Home All Full-bodied Positive Psychology (July 2 is New Early Bird CPPA Conf. Deadline)

Full-bodied Positive Psychology (July 2 is New Early Bird CPPA Conf. Deadline)

written by Lisa Sansom 9 June 2014
Sunset Yoga

Lisa Sansom, MAPP '10, is the owner of LVS Consulting, an independent consulting firm that helps to build positive organizations. Lisa provide services such as individual and leadership coaching, team facilitation, effective communications training, Appreciative Inquiry and change management consulting. Full Bio.

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Early bird registration for the upcoming Canadian Positive Psychology conference ends today, June 9. The conference will take place in Ottawa from July 17 to 18 with pre-conference workshops on July 16. If you have been on the fence about registering, read on and act quickly

During the conference, many different keynotes, speakers, and presenters will be sharing insights from their research and application of positive psychology. While psychology generally has been a “neck-up” discipline, several positive psychology practitioners and researchers are looking at involving the whole body. Here’s a selection of our great speakers who will be appearing in Ottawa, Canada on July 17 and 18.

School Sports

Matthew Scholes is a Director of Education in Australia, working with athletes. His focus is on providing a framework that fosters mental well-being in the athletes. To create a Positive Sports Organization, he involves not only the coaches, but also the athletes, administration, and supporters. In his workshop, he will use various case studies in order to examine the ways that schools can introduce positive psychology into sports programs.

Matthew really believes sport is the perfect platform for Positive Psychology because in sport we fail all the time, whether getting cut from a team, dropping a catch, or missing a kick. These smaller failures provide the ideal opportunity to wire our brains for resilience and optimism that can then help us cope throughout life’s greater challenges.

Yoga and Meditation

Mandy Wintink from the Centre for Applied Neuroscience in Toronto, is a trained yoga instructor. She realized that tools that we use to change our perspective are similar in technique to tools we can use to change our mind / brain. Through these powerful ways to make positive changes, she will provide a science-based introduction to mindfulness meditation and yoga, showing how they enhance our brains and are good for our bodies. She will lead people through exercises in her very hands-on (body-on?) applied workshop, which could kick-start a new habit for you.


Ed Rubenstein, Ph.D. licensed psychologist, focuses on the heart as an approach to psychology. He notes that we grow up hearing “Follow your heart,” and “Listen to your heart,” so we know that the heart is very special. Yet people try to experience their hearts at the level of their minds, not the level of their hearts. Ed works toward a deeper understanding of the dynamics of the heart and its connection to happiness and fulfillment. There will also be a discussion about heartfulness not being the same as mindfulness. Ed has practiced meditation for over 30 yrs and has observed that the experience of the heart is not the same as the experience of mindfulness. For example, if you’re happy, you have to be grateful. It’s heartfelt gratitude, not brainfelt. The most important thing we can teach anyone is how to switch and command positive feelings to the heart.

Connection to Nature

Holli-Anne Passmore and Maxine Crawford will take two approaches to the full-body experience of positive nature.

According to research, Holli-Anne notes that we tend to underestimate how much nature affects our well-being. People don’t often really think about it. However even a short 5-minute exposure to plants has a positive effect, as has a 15-minute walk in nature. When research participants were given even vague instructions to “spend more time in nature,” positive affect increased. As Holli-Anne says, “The cost-benefit ratio is amazing!”

Maxine also looks at how to get people out into nature more often, but she uses technology! Statistics say that children are spending less time outdoors, and there is the diagnosis of nature deficit disorder, which leads many to point fingers at technology for taking children away from nature. However, there is a company in British Columbia that has developed an app to get children out in nature more. While this may seem ludicrous and can be quite polarizing, this company’s hope is that we can use this new medium to promote children’s engagement and connectedness with nature, creating nature enthusiasts.

Still wondering?

To learn more about the upcoming Canadian Positive Psychology conference, please download our updated program or visit our conference website. Consider showing up a day early for pre-conference workshops on July 16.

Come and be part of our emerging knowledge network, changing the world for the better.





Passmore, H.-A.(in press). Nature involvement increases hedonic and eudaimonic well-being: A two-week experimental study. Ecopsychology.

Rubenstein, E. (no date). The ten developmental stages of leading a heart-centered life.

Scholes, M. (2011). Creating a positive sports organization. Powerpoint presentation for CPPA. Includes reports on pilot studies.

Photo Credit: via Compfight with Creative Commons licenses
School sports courtesy of Jeremy Wilburn
Sunset Yoga courtesy of John & Mel Kots
Connection to nature courtesy of m@®©ã??ð?t???ð?r?

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1 comment

Margaret Greenberg 13 June 2014 - 2:00 pm

I so wish I could be there Louisa! I hope you will post an article or two here after the event.


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