Clinical-Intervention-Challenge-Logo-FOR-WEBThe Positive Clinical Psychology Division of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) invites you share your innovative clinical practices which foster mental health and wellbeing as well as alleviate psychological stress and dysfunction.

The Avant-garde Positive Psychology Clinical Interventions Competition event will allow for collaboration, increase knowledge about important considerations when building a Positive Psychology Intervention, contribute to best practices and standards for interventions, and harness the potential to launch research projects within the field of clinical positive psychology.

Participants will design an intervention that addresses one or more common clinical concerns and meets the guidelines listed below. Submissions will be reviewed by the Division’s Executive Clinical Council. The top entries will be invited to present at the competition finals at the Fifth World Congress on Positive Psychology, July 13 – 16, 2017 in Montréal, Québec.

Please direct your questions to

How to Participate:

Addressing one (or more) of the five common clinical concerns addressed in the vignettes given below, the intervention must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be innovative and should not replicate already well-established positive interventions such as three good things, gratitude letter and visit, or active-constructive responding.
  • Must be based on broad positive psychology constructs and must utilize one or more positive attributes, such as positive emotions, character strengths, meaning, positive relationships and goals, etc.
  • Must not utilize other modalities as primary or active ingredients. Thus, interventions mainly based on mindfulness, behavioral activation, cognitive appraisal, for example, will not be considered.
  • Must be based upon research; having initial pilot data demonstrating effectiveness in a clinical population in reducing symptoms and in enhancing well-being is preferred.
  • Cannot be entirely based on online or virtual delivery; it must include a face-to-face component.
  • Must outline the step-by-step process to be replicated in diverse cultural and clinical settings.
  • Submissions can be made individually or in small teams; at least one member of the team must have clinical background in clinical research/practice.
  • Five selected entries will be featured in Clinical Division’s publication and receive certificate of recognition

Please choose one or more of the following vignettes: 

  1. Jessica, 37, a Caucasian female who is well-accomplished professionally, has been feeling sad for last couple of months. She reports cognitive and motor slowness. Progressively, she no longer enjoys things she used to since about six months ago. She is able to maintain her full time job, and fulfills her responsibilities at home to her husband and seven-year-old daughter. Yet, she feels distant from her loved ones. Jessica tends to be reserved and laid-back. However, she feels her recent state is different from her usual self. She is reluctant to share her feelings with anyone, for the fear of being perceived as a liability at work or among her social networks.

2. Ahmed and Fatima are a middle-aged couple who immigrated to America from the Middle East more than two decades ago. Highly educated and professional, both have worked hard to realize their “American Dream.” They work in the same health care facility, helping people with chronic and complex medical issues, and are known for their kindness and empathy. Both, however, have lately been arguing about their teenage daughter. Ahmed, originally from a conservative family, objects to her clothing preferences. He also disapproves of her socializing freely with her male peers. He hopes to see her become an accomplished physician. His wife, however, disagrees with him and approves, by and large, of autonomy for her daughter. The issue has driven a wedge in their otherwise relatively peaceful marriage. The daughter, who used to be very close with her father, has become estranged from him and finds him narrow-minded and overly observant to cultural norms and gender roles, which are less relevant to her American upbringing.

3. Salina, 23, a Hispanic graduate student, experienced a traumatic event about eight months ago while walking back late at night from campus to her apartment. Although a good Samaritan intervened in a timely fashion to contain the impact of the trauma, Salina has been feeling increasingly vulnerable. She entered psychotherapy soon after the incident but didn’t find psychotherapy helpful. She is a good athlete and initially found working out therapeutic. A couple of weeks ago, when she read about a similar incident in the local newspaper, she started experiencing flashbacks. Currently she is experiencing distressing thoughts and becomes overwhelmed quite quickly. She has stopped her workout routine and tends to avoids social engagements.

4. Lee, 14 years old, from a Chinese cultural background, is a grade seven student. He is bright, curious and loves to explores a wide range of subjects. Lee generally enjoys a loving and caring relationship with his parents and younger sister. Lee is involved in a number of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. He likes his subjects, but when it comes to completing assignments, Lee struggles to start and stay focused. Lee wants to do every assignment perfectly and wants to get the best possible grade in his class. These expectations force Lee to work late nights. This causes friction between him and his mother, who believes in enforcing discipline.

5. Shantel, an Africa-American female in her mid-twenties, struggles to maintain relationships. She is known among her friends to be socially intelligent, smart and a loving person. Her relationships start out well but deteriorate soon afterwards. Partly this is due to her mood fluctuations which swing from intense elation to severe bouts of depression. Shantel is also known for coming up with innovative ideas and is able to focus intensely on these for a while, but most fall apart.

Competition Timeline:

  • March 10 – May 31, 2017: Submissions invited
  • May 31- June 15, 2017: Positive Clinical Psychology Division Executive Clinical Council will evaluate submissions and choose finalists
  • June 15, 2017: Finalists will be informed
  • July 2017: Five selected entries presented during Clinical Division’s Allocated programming

To Enter the Competition:

Email your proposed intervention in a .pdf or .doc format to by MAY 31, 2017. Please include your name and email address in the email and use the subject line “Intervention Competition.”


Who can participate?

We invite members of IPPA, including the Positive Clinical Psychology Division and other students and professional division members, as well as clinicians with expertise in other modalities but are interested in applying positive psychology. Members of IPPA’s Executive Committee and the Positive Clinical Psychology Division Executive Clinical Council are ineligible.

Who will judge the entries?

Members of the Executive Clinical Council will review all entries and through a blind review using a clearly defined rubric/criterion, will select top 3-5 entries.

 What are the evaluation criteria?

Submission will be evaluated on following five criteria

  1. Innovation; the approach is unique using positive psychology concepts
  2. Effectiveness or efficacy; includes specific outcomes
  3. Implementation; clear, step-by-step process to implement is explained)
  4. Adoption; can be adapted in various clinical and cultural contexts)
  5. Maintenance; carries the potential for long-term therapeutic impact)