Centre for Continuing Education

Build a Resilient and Optimistic Mindset Course

Psychology. Explore the human mind.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses online and in-person. Please check the delivery format of each class before enrolling.

Please note that course materials (excluding prescribed texts) are shared electronically within 48 hours of course commencement. Printing is not available.

Mindset matters in business. People with optimistic, resilient thinking patterns build more positive solutions and flourishing organisations.

Do you feel under pressure at work? Do you need to manage change, solve tough problems or juggle multiple priorities? Then this course will get you back on track. You will hear how your ‘psychological capital’ impacts your mindset and learn to shift out of ‘negative’ thinking patterns that deplete your energy and lower your mood.

You will also learn how to dispute pessimistic thinking patterns using the learned optimism model and boost your resilience by applying solution-focussed thinking tools. Finally, we will use attention management and mindfulness techniques to reduce stress and improve your wellbeing. This course will give you the ability to learn positively from challenges, negative experiences and setbacks.

This is an introductory level positive psychology course, aimed at anyone looking for a reliable toolkit to sustain meaningful personal change.


Through an exploration of both theory and practical techniques, this course aims to give you the tools to reliably reduce stress and optimise your wellbeing – allowing you to perform at your best professionally.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • explain how the scientific study of human flourishing – positive psychology – can benefit you personally and professionally
  • boost your levels of hope, optimism, resilience and self-efficacy, using tools from applied psychology
  • challenge the thoughts that hold you back, using Martin Seligman’s learned optimism model
  • adopt a resilient attitude when faced with challenges, disruptive changes or problems
  • regulate your emotions using mindful attention techniques
  • learn from problems and setbacks, by taking on a growth mindset and using reflective thinking tools.


What is positive psychology?

Find out how building positive psychological capital will help you thrive in times of change or challenge. During this session, we will:

  • explore four key elements of psychological capital: hope, self-efficacy, resilience and optimism
  • discuss case studies illustrating how to boost these elements when facing challenges at work
  • find out how to change your individual thinking patterns, so you can increase your ‘positivity ratio’ and bounce back during tough times.

Increasing your optimism levels

Is your inner voice positive, affirming and solution-focused? Or does pessimistic self-talk cause your anxiety levels to soar? In this session, you will learn to:

  • think more optimistically, using proven techniques from positive psychology
  • spot irrational thoughts and do something about them
  • discover how hope and optimism differ from each other
  • use hope theory and learned optimism techniques to build a positive view of the future.

Building your resilience

Some people seem naturally better equipped to bounce back when things go wrong. These people have resilient mindsets. What do they do differently and how can you learn to do it, too? Find out as we explore the psychology of resilience. Learn to shift out of ‘learned helplessness’ mode and think optimistically.

In this session, you will learn how to use scaling questions and the ABCDE model to reframe your perspective on problems and adversity.

Regulating your emotions

Challenges, misfortunes and unexpected change can trigger stress. Regulating your emotions can help you to reduce the negative impact of stress states.

In this session, you’ll try out a range of mindfulness techniques for regulating emotions. You will also try out simple tools for focusing your attention and reducing stress. These include mindful attention, mindful photography and savouring techniques.

This is not a meditation program, but you will also learn about recent research into the benefits of mindfulness meditation.

Learning from setbacks

As you go through life, you will encounter challenges and make mistakes. The way you respond to these situations is more important than what happens. The evidence from positive psychology is very clear: responding from a growth-oriented mindset helps you learn from your experience. People with this mindset reflect on their experiences – good and bad – and use them to learn.

In this session, you will discover how to use a three-step reflective thinking process to adopt a growth mindset and learn from setbacks. Learn what a growth mindset is and how to adopt it.

Planning your next steps

In this session we will:

  • create a personal plan for addressing your current challenges or stressors
  • get tips on accessing support, resources and advice to help you remain positive and solution-oriented in the future
  • participate in a Q and A session.

Intended audience

This course will be of interest to professionals who are working in demanding or complex situations. Anyone who is living through change, disruption or challenging times will find the program useful. Change agents, human resource practitioners, educators, managers, leaders and supervisors may also find the program a useful introduction to techniques that can be used to boost workplace wellbeing.

Delivery style

The workshop is a highly interactive program for people who are motivated to change. You will get the most from this positive psychology course if you are:

  • willing to contribute to group discussions about your success mindset
  • confident communicating verbally in small groups
  • comfortable participating in role-play style activities.

Delivery options:

  • presenter-taught workshop on University premises
  • online workshop via the platform Zoom.

