Support Center

We care

No really, we do.

Write us


Portland, Oregon, USA

Send Us a Message

Frequently Asked Questions

There are two routes to becoming a certified positive psychology coach. The first is for people with little or no coaching experience. Here, you take 2 courses: Coaching Skills and Applied Positive Psychology. For those who are already certified or experienced coaches, you can take the Applied Positive Psychology and Advanced Positive Psychology Coaching course.

Positive Acorn is a Level 1 training program accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Whether you are a beginning coach or more advanced, we emphasize sophistication in coaching. We don’t want to teach you to hit the dart board, we want to teach you how to hit the bullseye in coaching.

Great! We love working with people who have a background in positive psychology. Whether you have read a popular book or have a Master’s in Applied Positive Psychology, we can challenge you to think about this science in new ways. We think of ourselves as “what’s next” for people who want to extend their knowledge of this exciting field.

Our core faculty include Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener, a pioneer and thought leader in positive psychology coaching, and Dr. Christian van Nieuwerburgh, a highly-regarded coach, author, and coach trainer. Our classes are also occasionally taught by guest experts including Dr. Cynthia Pury (Courage) and Paul Z. Jackson (Solutions Focus).

If there is one typical feature of our students, it is their diversity. We usually have people from a number of different nations on our courses. In addition, our students generally fall into 3 broad categories: A) people interested in coaching and wanting to learn effective and responsible coaching skills, B) professionals such as teachers, managers, lawyers, or therapists who want to add positive psychology and coaching skills to their existing repertoire, and C) experienced coaches who are interested in extending their practice with sophisticated approaches to applied positive psychology.

Live courses have a specific start date and meet at regular times and dates. These are “synchronous” learning in which we have real-time interactions including discussions and opportunities for practice and feedback. By contrast, the self-paced learning courses are initiated and completed independently. You can begin the course on your own schedule and use pre-recorded lectures, reflective activities, readings, and quizzes to deepen your learning.

We teach virtually. This means that we use Zoom to host highly interactive courses. People from many nations and time zones meet at the appointed time and we discuss, practice, and see coaching demonstrations.

Although some people are skeptical of digital learning, we use sophisticated educational practices to make certain that the experience is both engaging and effective. We keep abreast of new developments and best practices in the science of teaching and learning.

Positive Acorn courses include pre-recorded lectures, readings, quizzes, reflections, coaching observations, and other learning features. The more time you invest in these out-of-class activities the deeper your learning will be. There is generally an hour to an hour and a half of out-of-class material per lesson. We host an optional practicum in which students can meet with their instructor outside of class to gain further clarity, engage in deeper practice, and have more informal discussions.

Positive Acorn uses the flipped classroom approach to teaching. Traditional courses are taught through lecture and then students are assigned homework to complete on their own schedule. The new method “flips” this by pre-recording lectures (students can watch or listen on their own time) and then uses class sessions to engage in discussion, demonstration, practice, reflection, and group work. This method increases student engagement and opportunities for interaction.

We record our classes for those people who are unable to attend or who want to review class material. As with all course material, we make these recordings available for students to review for a period of time after each course ends. 

We acknowledge that sometimes life is complicated and that, occasionally, it is necessary to miss a class session. We require 70% attendance to confer credit for a course.

Our Courses are taught in English. However, our students come from a wide range of cultures and speak a number of languages.

We do provide mentoring in small group as well as individual formats. Our group mentoring courses are intentionally kept small (6-8 people) to allow for more in-depth discussion and more personalized feedback. Participants report that this is one of the most empowering and rewarding experiences of their coach training.

We do. Our instructors read the science of teaching and learning and are interested in effective instructional design. As a result, we love to put together bespoke trainings with the content and method of delivery that works best for your group. We can create self-paced and synchronous courses, tailor-made workshops, and keynote presentations. We are especially adept at creating culturally sensitive content.

We distinguish ourselves in four areas:

  1. Science. Our scientific expertise isn’t just up-to-date, it also includes knowledge of forthcoming publications and emerging trends. In addition, we are expert in positive psychology research that pre-dates 1998. As a result, we know a wide sweep of research not covered elsewhere.

  2. Pedagogy. We are huge fans of effective methods of teaching and our instructional design always includes these practices. Teaching is not telling and learning is not listening.

  3. Ethics. We believe that ethics is the foundation for all responsible practice. Time and again, we emphasize ethical decision making, common practices to avoid, and reflective practice.

  4. Size. We are boutique. This means that you will receive a highly personal touch from our small staff. We like to host small groups and have a richer learning experience.

Please contact us. We do not see it as our job to sell you on coach training in general or our program specifically. Instead, we will do our best to provide you the information about the coaching industry and Positive Acorn training to allow you to make a decision that works for you.

100% refund available within 24 hours of registration.

90% refund available up to 3 weeks before the start of the course.

50% refund available within 3 weeks before the course. 


Yes, the hours in our courses are approved by the ICF and can be used for reaccreditation purposes.

Get updates and exclusive resources​

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top
Forgot Password
Enter your email address or username and we’ll send you instructions to reset your password.