20. November 2023

Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice (MBSP): New Research, Uplifting Practices

Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice (MBSP): New Research, Uplifting Practices


“Mindfulness without character strengths is deflated…and character strengths without mindfulness are hollow.”

Since the best science and practice of mindfulness and character strengths were integrated into MBSP (mindfulness-based strengths practice) 10 years ago, the following has occurred:

  • MBSP has become a strong and popular, evidence-based program.
  • MBSP has gone head-to-head in multiple studies against the world’s most popular mindfulness program and come out stronger across various outcomes. Said another way, there is a science-backed, value-add of bringing character strengths to mindfulness approaches.
  • New research shows there is a science-backed, value-add to bringing mindfulness to character strengths. Said another way, the MBSP program performs better than character strengths programs alone.
  • MBSP is being used in an estimated 50+ countries by various kinds of practitioners.
  • MBSP has been shown to boost the 24 character strengths, well-being, employee work performance, self-efficacy, life meaning, and manage stress and life adversities.
  • MBSP has a special impact on positive relationships, providing tools that can foster connection, appreciation, and healing.
  • MBSP is applied in multiple contexts (e.g., workplace, school, prison, university, coaching, and disability contexts), and has unique adaptations in process (e.g., nature/environment connection; fostering inner/relational/group peace; secular spirituality; workplace; inclusion/access).

In this workshop, you’ll get to delve into the latest science and best practices of MBSP. While not a replacement for the 8-week MBSP program, this workshop will provide a range of learning opportunities, including lecture, small group work, and poignant experiential activities. You’ll learn short practices and gain numerous insights that can be immediately applied for personal and professional purposes.

This workshop is open to anyone. Practitioners in business, education, coaching, counseling, and consulting are particularly well-suited. Researchers will benefit from learning about and experiencing this workshop in order to consider future integration work in these areas, and develop new research paradigms, adaptations, and related MBSP studies.

Participants are strongly encouraged to take the VIA Inventory of Strengths (VIA Survey), and bring their free, rank-ordered results to the workshop. The 10-minute, scientifically valid test can be found at www.viacharacter.org

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will describe three practical exercises to bring character strengths and mindfulness practices together.
  • Participants will name the two overarching benefits of character strengths distilled from the research.
  • Participants will explain a strategy involving the use of mindfulness and character strengths for personal suffering.
  • Participants will describe the two core elements of the scientific, operational definition of mindfulness, including the character strengths that are part of it.
  • Participants will explain a wide perspective for how to look at one’s “practice” in daily life with regard to mindfulness/character strengths.
  • Participants will name at least one important consideration in adapting a mindfulness-based program.

About Ryan M. Niemiec

Ryan M. Niemiec, Psy.D. is a leading scientist, educator, and practitioner, with the title of Chief Science & Education Officer at the renown VIA Institute on Character, a nonprofit organization in Cincinnati, Ohio, that leads the global advancement of the science of character strengths. Ryan has been at the center of this work, positively impacting many millions of people.
Ryan is a four-time, award-winning psychologist, annual instructor at the University of Pennsylvania, and author of 14 books, over 100 academic papers, and several-hundred user-friendly articles. His books include the bestselling consumer book, The Power of Character Strengths (2019), The Mindfulness and Character Strengths Workbook (2023), the two leading practitioner-focused books in positive psychology – Character Strengths Interventions (2018) and Mindfulness and Character Strengths (2023) – and books on strengths for handling stress/adversity, teens/parents, people with disabilities/abilities, and positive movies. He’s creator of the evidenced-based program, Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice (MBSP), used by practitioners and researchers across the globe, and created the world’s first character strengths certification program, on MBSP, in 2021. He co-created Blooming Strengths Sangha, a mindfulness and character strengths community open to all.
He collaborates with multiple research groups across the globe, spanning hundreds of thousands of participants each year. His research and practice areas include character strengths, MBSP, positive interventions, peace psychology, nature/environment connection, spirituality, interbeing, life meaning, intellectual/developmental disability, and positive health.
Ryan has been interviewed by a number of luminaries including the legendary Larry King in 2020. He’s given over 1,000 presentations on positive psychology topics, including a character strengths world tour in 2009-2010, a TEDx talk in 2017, a speaking tour of Australia, keynotes at Harvard, and presentations across the globe. He was one of the invited scientists for the grand opening of the Thich Nhat Hanh Center for Mindfulness in Public Health, at Harvard University in 2023. He has been involved in projects with Oprah Winfrey/Harpo Studies, the Stephen Covey family, United Nations agencies, and in the creation of the first Holocaust & Humanities Museum (in Cincinnati). He is Fellow of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA), serves on their Council of Advisors, and in 2023 received the prestigious Raymond D. Fowler Service Award. He is co-founder and president of the Spirituality/Meaning Division of IPPA.
Peer-reviewed journal articles have been written about Ryan and his work (e.g., MacFarland, 2022 here; and Jarden, 2012 here).
Ryan lives in Cincinnati with his wife and three young, zestful children. His highest strengths are hope, love, honesty, fairness, spirituality, social intelligence, and appreciation of beauty. Ryan’s hobbies include creative writing, playing tai chi, chess, basketball, tennis, and guitar; traveling; watching Michigan State athletics; and collecting vintage and rare Pez dispensers.