THE STRENGTH CLUSTERS™ VISUAL MAP STORY
The VIA Classification of Character Strengths and Virtues developed by
Dr. Christopher Peterson and Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman, constitute the backbone of the field of positive psychology. This seminal work provides us with an invaluable universal language for flourishing. The beauty and power of this common language for strengths is manifold. Most importantly, this invaluable language is universal and relatable across the different generational age groups from youth to adult.
Scientific research in positive psychology indicates that connecting with our character strengths has a significant impact on improved well-being, sense of empowerment, motivation, engagement and positively influences the dynamics of all of our relationships.
Inspired by our daughter's learning differences and the multitude of challenges we've faced as a family, I developed Strength Clusters® from an urge to find a way to connect with the language of character strengths beyond language-based approaches, and a need to learn to appreciate — to find and nurture what is best. The shift into an appreciative practice of life has been a central part of our healing journey.
To me, 'character strengths' is a language that speaks to the soul. To make the language of strengths accessible to the deepest part of ourselves, we need a different way to learn beyond paper, lists, numbers, graphs, and charts.
“The soul never thinks without a picture.” - Aristotle
To make deep learning possible, meaningful, and permanent, it is important to involve other domains such as body and emotion, as well as consider the diverse pathways to learning.
Howard Gardner in his book Multiple Intelligences explains that “Some students will learn from linguistic entry points, others from artistic or personal or logical entry points… Through multiple [learning] approaches, one activates different clusters of neural networks. To the extent that numerous neural networks are activated, and eventually connected, one obtains a solid and enduring mental representation of the topic in question.”
Strength Clusters® tools, through their innovative mapped representation and experiential approach, elevate the power of the VIA Classification and VIA Survey Results by providing a vibrant pathway to openness, connection, appreciation, understanding, and meaningful individual and group experience of strengths. The tools help make strengths and appreciation real, visible, and tangible.
By having a visual reference that reminds us of our unique strengths and others’ strengths graphically represented and visible, we can leverage and nurture the best in each other in a more consistent way. We can deepen a group’s culture of appreciation and contribute to creating dynamic environments in which all flourish together.
Giselle Marzo Segura
Founder & Creative Visionary
Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. New York: Oxford University Press and Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Gardner, Howard. (2006). Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons. New York: Basic.