A Day on Resilience - The Weekend University

Learn how to improve psychological wellbeing during times of crisis.

We’re at a pivotal moment in human history.

As a global community, we’re about to enter one of our most challenging periods since World War Two.

The economy has halted, schools have shut, and there is widespread panic, fear, and uncertainty.

Not only that, but the nature of what we’re going through also requires that we distance ourselves from our fellow human beings. When people do go outside, it is important that they take extra precautions to prevent spreading or catching the virus. By wearing an earloop procedure face mask, people can reduce their chances of inhaling these airborne particles and catching COVID-19. However, people should only be leaving their homes for essential things. Others should be staying at home if possible to limit the number of people out and about. Those that are going to be frequenting their workplace should be using disposable gloves to help reduce the spread of bacteria and germs.

With the distancing ourselves from our fellow human beings and the closure of schools, many of us have turned to technology and virtual interaction. We are all looking for back to work solutions, to keep everyone going and the world spinning. Without some sense of normalcy, much would end up falling besides the wayside after all. Thankfully we live in a technological age. With the use of high-quality video chat api from companies like Agora.io, schools have turned their teaching through a screen and family members have been keeping in touch while being kept apart. This is somewhat comforting to many, but can also be distressing.

Arguably, COVID-19 is going to affect us psychologically, as much as it does physically.

And to get through it (both individually and collectively), it’s going to require heightened levels of self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and mental strength.

So, in this online conference, we’ll explore three evidence-based approaches to help you become more resilient during times of crisis.

You’ll learn:

  • Acceptance & Commitment Therapy; how to use ACT to improve your psychological wellbeing during difficult times – Shamash Alidina
  • Existential Approaches to Crisis; how to apply existential ideas to thrive during your darkest hour – Professor Emmy van Deurzen
  • Using CBT & Stoic Philosophy to Overcome Adversity; how to combine ancient wisdom with modern scientific research to help you use adversity to your advantage– Jules Evans

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

Event Schedule:

  • 10:00am – 12:00pm: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – Shamash Alidina
  • 12:00 – 1:00pm: Lunch break
  • 1:00pm – 3:00pm: Existential Approaches to Crisis – Professor Emmy van Deurzen
  • 3:00pm – 3:30pm: Afternoon break
  • 3:30pm – 5:00pm: CBT, Stoic Philosophy & Overcoming Adversity – Jules Evans
  • 5:20pm – 7:00pm: Attendee Social & Networking (Optional)

Full Day Pass: £38.25 + VAT + booking fee

Student Pass: £20.25 + VAT + booking fee


Sunday 26th April 2020

09:30 – 17:00 BST

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04/26/2020 09:30 AM
04/26/2020 5:00 PM
Online Video Conference
The Weekend University – A Day On Resilience

Online video conference

Lectures & Speakers

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – Shamash Alidina

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or Training (ACT) is designed to help you live a rich, full and meaningful life. The approach is highly evidence-based, with early studies going back 40 years. ACT is particularly well suited for our currently global challenge, as it often states ‘we hurt where we care’. And the hurt many of us are experiencing is because we do care about health, connection and our way of living.

In this talk and workshop, I’ll offer an introduction to ACT, how it was developed, and why increasing psychological flexibility, the main aim of ACT, is arguably the most well-researched measure of resilience and wellbeing in all of psychology. You’ll discover the six core flexibility skills, the evidence-base of ACT and how to develop those six skills to be clearer about your values and take action on them, using mindfulness, compassion, acceptance, and even tuning into your transcendent self, to flourish and stay psychologically flexible in these challenging times.

Reading Recommendations:

  • Get out of your mind and into your life – Steven Hayes
  • The Happiness Trap – Dr Russ Harris
  • A Liberated Mind – Steven Hayes
Shamash Alidina - The Weekend University

Shamash is one of the UK’s leading professional mindfulness teachers. He is the international bestselling author of Mindfulness For Dummies and The Mindful Way through Stress. He is the co-founder the world’s first Museum of Happiness in London, and more recently, Shamash has been training practitioners in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

This cutting edge approach skilfully combines acceptance, flexible mindfulness, values and commited action to help people live a rich and meaningful life. His work has been featured in numerous newspapers, magazines, television and radio shows all over the world. You can learn more at www.shamashalidina.com.

