally-valued life goals. Additionally, Emily runs workshops and consults for government and private organizations on a variety of well-being topics.

Through articles and speaking engagements both in the United States and internationally, Emily translates psychological research into a digestible language that offers practical guidance and well-being strategies to the general public.

Emily earned her B.A. with honors in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and Master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. As a UCLA undergraduate, Emily created, proposed, and taught the first UCLA Positive Psychology course for undergraduates entitled, Happiness. She also holds two yoga and meditation certifications.

For more information about Emily’s work, please visit her website or email her.

Emily contributed a chapter to the Positive Psychology News book, Character Strengths Matter.

Emily’s articles for are here.


  • It is very inspiring to read the bio of someone who clearly walks her talk. This is a great description of someone who is modeling how to live life in harmony with positive psychology.

  • Maya Leonard says:

    Hello Mrs.Emily vanSonnenberg my name is Maya Leoanrd and recently I have read your article on blogspot called, The Happy Actor: Emotional Memory Preparation and Care for the Actor, and I would wish to use it as an reference for an extended essay that I have to write for the International Baccalaureate program. The only problem is I can not use blogspot as a reference type so if you have written the article somewhere else or if you have a book on the topic I was wondering if you can tell me. I would appreciate any type of information you can give me and notice of if you can give me any help as soon as possible thank you.

  • Emily says:

    H Maya,
    It’s wonderful to hear that the article, The Happy Actor: Emotional Memory Preparation and Care for the Actor was useful for your research. I’m glad you were able, since posting this note, to find my email so we could correspond about your inquiry.

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