Student Story -Teaching Hope & Optimism

11 Jul 2019
ICEPE Europe
Category:Wellbeing and Resilience
Student Story -Teaching Hope & Optimism

Siobhan Connolly- Hogan is a previous student who completed the ‘Teaching Hope and Optimism’ course with us in 2011. She was inspired to return to her MSc in Applied Positive Psychology as a result of studying with us and has gone on to have a glittering career in positive psychology. You can read about her experience with ICEP Europe below:

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About ten years ago I discovered the science of Positive Psychology and immediately I was fascinated by the interventions and lessons. The ICEP ‘Teaching Hope & Optimism’ course was the first positive psychology course I took. I remember being nervous about doing an online course, especially as my computer skills were not up to scratch, but I am so glad I overcame my fears and took on what I then saw as a challenge. I loved the course and I loved the effect it had on my students even more. I felt my wellbeing improved as did that of my students in my SPHE (Social Personal and Health Education) class. I truly believe they benefited so much from my learning. 

The course has a lovely balance of information, practical advice and steps one could take to improve ones own happiness. I would consider myself a slow reader, but I did feel the time-frame was adequate and I enjoyed the course work and the interaction with the other students. The support from tutors was efficient and encouraging. 

Little changes in attitudes and mindset made huge differences. This course was the first stepping-stone for me to decide to take the plunge and return to college to study this subject in-depth. I am currently half-way through my Masters in Applied Positive Psychology, which I am loving.


I would highly recommend anyone interested in improving their own and their students’ happiness to do this course.If it only makes a few small changes in your life it is worth it.

After the course I was inspired and being so eager to share my knowledge, I set up ‘Sona’ in the hope of inspiring real life positivity. ‘Sona’ is the Irish word for happy and it is pronounced Sun- A . The sun symbolic of positivity and warmth. The ‘A’ representing being at ones best and bringing your ‘A game’. As well as doing my Masters I am also developing a range of resources for schools with the first being sets of Random Acts of Kindness cards that I have been sending out to schools this year. I am loving this learning journey and feel very blessed to be having the opportunity to take a career break to fulfill this dream.


My mission is to thrive and flourish and help others to do the same.


I am developing and facilitating wellbeing courses and I am very interested in helping people deal with their inner critic, fear or whatever holds them back.” 1 image


You can find Siobhan’s motivational pages on both Facebook and Instagram at the following links:


Facebook page: 





Enrolments are now open for our Teaching Hope & Optimism course and you can book your place on the course by clicking the ‘Enrol Now’ button at the top of this page. For more information on this course or any of our other courses please email Ellen at  

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