A Day on Emotional Intelligence - The Weekend University

Existentialism, Neuroscience & Emotional Intelligence: A full day of talks exploring the fascinating psychology of human emotions.

Does changing how you think about an emotion, change the way you feel it? How?

How can you use the latest research into the neuroscience of emotions to make better decisions about the big choices in life?

What happens, psychologically, when you suppress your emotions?

These are just some of the questions the speakers will explore at The Weekend University this month.

In this series of talks, we’ll discuss:

  • The Existential Meaning of Emotions; how to make connections between your sensations, feelings, thoughts, intuitions, and most deeply held values
  • The History of Human Emotions; how the stories you tell yourself about your emotions influences how you feel them, and how these stories are shaped not just by your personal circumstances, but by larger political, cultural and economic forces
  • The Neuroscience of Emotional Intelligence; the real nature and importance of emotions, what happens in the brain when you experience them, and how to let them guide you into making the best choices for you.

You’ll learn how these insights can benefit your own life, but also your ability to help others too.

Event Schedule

  • 10:00am – 12:00pm: The Existential Meaning of Emotions – Prof Emmy van Deurzen, PhD
  • 12:00 – 1:00pm: Lunch break
  • 1:00pm – 3:00pm: The History of Human Emotions – Dr Tiffany Watt Smith, PhD
  • 3:00pm – 3:15pm: Afternoon break
  • 3:15pm – 5:00pm: The Neuroscience of Emotional Intelligence – Dr Gabija Toleikyte, PhD
  • 5:20pm – 7:00pm: Attendee Social & Networking (Optional)

Full Day Pass: £42.50 + booking fee

Student Pass: £22.50 + booking fee


Sunday 26th May 2019

09:30 – 17:00 BST

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28/04/2019 09:30 AM
28/04/2019 5:00 PM
Birkbeck, University of London, London
The Weekend University – A Day on Emotional Intelligence

Birkbeck, University of London,
Malet Street, Bloomsbury,
London, WC1E 7HX

Lectures & Speakers

The Existential Meaning of Emotions – Professor Emmy van Deurzen, PhD

Our feelings are fundamental to the way in which we connect to the world and make sense of it. If we suppress our feelings, we become detached and disengaged with the values that make life interesting.

In this lecture, Existential Philosopher and Psychotherapist; Emmy van Deurzen, will present her Emotional Compass Model, discussing each emotion in some detail. The talk will include interactive exercises, where participants will have the opportunity to work on their own experiences, and to learn to make connections between their sensations, feelings, thoughts, intuitions, and most deeply held values.

Emmy van Deurzen is a philosopher, counselling psychologist and existential psychotherapist. She has founded and directed a number of training organizations and continues to be the Principal of the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling at the Existential Academy in London. She is a visiting professor with Middlesex University.

Amongst her 17 books are the bestsellers Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling in Practice (3d edition 2012), Psychotherapy and the Quest for Happiness (Sage, 2009) and Everyday Mysteries (2nd edition Routledge, 2010).

The second edition of Paradox and Passion in Psychotherapy appeared with Wiley in 2015. Her most recent publication is Existential Therapy: Distinctive Features, co-authored with Claire Arnold-Baker in 2018. This year will see the publication of the Wiley World Handbook for Existential Therapy, of which she is the Editor in Chief.

The History of Human Emotions – Dr Tiffany Watt Smith, PhD

How did people once die from ‘nostalgia’? Why were Victorians so nervous about boredom? And why did a self-help author in the 16th Century encourage his readers to practice feeling sad? We all know that the stories we tell ourselves about our emotions influences the way we feel. But what is less recognised, is the way those stories are shaped not just by our personal circumstances, but by larger political and cultural forces.

This lecture will explore the field of the history of human emotions, and how the values and ideas associated with emotions have changed – and continue to change, across time in response to new medical, political, religious, and even economic ideas.

You should leave the lecture with a deeper understanding of the relationship between language and feeling, and the tools to investigate the pervasive and often invisible cultural assumptions about why some emotions are ‘bad’ and others desirable.

Some questions we will think about:

  • Is it true that some emotions are more ‘basic’ than others?
  • Does how we think about an emotion actually change the way we feel it? How?
  • What influences our own emotional cultures today? How might medical theories or music trends, class or gender, shape the ways we feel?
  • What scripts do we follow when we feel disgust, anger, fear, surprise, happiness or sadness? How do these expectations change across different historical eras or event from place to place?

