Ryan M. Niemiec

Integration of Mindfulness and Character Strengths

Niemiec, R. M. (2014). Mindfulness and character strengths: A practical guide to flourishing. Cambridge, MA: Hogrefe.LINK


Niemiec, R. M. (in press). Mindfulness-based strengths practice (MBSP) for physicians: Integrating core areas to promote positive health. In M. Snyder, Positive health: Creating a thriving population, healthy doctors, and a robust health economy.

Niemiec, R. M., Rashid, T., Linkins, M., Green, S., & Mayerson, N. H. (2013). Character strengths in practice. IPPA Newsletter, 5(4). LINK TO ARTICLE.

Niemiec, R. M. (2012). Mindful living: Character strengths interventions as pathways for the five mindfulness trainings. International Journal of Wellbeing, 2(1), 22-33. doi:10.5502/ijw.v2i1.2



Niemiec, R. M., Rashid, T., & Spinella, M. (2012). Strong mindfulness: Integrating mindfulness and character strengths. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 34(3), 240-253. ARTICLE.

More on Character Strengths (Articles)

Linkins, M., Niemiec, R. M., Mayerson, D., & Gillham, J. (2013). Through the strengths lens: A framework for educating the heart. Journal of Positive Psychology. Article PDF


Niemiec, R. M. (2013). Character strengths: A research update. IPPA Newsletter, 5(4). LINK TO ARTICLE


Niemiec, R. M. (2012). Applying strengths-based practices in therapy and coaching. Positive Psychology: Theory and Application, 9(1), 10-12.

Niemiec, R. M. (2010). Character strengths and virtues: East meets west to form what is best. PsyInsight, 1(1), 24-27.

Niemiec, R. M. (2010, Spring). Character strengths and positive psychology: On the horizon in family therapy. The Family Psychologist, 26(1), 16-17.

Niemiec, R. M. (2009). The backbone of positive psychology. Amplifier.


Niemiec, R. M. (2008-2013). Positive Psychology News Daily (guest columnist). For 13 articles on character strengths and positive psychology: LINKS to ARTICLES.


More on Character Strengths (Book Chapters)

(available upon request)

Rashid, T., & Niemiec, R. M. (2014). Character strengths. In A. C. Michalos (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research (pp. 649-654). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. 

Rashid, T., Anjum, A., Quinlan, D., Niemiec, R. M., Mayerson, D., & Kazemi, F. (2013). Assessment of character strengths in children and adolescents. In C. Proctor & A. Linley (Eds.), Handbook of Positive Psychology for Children and Adolescents.

Niemiec, R. M. (2013). VIA character strengths: Research and practice (The first 10 years). In H. H. Knoop & A. Delle Fave (Eds.), Well-being and cultures: Perspectives on positive psychology (pp. 11-30). New York: Springer.

Jarden, A. (2012). Positive psychologists on positive psychology. Chapter on Ryan M. Niemiec. Wellington, New Zealand: Aaron Jarden.

Niemiec, R. M. (2012). The character strengths of parents. In M. Sachnoff (Ed.), Raising winning students (pp. 26-33). Bellevue, WA: The Parents Union.

Niemiec, R. M. (2012). Character strengths. In M. Sachnoff (Ed.), Raising winning students (pp. 274-280). Bellevue, WA: The Parents Union.

Rashid, T., & Niemiec, R. M. (2012). Character strengths. In A. Michalos (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Quality of Life Research. New York: Springer.

More on Mindfulness

Niemiec, R. M. (2006). Inner therapy: Two scenarios for moving through a day of psychotherapy. Mindfulness Bell: A Journal of the Art of Mindful Living, 42, 33-35.


Niemiec, R. M. (2005, June 8). The expansion of mindfulness meditation [Review of the video Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression with Zindel V. Segal] PsycCRITIQUES, 50(23), Article 13.PDF


Niemiec, R. M. (2004, March). The body-mind-spirit connection: An essential paradigm. Update, Program for Psychology & Religion.


Additional Miscellaneous Publications

(available upon request)


Pollard, C.A., Margolis, R.B., Niemiec, R., Salas, J., & Aatre, G. (2013). Psychometric properties of the Primary Care Behavioral Health Screener. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings


Margolis, R. B., Pollard, C. A., & Niemiec, R. M. (2013). Transporting integrated primary care to the private sector: Address the business challenges. Families, Systems, & Health.