Existential Approaches to Crisis – Professor Emmy van Deurzen

An existential crisis is a situation in which our entire existence and everything we used to take for granted is in the balance, so that we feel insecure and threatened. This affects all dimensions of life, at the physical, social, personal and spiritual levels. It means that our bodies are challenged, our relationships are changed, our sense of our self is altered, and our beliefs and values are shaken up. For most people this is a very difficult experience to encompass as it leads to a total revolution of our established patterns, routines and habits. It always involves a lot of loss and therefore leads to feelings of bereavement and sorrow as well as to experiences of confusion, fear, anger, doubt and panic.

In this presentation we shall consider how existential philosophers and therapists are able to make sense of such situations, be they caused by politics, society, personal choices or natural catastrophes. We shall explore the relationship between the shattering of our most reliable connections to the world and the loss of meaning. Then we shall consider how we can rise to such limit situations and personal challenges, finding ways to thrive instead of being destroyed by radical change, transforming and transcending our previous existence.

Reading Recommendations:

  • Deurzen, E. van with Craig, E., Schneider K. Längle, A., Tantam, D. and du Plock, S. (2019) Wiley World Handbook for Existential Therapy, London: Wiley.
  • Deurzen, E. van and Arnold-Baker, C (2018) Existential Therapy: Distinctive Features, London: Routledge.
  • Deurzen, E. van and Adams, M. (2016) Skills in Existential Counselling and Psychotherapy, second edition, London: Sage. [2011]
  • Deurzen, E. van (2015) Paradox and Passion in Psychotherapy, second edition, London: Wiley [1998]
  • Deurzen, E. van and Iacovou, S. (2013) Existential Perspectives on Relationship Therapy, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Deurzen, E. van (2012) Existential Counselling and Psychotherapy in Practice, third edition, London: Sage [1988]
  • Deurzen, E. van and Hanaway, M. (2012) Existential Perspectives on Coaching, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Deurzen, E. van (2010) Everyday Mysteries: A Handbook of Existential Psychotherapy, second edition, London: Routledge. [1997]
  • Deurzen, E. van (2009) Psychotherapy and the Quest for Happiness, London: Sage.
  • Deurzen, E. van and Arnold-Baker, C. (2005) Existential Perspectives on Human Issues, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Emmy van Deurzen - The Weekend University

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). She is currently completing her eighteenth book, entitled Rising from Existential Crisis for PCCS books. Follow Emmy on Twitter @emmyzen.

Using CBT and Stoic Philosophy to Overcome Adversity – Jules Evans

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is perhaps the most evidence-based therapy for emotional problems. It was directly inspired by Stoicism, an ancient Greek and Roman philosophy which teaches people how to take care of their minds and souls. In this talk, Philosopher Jules Evans will look at practical methods from Stoicism and CBT to help cope with adversity and find resilience even in emergencies.

Reading Recommendations:

  • Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations – Jules Evans

Jules Evans is Policy Director at the Centre for the History of Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London and a leading researcher into ecstatic experience. He also runs the world’s biggest philosophy club, the London Philosophy Club, which has over 6,000 members.

Jules’ first book, Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations was published in 19 countries and was selected by Matthew Syed as a Times Book of the Year. He has written for The Times, Financial Times, Guardian, Spectator and WIRED and is a BBC New Generation Thinker. You can keep up to date with Jules’ work on his website: www.philosophyforlife.org.

What TWU attendees are saying:

    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  My first time at the Weekend University on their day of Wellbeing a fantastic event. Excellent venue, thought provoking speakers, interesting topics, really well organised, communication, support material a 5 star rating.

    Viryapushpa Nolan Avatar Viryapushpa Nolan
    April 30, 2019

    positive review  A great mix of speakers - superb experience and learnt a lot! Really creative learning! Sue de Botton

    Sue de Botton Avatar Sue de Botton
    March 25, 2018
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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.