Mindfulness Stress Reduction
Professional Training Leadership
MINDFULNESS BASED STRENGTHS PRACTICE
Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice is the first structured programme to combine mindfulness with the character strengths laid out in the VIA Institute's classification developed by Drs. Martin E. P. Seligman and Christopher Peterson.
A key concept in positive psychology, character strengths (CS), are positive personality characteristics that manifest as individual capacities for thinking, feeling, volition and behaviour (Niemiec, 2014).
As defined by the VIA classification, there are 24 CS which in turn are grouped under 6 virtue categories, and these are common across cultural boundaries (Park et al., 2006). Signature strengths are those that individuals express most naturally as core characteristics across multiple contexts, helping them to function optimally (Niemiec, 2014).
2 out of 3 people seem to be unaware of what their top strengths actually are – or how they use them in everyday contexts; this is called “strengths blindness”. People can also over use / or under use their strengths: e.g. If one is overly curious he/she can become nosey or prying. If one lacks curiosity he/she can become disinterested or unengaged.
Mindfulness can help in finding balance in the use of strengths; this is the so called “Golden Mean” of strengths use.
There are a number of empirical links correlating mindfulness with specific CS in the VIA classification. For example, curiosity and self-regulation (Bishop et al., 2004). There is also evidence suggesting mindfulness and CS positively impact each other. Jarden et al. (2012; cited in Niemiec, 2014) found that increased time using CS was associated with mindfulness.
MBSP is taught, both, to groups and individuals.