Frankenstein, L. &, Niemiec, R. M. (2009). Somatization. In M. B. Mengel & L. P. Schwiebert (Eds.), Family medicine (pp. 709-714). New York: McGraw-Hill.


Pole, D., Niemiec, R. M., & Frankenstein, L. (2009). Counseling. In M. B. Mengel & L. P. Schwiebert (Eds.), Family medicine (pp. 760-766). New York: McGraw-Hill.


Zoberi, K., Niemiec, R. M., & Margolis, R. B. (2008). Teaching behavioral health in a family medicine clerkship. Medical Teacher.


Aatre-Prashar, G., Pradhan, M., Niemiec, R. M., Vertrees, P., & Thomas, F. P. (2008). Pain and multiple sclerosis: Medical, nutritional and psychological aspects. MS Messenger.

Niemiec, R. M. (2008). The character strength of spirituality at the movies. Update, Program for Psychology and Religion.


Niemiec, R. M. (2007). Connecting with the heart. In D. Peltier-Fanchi (Ed.), Butterflies and dreams: Manifesting your heart’s desire (pp. 76-82). Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.


Niemiec, R. M. (2007). Using strengths to prevent relapse. Update, Program for Psychology and Religion.


Rowan, D., Wilke, R., Niemiec, R. M., & Sheehan, J. (2003, May). Sexual addiction and narcissistic personality disorder. Update, Program for Psychology & Religion.


Niemiec, R. M. (2007, June). Shifting from primary care to integrated primary care. Saint Louis University, Department of Community and Family Medicine newsletter, 1(4).


Niemiec, R. M. (2000). Sandplay and its effects on stress in graduate students. Unpublished dissertation.

Niemiec, R. M. (1999). Serial drawing with an adolescent girl: A Jungian approach. Unpublished Master’s thesis.

Mindfulness and Character Strengths

Audio Resources

1.)    Mindfulness + Strengths meditations from the MBSP program can be found on the audio CD that is available in the book Mindfulness and Character Strengths. EXAMPLE

2.)    Meditations on the 24 character strengths. For a mindfulness meditation on each of the 24 character strengths, click here.

Articles by Topic

What is mindfulness?

The scientific definition of mindfulness is (1) the self-regulation of attention to immediate experience, with (2) an orientation of curiosity, openness, and acceptance (Bishop et al., 2004). This means that when we are being mindful we are taking control of what we focus on – we are controlling our attention.

As we attend to our present moment – whether this be to an emotion, a thought, a belief, an impulse, a sensation, or to something in our surrounding environment – we need to approach that “thing” with a curious, open, and accepting attitude (Niemiec, 2014).

What are character strengths?

Character strengths are capacities for thinking, feeling, volition, and behaving. They are viewed as the pathways to the great virtues of wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence (Peterson & Seligman, 2004), and as the basic building blocks of goodness that are at the core of who we are (our positive identity).

How do you practice with mindfulness and character strengths?

The first formal character strengths practice program, Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice (MBSP), offers a unique integration of these universal phenomena and emphasizes the use of mindfulness to uncover and boost what is best in individuals. MBSP is offered online and gathers an international audience. Learn more here.

MBSP is an 8-session program that brings the practice of mindfulness and the practice of character strengths together. It includes discussions, meditations, strengths practices, lecture/input, and homework exercises. There are two general categories of integration:

1. Strong mindfulness: improving mindfulness practices by weaving in character strengths.

2. Mindful strengths use: improving character strength use by weaving in mindfulness.

MBSP teaches individuals to engage more deeply with life. Emphasis is placed on exercises that are discussed and practiced each week. This course teaches the basics of mindfulness and of character strengths, and offers more advanced, practical ways to integrate the two. It presents a unique angle to living one’s best life, re-discovering happiness, achieving goals, finding deeper meaning and life engagement, and coping with problems. MBSP has been piloted in six countries across four continents. Session-by-session details and instructor’s manual can be found in Mindfulness and Character Strengths.

Want training on MBSP?

Copyright 2014, Ryan Niemiec. All rights reserved.

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