Romi Kaufman is a consultant psychologist with specialist experience in positive psychology, young person mental health, development and engagement, and organisational leadership. She is one of the few qualified leading experts in Australia able to practice Applied Positive Psychology, having trained with the discipline’s founder, the University of Pennsylvania’s Professor Martin Seligman, in 2008.
She has been an invited speaker and workshop presenter in various forums, including the 4th International World Congress on Positive Psychology (2015); 4th Australian Positive Psychology & Wellbeing Conference (2014); the Melbourne Forum Series – Kids in the City (2009); the Teaching Health & Wellbeing conference (2008); the National Youth Affairs Conference (2007); and the 5th Australian & New Zealand Adolescent Health Conference (2006); and has been interviewed on ABC radio as an expert in youth happiness (2010). At the request of the Commonwealth Secretariat, her Positive Psychology Training & Consultancy Program was published and presented as an example of innovative practice at the 8th Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting in Papua New Guinea (March 2013).
Romi’s experience with youth focused organisations spans over 14 years. Her most notable role was that of Senior Psychologist & Head of Wellbeing (Clinical Care & Wellbeing) at the Reach Foundation. Over eight years in this role, Romi built and led the team of 17 psychologists and social workers responsible for the mental health and wellbeing of 60,000 young people and 5,000 adults participating in school and community based programs each year. She facilitated workshops, created an organisation wide SafetyNet program enabling national expansion, supported workers and programs, and worked with numerous Australian schools and youth organisations, providing secondary clinical consultation and training in youth engagement. As a key member of the Reach leadership team, she also managed collaborative projects between Reach and the University of Pennsylvania Master of Positive Psychology Program. These projects enhanced the integration of positive psychology principles and approaches across Reach programs and organisational culture.
Romi’s skills as expert in positive psychology and young people have since been sought out by a number of educational settings. She has taught the Health Enhancement Program at Monash University; has trained all of the Principals, Assistant Principals and leading teachers of each school in the Southern Melbourne Education Network (DEECD SaGE network) in the application of positive psychology to education settings; has trained all staff at Swinburne Senior Secondary School, Bialik College and the Aurora Project; has consulted to Carey Grammar, Melbourne CityMission, The Tribe and Just BU; and advised Geelong Grammar School, Anglican Church Grammar School, Teach for Australia, the Lighthouse Foundation, and Jewish Aid Australia.
In 2010, she co-facilitated the APS Positive Psychology retreat for early career psychologists. In 2011, at the request of the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) Romi co-created with the Black Dog Institute and the University of New South Wales a world first online positive psychology program, BITE BACK, designed to enhance wellbeing in young people. Her publication on this program was presented at the 25th Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland (May 2013). In 2012 she co-created the teachers manual for Smiling Mind, a free web and app-based mindfulness meditation program for young people.
Throughout 2013, she worked with Malvern Central School, creating the first whole school positive education program in a Victorian government school, applying the principles of positive psychology to school staff, students and their parents.
Romi also works in private practice, providing short to long-term therapy. She is a full member of the Australian Psychological Society (MAPS) and the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA).
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