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The Mindfulness and Character Strengths Workbook

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Authored By Ryan M. Niemiec, Psy.D.

Reviewed by Nancy Eichhorn, PhD

I reviewed Ryan Niemiec’s textbook, Character Strengths Interventions: A Field Guide for Practitioners, in 2017. Part of my comments included the need for hands-on activities for readers to use, access to audio meditations, and so forth.

And here we have it: The Mindfulness and Character Strengths Workbook is everything I hoped for and more. It is a well-written, easy-to-follow, detailed to the nth degree workbook with extensive, free online materials to support the process including audio-guided meditations. Congratulations Ryan on a much-needed workbook to support people exploring character strengths and their integration with mindfulness.

Why write a workbook?

The reasoning for this workbook was two-fold. The first was to fill a gap. It seems there were no books for readers (a general audience) to learn about and practice working with the integration of character strengths and mindfulness. Yep. I agree. Second, practitioners clamored for a user-friendly book for their students, clients, and employees who were studying mindfulness-based strengths practice (MBSP). I understand why after going through this workbook!

Readers might wonder: why should I integrate character strengths with mindfulness? Some might even wonder what character strengths are and why they matter in our lives. According to Ryan, one without the other is “deflated” and “hollow” (pg.2). I offer two quick definitions for each, per Ryan, and then I’ll dive into the workbook.

Mindfulness: open awareness and curiosity.

Character strengths: the core (best) parts of you.

 The Set Up

The workbook flows sequentially with an 8-week MBSP program. Readers are encouraged to spend one week per session giving time and space to listen to audio meditations, read the information, write responses, and be present with what is happening. The process is exploratory. Readers have the opportunity to experience mindfulness and character strengths through a series of questions, activities, and reflections on their feelings, ideas actions, and behaviors while immersed in the process.

What outcomes can a reader expect? Per page 2 of the workbook:

(1) Discover and understand your inner capacity to be mindful and see and use your character strengths.

(2) Identify your signature strengths (the top five character strengths as  determined by an online assessment—you can receive a free copy or pay for a more detailed discussion of your results) as well as your over and underused strengths and how to improve this pattern

(3) Examine how mindfulness and character strengths can enhance your health and well-being and aid you in times of conflict and distress.

(4) Apply the lessons/strategies to your everyday life.

(5) Add practical strategies to your toolbox.

(6) Take immediate action to address what’s happening in your life.

To read the review, please click here to access the PDF