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Kathryn Britton’s Bio

written by Kathryn Britton 1 January 2007

Kathryn Britton

Kathryn Britton

Kathryn Britton is an Associate Editor for PPND and co-editor of the three books in the Positive Psychology News series.

Kathryn practices applied positive psychology in as many ways as she can imagine. She coaches people through her company, Theano Coaching LLC. She speaks to churches and business groups about gratitude, discovering and exercising strengths, resilience, motivation, and other aspects of positive psychology in the workplace. She also has her own blog titled Positive Psychology Reflections.

Kathryn is an adjunct instructor at the University of Maryland, co-teaching Project Team Management in the Project Management department in the Clark School of Engineering.

Kathryn’s particular interests in positive psychology are informed by nearly 30 years experience as a professional software engineer. She was a technical leader and master inventor. Her name is on 20 patents issued so far — more in the works. She was also an active advocate for women in technology, serving on the program committee for an IBM North Carolina Women in Technology conference for 6 years. After graduating with the first MAPP class in 2006, Kathryn spent 9 months before retiring from technology as a “positive organization advisor” in her company. She found that there are many things people can do on their own to make work more satisfying and engaging. Some of these are reflected in the paper she published on her PPND series, Taking Positive Psychology to Work. Certain aspects of positive psychology make perfect sense in business settings and are not hard for people to learn and apply.

Kathryn’s coaching expertise is based on at least 20 years experience mentoring individuals and groups of individuals. She came to coaching because it is an ideal profession to apply what she’s learned from people and about positive emotion, resilience, intrinsic motivation, and character strengths to make a positive difference in the world.

Kathryn received her BA in English from Stanford, Master degrees in Library Science and Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and MAPP degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a founding member of the Centre of Applied Positive Psychology (CAPP) and a charter member of the International Positive Psychology Association.

Kathryn’s articles are here and here (with Senia Maymin).

Britton, K. (2008). Increasing job satisfaction: Coaching with evidence-based interventions. Coaching: An International Journal of Research, Theory, and Practice, 1(2), 176-185.

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George Vaillant 8 June 2008 - 8:58 pm

Dear Kathryn
Check out Sara Lazar. Her research on meditation and the insula and empathy should interest you.

Editor S.M. 9 June 2008 - 12:04 am

Thanks, Kathryn is away this week, and I’m sure she’d be delighted to check out this source when she returns. Thank you!

Donald Gilder 13 April 2021 - 4:47 pm

Hi Kathryn,
I am posting an article about your father on my website – oldmissoula.com.
I am from Missoula Montana & went to the same high school your father did. He was one of few people from Missoula to earn a Rhodes scholarship. I do research on Missoula’s history and enjoyed learning about your father and his family.

Michelle Narsi 16 October 2023 - 6:51 am

Dear Kathryn, I have gone through your article “what is psychologically rich life” it’s very interesting however, I have a question in regards to what you wrote, that Negative emotions tend to decrease happiness and meaning often add to psychological rich life. Does this mean that, there’s a negative correlation between meaning and psychologically rich life? Is there any results findings to back this? Please help me understand it will mean so much.

Kathryn Britton 17 October 2023 - 6:17 am

In my notes from Dr. Oishi’s talk, I have highlighted, “Richness is inversely related to happiness and positively related to meaning.” I believe that was when he was speaking about his obituary studies. Of course, obituaries tend to be written by other people after death, so keep that in mind.

Let me doublecheck the article. If I implied that there is a negative correlation between meaning and a psychologically rich life, I may have overstated the point. I think I was trying to say that adventures did not have to be meaningful to lead to psychological richness, not that psychological richness reduced meaning.


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