Dr Tiffany Watt Smith - The Weekend University

Tiffany Watt Smith is the author of The Book of Human Emotions, which tells the stories of 154 feelings from around the world. It has been published in 9 countries so far. She is currently a Wellcome Trust research fellow at the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary University of London, and she was educated at the Universities of Cambridge and London. Her most recent publication: Schadenfreude, explores the psychology of finding joy in another’s misfortune.

Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, the BBC News Magazine and The New Scientist. In 2014, she was named a BBC New Generation Thinker. In her previous career, she was a theatre director.

The Neuroscience of Emotional Intelligence – Dr Gabija Toleikyte, PhD

An emotional component is vital for our wellbeing and personal fulfilment, but feeling anxiety, stress or fear can ruin even the best experiences. We now know that the daily and life choices we make, from what food we eat, to whom we choose to date, or what jobs we take are largely affected by our emotions – no matter how rational we think we are. Stress is in our every day lives, however, it can become uncontrollable if not handled carefully, this is where someone may turn to a doctor to see about how they can combat this, they may prescribe them medical marijuana and give them the relative information such as – what to do with weed stems after use, so the patient has the best knowledge for this remedy. Medical marijuana is normally prescribed from a dispensary, so patients may have to visit their local one. Dispensaries normally grow their own marijuana. They tend to use commercial freeze dryers to make the marijuana last longer and to preserve the flower. Often, the best marijuana is from dispensaries as they are able to take their time and grow the product more effectively.

Emotions carry valuable information about our internal and external environment. And yet emotions are a topic we very rarely discuss or have much understanding of. The positive psychology movement has backfired in this area by teaching us to suppress unpleasant emotions and pump ourselves up with positive thoughts. Unfortunately, ‘positive thinking’ makes us even less aware of our true feelings about the events, with the result that we often make bad decisions, lose true happiness, and even become depressed.

In this talk, Dr Gabija Toleikyte will explain the real nature and importance of emotions, what happens in the brain when you experience them and how to let them guide you into making the best choices for you. Moreover, you will learn why we make very poor judgements under intense emotional states such as stress and anxiety, and how best to deal with these situations.

In this talk, you will learn:

  • Why do we have emotions?
  • Where in the brain are emotions created?
  • Why do strong emotions influence the way we think?
  • How can you best understand your emotions?
  • Why are emotions important in our decision making?
  • Practical tips on how to best manage emotions we don’t like.
Dr Gabija Toleikyte - The Weekend University

Dr Gabija Toleikyte is a neuroscientist and business coach. She completed her PhD at the University College London on the neuronal basis of memory and navigation. During her PhD, Gabija acquired a business coach qualification and worked as an internal coach at UCL for senior academics and administrative staff.

Combining coaching experience with neuroscience insights allows Gabija to develop unique seminars, where solid neuroscience research is presented in the context of the topics relevant for individuals and organisations.

What TWU attendees are saying:

    5 star review  What an intense and heartening day, Jan 28th at Birkbeck U venue. Despite being crowded (testiment to the desire for these events and the calibre) we were comfortable enough to be riveted by the material for hours. I appreciated the free coffee, because the day was long for those like me who come from outside the city. I look forward to the slides being sent to fill out my notes. Fellow audients were warm and attending for a variety of reasons, and are the second fab reason to be there for the day.

    Anne Perry Avatar Anne Perry
    January 29, 2018

    positive review  Today was my first time at the weekend University really enjoyed the lectures. It was very well organised...

    Tanaz Assefi Avatar Tanaz Assefi
    March 31, 2019

    positive review  I was a bit worried about doing a whole day online but should not have had any concerns. I really can recommend The Weekend University. This particular day was brilliant and the speakers sublime. Niall is great at organising. I did have a few technical issues which related entirely from my end, but which I worked through successfully. We have the worst broadband provision in the country so if it worked for me I am sure it will work well everywhere else.

    Pascale Atkins Avatar Pascale Atkins
    April 27, 2020
TWU 100% Money Back Guarantee

The Weekend University seeks to guarantee an excellent learning experience. If you are not fully satisfied with the day, you will receive 100% of your money back, and we will cover the cost of your travel to and from the venue.


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