Home All New CAPP Programs Springing Up in 2015

New CAPP Programs Springing Up in 2015

written by Elaine O'Brien 21 November 2014

Elaine O'Brien, PhD, MAPP '08, is a positive psychology, fitness leadership, positive health promotion, movement science, aging, and well-being speaker, author, trainer, thought leader, people/project manager, educator, and consultant. Elaine creates programs promoting proactive positive health/fitness, and optimal performance. Elaine presents internationally and online. She advances health, fitness, and flourishing by inspiring people to move more and to find both enjoyment and meaning in motion via PEP: Positive Exercise Practices. Elaine's website.  Full bio. Elaine's articles are here.

In yesterday’s article, PERMA-V: Training with Rigor and Vigor, I described the Certificate of Applied Positive Psychology (CAPP) program that has already trained 3 cohorts in New York City. Today I’m highlighting experiences and perceptions from five University of Pennsylvania Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) alumni who also participated in the CAPP program with me. We are starting several new CAPP programs at new locations in 2015. Each program will last for 6 months and include 7 onsite weekends, 1 online webinar with a PP expert, 2 tele-classes with online videos, and 1 interview call with a PP practitioner, and other virtual learning experiences.

The CAPP Registration site handles registration for all programs. The programs in New York and Philadelphia are already open for registration. Registration for the others will opened as soon as the dates are set. Want to be informed when the program in your area is available? Scroll to the bottom of the CAPP page and fill in the form. They’ll be happy to let you know.

  • New York City – starting January 24, 2014
  • Philadelphia – Louis Alloro and Elaine O’Brien – Starting March 7, 2015
  • Boston – Sherri Fisher and Christine Duvivier
  • Washington, DC – Katie Conlon
  • San Francisco – Carin Rockind
  • Argentina (and maybe Brazil) – Erin Nichole Smith

Click here to get a copy of the CAPP syllabus.

Louis Alloro is CAPP co-Founder, director, and co-Leader of the first three CAPP cohorts that occurred in New York City.


I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania MAPP program in 2008 with Elaine O’Brien and Nadya Peeva. Since MAPP I have enjoyed teaching and facilitating learning labs for businesses, schools, and community groups in culture change initiatives.

Louis with Paula Kampf

Louis with Paula Kampf

The amount I continue to learn by being a part of the CAPP program has been incredibly valuable to my personal and professional life.

CAPP has been a deep learning experience coupled with a diverse and fun cohort of like-minded and like-hearted
colleagues who feel called to this learning. Besides a renewed grounding in science and applied tools aggregated around Martin Seligman’s PERMA model augmented with V for vigor, I have gained friends for life.

Interestingly, one of our students, a friend, and colleague, Paula Kampf, crowd-funded her tuition with gofundme.com. Having her community support her vision was an incredible testimony to the energy people have around learning positive psychology.

Elaine and I will be leading the brand new Philadelphia cohort of MAPP beginning on March 7, 2015.

Sherri Fisher is director of Learn & Flourish, a learning specialist, author, speaker, and consultant for the Maroondah City of Well-Being Project.

Sherri with Emiliya

   Sherri with Emiliya

Sherri: I love to be at the leading edge of things and attended the first year of the first-ever MAPP program at Penn. I am the world’s first learning specialist to go through MAPP. It is exciting to see new MAPP students around the world bringing well-being approaches to the world as new research is discovered.

My professional applications in the field include

  • Adding content to a learning framework for a social enterprise working to educate communities within communities (schools, workplaces, neighborhoods)
  • Shifting the deficit model of special education to a more appreciative one by integrating coaching into the role of the learning specialist
  • Working on the manuscript for my next book

I attended CAPP.3 in New York with several fellow MAPP alumni to see more about what it would be like to teach people who are inspired by this work and interested in a practical and hands-on way of learning it. CAPP distills robust research findings and combines this with experiential teaching.

Mindfulness and somatic experiences are part of every CAPP onsite weekend. One particularly fun occasion involved us all in learning how to take a 15-minute power nap. Imagine doing this with 40 friends with everyone waking up refreshed!

I am looking forward to starting CAPP-Boston in 2015 with Christine Duvivier.

Christine Duvivier is a speaker, mentor, facilitator, consultant, and author.

Christine: I was called to the second year of MAPP at Penn, and I loved the experience of learning and sharing with a bright, fun, dynamic, leading edge, loving group of people. It’s amazing to see the many paths emerging from MAPP.

