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University of Pennsylvania

Positive Psychology: Resilience Skills

University of Pennsylvania via Coursera


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Learn how to incorporate resilience interventions into your personal and professional life with Dr. Karen Reivich. In this course, you are exposed to the foundational research in resilience, including protective factors such as mental agility and optimism. Several types of resilience interventions are explored including cognitive strategies; strategies to manage anxiety and increase positive emotions such as gratitude; and a critical relationship enhancement skill. Throughout the course, you will hear examples of individuals using resilience skills in their personal and professional lives. Suggested prerequisites: Positive Psychology: Martin E. P. Seligman’s Visionary Science, Positive Psychology: Applications and Interventions and Positive Psychology: Character, Grit & Research Methods.


  • Resilience and Optimism
    • In this module, you will learn the definition of resilience and understand the protective factors that make one resilient. You will differentiate between helplessness and mastery orientations, and understand the thinking styles underlying each. You will summarize major outcomes of optimism, and the mediators of those outcomes, as well as assess your own levels of optimism, using a questionnaire. Finally, you will hear about personal and organizational outcomes of optimism, and will be able to apply these concepts to your own life.
  • Cognitive Approaches to Resilience: Strategies to Increase Optimism and Resilient Thinking
    • In this module, you will learn about thinking traps and how they undercut resilience. You will learn about five common thinking traps and identify which you are prone to, in addition to the effects of those styles of thinking. You will practice Real-Time Resilience, a strategy to challenge non-resilient thinking. Finally, you will hear about personal and organizational outcomes of optimism, and plan how to apply these concepts to your own life.
  • Managing Anxiety and Increasing Positive Emotions Like Gratitude
    • In this module, you will learn the definition of catastrophic thinking and identify the effects it has on physiology, attention and contingency planning. You will experiment with several non-cognitive strategies to decrease anxiety, including Deliberate Breathing. You will be introduced to the Broaden and Build theory of positive emotions, and will be able to describe the effects of positive emotions on resilience. Finally, you will relate research and examples of gratitude to your own life and develop a plan for a gratitude practice.
  • Leveraging Character Strengths and Strengthening Relationships
    • In this module, you will identify your own character strengths using a well-validated questionnaire. Next, you will describe how to use your character strengths in stressful situations to increase resilience by creating a buffer of positive emotion. Additionally, you will learn the research on active constructive responding, and identify their predominant responding style with important people in their lives. Finally, you will hear examples of inculcating resilience into organizations, and plan how to incorporate resilience strategies into your personal and professional lives.

Taught by

Karen Reivich


4.3 rating, based on 7 Class Central reviews

4.9 rating at Coursera based on 2097 ratings

Start your review of Positive Psychology: Resilience Skills

  • Profile image for Cheryl Penn
    Cheryl Penn
    This is a GREAT class! Why? It's clear after taking this class that resilience is a skill and it can be learned. I'm so happy I came across this resilience class. These are the skills I wish everyone could have the opportunity to learn. I feel like…
  • A beautiful class. Very well taught. Loved all the additional resources and surveys. It is a great class to learn about resilience skill that is very important in all areas of our life. A good class to learn skills and examine life! Apply what we learn too.

    The instructor is very clear in explaining all topics. I will keep visiting this class often as I learn more about positive psychology from this specialization. I have also bought her book, which I would read now! I am really glad I took this class and it led me to many other interesting classes! I do apply the skills I learned in this class to build on my positive social lifestyle.
  • This course is NOT for free, they give you a seven day free trial! This is FALSE publicity, seems very good to take on but be aware that is not a free course
  • Derek Strike
    Love it! I'm doing it again and will repeat. You cant stop getting valuable insight into your own life. Only ET wouldn't get anything from it 'cos he's gone home
  • Valentina Telhaj
    I’m Valentina Telhaj, I’m psychotherapist In Cognitive behaviour therapy. I need to learn more about psychology, specific in positive psychology.
    I would love be in your Universitety.
    Best regards
  • Profile image for Ioio
    One of the best courses on reducing anxiety I have ever taken! Some o the exercises from the training can be very useful.
  • Ana Patricia
    Hola el curso puede ser en español. Es q es en ingles y mi ingles es básico. Por favor q se puede hacer para q este curso sea en español me interesa mucho.
    Soy trabajadora social y este tema me apasiona hoy y siempre.
    Ahora en esta época de pandemia me debo fortalecer yo y fortalecer a otra lersona

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