Dan's passion is Positive Psychology. While traditional psychology focuses on our weaknesses, positive psychology focuses on our strengths, cultivating our best selves so we can lead meaningful and fulfilling lives. This is the science of happiness.
Dan is a highly sought-after international speaker on topics including positive psychology, positive education, and positive psychotherapy.
He is part of the core faculty for the Spirituality Mind Body Institute (SMBI) at Teachers College, Columbia University, and holds a PhD in psychology, an MFA in writing, and is the first licensed psychologist and psycho-dramatist to graduate from the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012. He now serves as an assistant instructor for Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, at UPenn for the MAPP program. He is also developer of the Dare to Be Happy experiential workshops for the Kripalu Center, and is also director of the New York City Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center.
Photo credit: Nono Judit Sipos | Nonoartphotography
Dan writes for Psychology Today as an expert on group therapy (The Healing Crowd) and authors the daily column Ask the Therapist for PsychCentral.com and their Proof Positive blog on practical applications of positive psychology. Honored by Sharecare* as one of the top ten online influencers on the topic of depression, he joined the staff of Answers.com as their depression expert and writes for their organization.
He is the creator of Interactive-Behavioral Therapy, the most widely used form of group therapy for people with intellectual and psychiatric disabilities. His last book Confessions of a Former Child: A Therapist’s Memoir was the winner of the 2009 Written Arts Award in Creative Nonfiction, and his latest book American Snake Pit, a memoir about his involvement in deinstitutionalizing the residents of Willowbrook, was recently published by Stillhouse Press in 2018. His screenplay for American Snake Pithas won 30 awards at several international film festivals since June 2017.
Dan is certified as a trainer, educator, and practitioner by the American Board of Examiners in psychodrama, sociometry, and group psychotherapy. He is the 2017 winner of the International Positive Psychology Association’s Avant-Garde Clinical Intervention competition for the Virtual Gratitude Visit (VGV) and and their 2019 winner of the case study competition for his research using psycho-dramatic methods to deliver positive interventions.
*Sharecare is online health and wellness site launched in 2010 by Jeff Arnold, founder of WebMD, and Emmy-award winner Dr. Mehmet Oz, in partnership with Harpo Studios, Sony Pictures Television and Discovery Communications.