Christine Bouncing

Christine Bouncing in Class

Since MAPP, I’ve continued to speak, mentor, and facilitate positive change with leaders. One area of my work came in response to my capstone and focuses on moving beyond what I call The Myths of Education to realize the true potential in every young adult. As life happens, this led to an email series, which led to requests for a book, so I’ve just published a photo book of quotations, Best-Loved Love Notes to My Child… What I’d Say if You Wouldn’t Roll Your Eyes.

CAPP has been a delightful, renewing experience of connecting once again with a wonderful community of people who are interested in positive psychology. CAPP fulfills a desire to be connected in a fun and exciting new way.

I’ve learned a great deal of new information and refreshed my memory on many important positive psychology topics. It’s exhilarating to meet people who are excited by this information. It’s also fun to discover the new tools, toys, and exercises that Emiliya and Louis have brought to this work.

Emiliya has designed beautiful ways of making information real and tangible. One fun moment that had everyone laughing and learning was a small toy bird that demonstrated the electro-magnetic current within our bodies and between people. It chirped when we were holding hands and went silent when one link in the chain was broken. Participating in CAPP is a high, like MAPP, and it’s been a joy to be part of it.

I look forward to getting the Boston program going in 2015.

Nadya Peeva is a change agent, coach, storyteller, and mythos creator.

Nadya: MAPP introduced me to a community of people that I consider friends for life. The best part is that the community keeps growing with each graduating class, yet the feeling of resonance, openness, trust, and willingness to support each other remain. My time in the MAPP program left me equipped with skillful means and helpful tools and a body of knowledge I am privileged to be able to share with others seeking to create a meaningful life.

Nadya Peeva

Nadya Peeva

CAPP has been more than a continuation of the MAPP journey. It has been an extraordinary, uplifting, and stimulating next phase of my evolution as a human being and a professional. I appreciate the opportunity to immerse myself into a rich learning environment in the company of so many curious, open-minded, and deeply engaged kindred spirits.

CAPP on-sites are experiential and include a diverse range of activities. Emiliya and Louis have done a beautiful job bringing the material to life in a way that is engaging, direct, and memorable. That even goes for snacks! They bring snacks for everyone that are thematically linked to the topics discussed in each module. For example the module on neuroplasticity is augmented by walnuts whose shape resembles the human brain, while the module on savoring was augmented by grapes so that we had the chance to fully experience and appreciate the shape, taste, and texture of a grape.

My involvement with CAPP has left me feeling rejuvenated and re-inspired as well as confident in my grasp of the latest research findings in the field of positive psychology.

Katie Conlon is a a trainer, facilitator, consultant, and coach has been integrating what she learned in MAPP in her daily work. She works with the Center for Leadership and Organizational Change at the University of Maryland and develops curriculum for George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being.

Emiliya and Katie

Emiliya and Katie

Katie Conlon: My MAPP experience was fulfilling in so many ways. I am so grateful to have had the chance to be exposed to cutting-edge research, to deeply explore topics that are important to me, and perhaps most importantly, to be connected to such an amazing, dynamic, passionate, caring network of people who are doing incredible things around the world.

It has been so lovely and energizing to connect and learn with the CAPP community this year. CAPP exposes people interested in positive psychology to an amazingly wide variety of research-based concepts and methods in a fresh and engaging way.

One fun memory from an early CAPP onsite session comes from our discussion of the concept of flow. I have the image of everyone in deep concentration, scattered around the room, balancing long peacock feathers on the tips of their fingers.

It has been so great to see so many busy people from so many different backgrounds and with so many different interests apply new information from CAPP immediately into their everyday lives. Some amazing transformations have happened already.

I’m looking forward to bringing CAPP to Washington, DC in 2015!



References for CAPP People

Duvivier, C. (2007). Appreciating beauty in the bottom 80. Penn MAPP Capstone.

Duvivier, C. (2013). Best-Loved Love Notes to My Child… What I’d Say if You Wouldn’t Roll Your Eyes. eBook.

Duvivier, C. (2013). Best-Loved Love Notes to My Child… What I’d Say if You Wouldn’t Roll Your Eyes- Volume 2. eBook.

Fisher, S. (2014). Maroondah, The City of Well-Being. Youtube video.

O’Brien, E. (2014). In defense of motion. Youtube video.

Yeager, J., Fisher, S. & Shearon, D. (2011). Smart Strengths: Building Character, Resilience and Relationships in Youth. New York: Kravis Publishing.

Zhivotovskaya, E. (2014). 51% by 2050: CAPP. Youtube video.

Articles on PPND by:
Louis Alloro
Christine Duvivier
Sherri Fisher
Elaine O’Brien
Emiliya Zhivotovskaya

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