Character Strengths Interventions: A Field Guide for Practitioners

Written by Ryan M. Niemiec

Commentary by Nancy Eichhorn

I read, I review. I rarely comment. The difference? I offer glimpses into a book, noting
the content, the writing style, the potential impact on a reader, often sharing my personal
reactions to the material with a familiar first person writing style. An academic commentary
proposes both a different tone and approach. One that offered a challenge until I realized
that a commentary is just that, a personal reaction pinpointing part of the material that
potentially impacts either me personally or my field of study and interest, in this instance
psychotherapeutic interventions that offer clients and ourselves a way forward.

I read Ryan Niemiec’s newest publication, Character Strengths Interventions: A Field
Guide for Practitioners, with no background experience in positive psychology, no concept
of what character strengths are or how to integrate them into my life or my professional
work. I quickly learned that character strengths are positive traits that are core to our
being—our identity—and our doing, aka our behavior (pg. 2). There are 24-character
strengths that represent a common language said to describe what is best in human beings;
these then represent pathways to six virtues that are noted to be universal in human
beings across religions, cultures, nations and belief systems, which are: wisdom, courage,
humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. It is important to note that these are
not the type of strengths commonly thought of such as: talent, intelligence, skills, values,
interests or resources. They don’t happen in isolation—they are interwoven, they overlap in
our lives. They happen in context, and they happen in relationships.

Within the first few pages of the actual body of the text (not counting the Forward or
Introduction), I had the strongest impulse to take the Character Strengths Survey, offered
“free” of charge online at www.viacharacter.org to “help individuals learn about what is
best in them”. There is, however, a catch.

 

To read the complete commentary, please CLICK Here

Reprinted with permission, International Body Psychotherapy Journal Volume 16, Number 3 Fall 2017. www.IBPJ.org

You can purchase this book here, from Amazon.com or you can visit Hogrefe Publishing’s website and read a sample chapter and learn more about the book by clicking here

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