Join qualified Health Researchers and Positive Psychology Practitioners & Researchers, Reece Coker, Diane Dreher, Laura Ellingson, Sarah Monk, Liz Leyland, and Matt Freeman, for a 3-part panel presentation and audience discussion series on Positive Health.
Over the course of 3 webinars, the panel experts will be sharing their perspectives on answers to the following questions:
- What is Positive Health?
- What facilitates Positive Health?
- How can we overcome (some) obstacles to promote Positive Health?
For more information on the series, please click here.
To access the webinar recordings, please scroll down to the bottom of this page and click on the links under “Course Content”.
Reece Coker (UK) – Webinar 1
Reece Coker is the founder of PPG. A fellow at the Institute of Leadership and Management, and Royal Society of Public Health, he is an experienced trainer, psychologist, and sector expert within the subjects of Positive Psychology, Motivation, Organisational Development & Culture, Neurodiversity & Inclusion, and Business Management. A senior manager within the corporate commercial and not-for-profit sectors, Reece is passionate about learning and development at all levels. He completed his Masters in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) at Bucks New University in 2016, where his research focused on hope and fear, and is currently completing a PhD in Education and Psychology at Sheffield Hallam University with a focus on courage, anxiety, and autism. He leads and lectures on the Positive Psychology and Autism Awareness in Practice Programmes. He is an autistic individual who is a passionate advocate for autism and strengths-based approaches. Reece leads PPG’s Autism Centre and is keen to work with stakeholders within the areas of employment, mental health and wellbeing, and neurodiversity and inclusion. He is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester, where he is a subject matter expert in the fields of qualitative research, autism, and neurodiversity (theory and practice).
Diane Dreher (USA) – Webinar 1
Diane Dreher, PhD, PCC, is a Positive Psychology Coach, teacher, researcher, and author who has worked in higher education for over 30 years. After completing her PhD in Renaissance English literature at UCLA, Diane began teaching at Santa Clara University, where received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2019. Her publications include the bestselling Tao of Inner Peace, Tao of Personal Leadership, Tao of Womanhood, Inner Gardening, and Your Personal Renaissance as well as scholarly books and articles on literature, Positive Psychology, and hope. Seeking new frontiers in learning, she went on to complete a Master’s degree in Counseling and became a Professional Certified Coach (PCC), with the International Coaching Federation and a HeartMath Clinical Practitioner. Her research interests explore the convergence of Positive Psychology with Eastern philosophy, leadership, mindfulness, and hope. In addition to lecturing in the Positive Psychology Academy, she is Associate Director of the Applied Spirituality Institute at Santa Clara University, maintains an international coaching practice, is an advisor for the Hopeful Mindsets Project, and is writing a book on hope.
Sarah Monk (UK) – Webinar 2
Sarah Monk is a Chartered Psychologist, Positive Psychology Practitioner, Coach and meditation and mindfulness teacher. She is also a part time associate lecturer on the Masters in Applied Positive Psychology and Positive Psychology in Coaching programmes at Bucks New University and a regular blog team member at The Positive Psychology People. Sarah has a degree in Psychology from Southampton University and an MSc in Clinical Psychology from the University of Surrey and started her career as a Clinical Psychologist in the NHS working in both adult mental health and physical disabilities specialties. Her career in Clinical Psychology was interrupted 25 years ago when she burnt out and developed ME/CFS. She has learned to live well with an ongoing illness, Positive Psychology has been an important part of that journey and the well-being of people who work in healthcare is a keen interest. Sarah refocused as a Positive Psychology Coach, completing the MAPP in 2019. She has special interests in mindfulness, meditation, compassion, people with chronic health conditions and applying PP in groups with disabilities. Sarah’s role in the Guild involves helping develop the professional services to members including the communities of practice, peer exchange and practitioner member annual review process.
