Course Description
This is an introductory course to the field of Positive Psychology. Positive Psychology is the scientific study of human happiness, mental wellness, and the ability to thrive in life. It represents a relatively new perspective in psychology, shifting focus from the traditional disease model of psychopathology to an exploration of the factors contributing to happiness and productivity. While conventional psychology often concentrated on mental illness, identifying what goes wrong and facilitating healing towards a "normal life," Positive Psychology seeks to understand what goes right and how individuals can successfully thrive beyond the norm.

The course is structured into six major units, each comprising three parts.

The main themes covered include an exploration of what positive psychology entails, an examination of the original theory of positive psychology and PERMA, an understanding of the neurophysiology of emotions, an exploration of the positive impact of happiness on productivity and health, techniques for developing positivity and optimism, strategies for restructuring thought patterns, cultivating positive habits like mindfulness and gratitude, addressing cognitive distortions and learning how to change them, identifying personal strengths and values, understanding the role of relationships and social support, building resilience, exploring post-traumatic growth, and developing grit.

Throughout the course, students will learn to apply these principles to their own lives and understand how they are utilized in the field of counseling. Additionally, students will acquire the skills to read scientific research articles, analyze multiple viewpoints, and integrate this knowledge into well-thought-out papers. The course will also incorporate watching several TED talks, with students analyzing the implications of condensing their life purpose into a 10-15 minute presentation. Ultimately, students will have the opportunity to create and deliver their own TED talk as a culmination of the course.

Students will do the following assignments throughout the year:

  • Attending weekly classes with the support teacher to discuss the topics covered each week.
  • Track their well-being and write journal entries analyzing the ideas presented and how the practices they are learning are affecting their wellbeing
  • Several reaction papers
  • Development of a personal theory where they will synthesize what they are learning and create a TED talk at the end of the course.


Available here to download

Positive Psychology for High School
Instructor: Melanie Clark, MS
Price: $600 per semester

($1200 annually)

Course follows the a-g curriculum approved by Ocean Grove Charter School

2560 Soquel Avenue Suites 201, 204, 205, Santa Cruz, CA 96062 |   831-331-5611  |

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