You’ll learn through a variety of methods including:

  • mini-lectures
  • video presentations
  • Q & A sessions
  • demonstrations by the facilitator
  • practical group activities
  • individual planning activities.

Recommended reading

Biswas-Deiner, R 2010, Practicing Positive Psychology Coaching: Assessment, Activities and Strategies for Success, Wiley.

Biswas-Diener, R 2010, ‘A Positive Way of Addressing Negatives: Using Strengths-based Interventions in Coaching and Therapy’ In Burns, G. W. (Ed) Happiness, Healing, Enhancement: Your Casebook Collection for Applying Positive Psychology in Therapy, John Wiley & Sons Inc, Hoboken, NJ.

Boyatzis, RE & Akrivou, K 2006, The Ideal Self as the Driver of Intentional Change, Journal of Management Development, vol. 25, no. 7, pp. 624-642.

Brunstein, JC, Schultheiss, OC & Maier, GW 1999, ‘The pursuit of personal goals: A motivational approach to well-being and life adjustment’ In J. Brandtstadter and R.M. Lerner (Eds.), Action and Self-Development: Theory and Research Through the Lifespan, Sage Publications, pp. 169-196.

Cameron, K 2012, Positive Leadership: Strategies for Extraordinary Performance, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Oakland, CA.

Clutterbuck, D, David, S, Megginson, D & Congleton, C 2013, ‘Goals: A Long-Term VIew’ In S. David, D. Clutterbuck & D. Megginson (Eds.), Beyond Goals, Gower, Surrey, UK, pp. 1-20.

Diener, E & Biswas-Diener, R 2008, Happiness: Unlocking the Mystery of Psychological Wealth, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.

Duckworth, A 2016, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Random House, New York, NY.

Dweck, CS 2017), Mindset [Kindle iOS version].

Emmons, R 2007, Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier, Houghton Mifflin, Boston.

Fredrickson, B 2011, Positivity Groundbreaking Research to Release Your Inner Optimist and Thrive, Oneworld, Oxford.

Gilbert, D 2009, Stumbling on Happiness, HarperCollins, London, UK.

Goleman, D 2013, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence [Kindle iOS version], retrieved from Amazon.com.au.

Goleman, D 2018, The Science of Meditation, Penguin Books Ltd.

Grant, A 2013, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, Viking, Penguin, NY.

Green, LS, Oades, LG & Grant, AM 2006, ‘Cognitive-Behavioural, Solution Focused Life Coaching: Enhancing Goal Striving, Well-Being and Hope’, Journal of Positive Psychology, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 142-149.

Gregory, JB, Beck, JW & Carr, AE 2011, ‘Goals, feedback, and Self-Regulation: Control Theory as a Natural Framework for Executive Coaching’, Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, vol. 63, no. 1, pp. 26-38.

Langer, EJ 1989, Mindfulness, Addison Wesley Publishing Company, Boston, MA.

Linley, PA & Joseph, S (Eds.) 2004, Positive Psychology in Practice, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ.

Linley, A, Willars, J & Biswas-Diener, R 2010, The Strengths Book: Be Confident, Be Successful, and Enjoy Better Relationships by Realising the Best of You, CAPP Press, Coventry, UK.

Lopez, SJ 2014, Making Hope Happen: Create the Future You Want for Yourself and Others, Atria Paperback, NY.

Lyubomirsky, S 2010, The How of Happiness: A Practical Approach to Getting the Life you Want, Piatkus, London.

McKeown, G 2014, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Currency, NY.

Pascale, R, Sternin, J and Sternin, M 2010, The Power of Positive Deviance, Harvard Business Press, Boston, Mass.

Reivich, K & Shatte, A 2002, The Resilience Factor: 7 Keys to Finding Your Inner Strength and Overcoming Life’s Hurdles, Three, NY.

Seligman, MEP 2011, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being. New York: Free Press.

Seligman, MEP 2018, Learned Optimism, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, London.

Seligman, MEP, 2011, Authentic Happiness, Random House Australia, North Sydney, NSW.

University of the Sunshine Coast, 2014, Reframing Your Thinking, retrieved from http://www.usc.edu.au/media/3,850/Reframingyourthinking.pdf.

Wesson, K & Boniwell, I 2007, ‘Flow theory – Its Application to Coaching Psychology’, International Coaching Psychology Review, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 33-43.

Whitmore, J, 2002, Coaching for Performance: GROWing People, Performance Purpose, Nicholas Brealey, London.

Wong, PT 2013, The Human Quest for Meaning: Theories, Research, and Applications, Routledge, London, England.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

Build a Resilient and Optimistic Mindset Course

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Build a Resilient and Optimistic Mindset Course

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