Laura Ellingson (USA) – Webinar 2
Laura L. Ellingson, Ph.D., is the Patrick A. Donohoe, S.J. Professor of Communication at Santa Clara University and a National Communication Association Distinguished Scholar. Her passion for methodological and epistemological innovation infuses her research and writing. Narrative, feminist, pragmatic perspectives guide her research on communication in healthcare delivery and in extended/chosen families. In addition to over 50 journal articles and chapters in edited collections, she is the author of six books, including an ethnographic study of communication in a geriatric oncology program (Communicating in the Clinic, 2005) and two co-authored books (with Dr. Patty Sotirin) on aunts, nieces, and nephews in extended and chosen families (Aunting, 2010) and of aunts’ representation in popular culture (Where the Aunts Are, 2013). Laura enlarges possibilities for methodological innovation through the development of a crystallization framework for qualitative research (Engaging Crystallization in Qualitative Research, 2009), articulation of embodied research strategies (Embodiment in Qualitative Research, 2017), and reimagining of data collection practices as lively data engagement (with Dr. Patty Sotirin; Making Data in Qualitative Research: Engagements, Ethics, and Entanglements, 2020). She teaches courses on qualitative methods, health and sexuality, and gender and communication.
Liz Leyland (France) – Webinar 3
Liz Leyland is officially retired but coming to the end of her studies with the PPA to become a Positive Psychology Coach. She has had a varied career, leaving school at 18 and joining a retail bank, where she progressed through the ranks to become a manager. Disillusioned with the politics and the reducing focus on the customer, Liz took redundancy and trained as a Diet and Fitness Instructor in the late 90s. Liz and her husband are avid skiers and fulfilled their dream of living and working in the French Alps by building a ski chalet and running associated businesses from 2002 to 2016 when they retired in their mid 50s. The following years highlighted to Liz a lack of meaning and true purpose in her life and she used alcohol to an increasing extent to cope with these feelings and those of trying to fit in with an expat community with whom she had little in common”. In an effort to bring this under control she joined an online community aimed at “changing your relationship with alcohol” and discovered that she needed to change her relationship with herself. She was introduced to Positive Psychology and through her interactions in the online community, remembered that her most fulfilling job had been as a diet and fitness instructor when she learned that being overweight was often more complex than simply eating too much. In 2020 Liz decided that Positive Psychology Coaching could provide her with a path to meaning and purpose and her subsequent studies revealed the value of PP in overcoming her struggles with alcohol. She now describes herself as Alcohol Free and has a particular interest in helping others on their alcohol free journey. She will be developing her current coaching repertoire further to offer a path beyond the booze.
Matt Freeman (UK) – Webinar 3
Following 20-plus years in Corporate Brand Strategy and Marketing Communications across Europe, Asia and Africa, Matt Freeman returned to the UK from Johannesburg in 2016 to support his father who was battling Parkinson’s disease. Observing his father’s needs, he began to develop an interest in the ageing population and those who are affected by it – those who care for the ageing and ailing, their spouses and partners, their offspring and siblings. But he also became curious about how we could all prepare, in advance, for a better older age. He initially trained and qualified in the anatomy and physiology of ageing and illness and the potential for counteraction through physical movement. He then became an Exercise & Fitness Instructor for the over 60s and now run Community and Carehome classes in his local area. Further vocational studies into Dementia, Bereavement & Grief, and Diet & Nutrition in Older Age reinforced his knowledge and understanding of some of the challenges of getting older. Matt’s mission is to enable older or ailing adults, those who care for them, and the organisations which support them, to optimally function and ultimately flourish. He is a passionate Positive Ageing Advocate and wants to alter the impression organisations and nations have of ageing, to give it a more acceptable, positive image. He believes that everyone can influence their ageing process, and that all ‘apprentice’ older adults should be encouraged by the potential of an optimally functioning, flourishing, older population in society.
Claire Higgins (UK)
Claire Higgins is the COO and Director of Education at PPG. She was PPG’s first Positive Psychology student and later came on board to run Operations and establish the Positive Psychology Academy. An experienced humanitarian professional, she spent 16 years working with and consulting for international organisations including multiple branches of the United Nations, International Committee of the Red Cross, and Doctors Without Borders before moving into Positive Psychology in 2018. A qualified health coach and personal trainer, and “third culture kid” (she spent her first 40 years in the Middle East), she holds Masters of Science degrees in Exercise & Sport Psychology (MMU) and Violence, Conflict & Development (SOAS), and a BA (Hons) in Arabic and Persian (SOAS). Claire is active in Positive Psychology research and leads PPG’s Level 3 and Level 5 qualifications in Positive Psychology Fundamentals and Positive Psychology Practice. She is also a secondary supervisor to the Level 7 Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology Research.