What can the moon landings teach us about making our biggest dreams a reality?
What has the new science of positive psychology revealed about how human beings actualise their full potential?
Can an existential approach to life help you become more of who you are?
These are just some of the questions we’ll explore at The Weekend University this month. In this series of talks, we’ll discuss:
You’ll learn how these unique insights can help you actualise more of your potential, but also how to help others do the same.
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What is life for, existentially? We are born and then we die and our life task is to make something of the time in between with no way of knowing how long we have got.
In living towards an unknown future we are challenged daily with the paradox that while life will always be a mystery, it is this that makes life worth living.
So, what do we mean when we say that human beings develop, and what are the limits to human potential?
In the first part of this talk, Martin will look at what six existential philosophers, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Simone de Beauvoir have said about how we become who we are.
In the second part, he will draw out some common themes and relate these to everyday life and by implication, to therapeutic practice.
Martin Adams is an existential psychotherapist, lecturer, supervisor and writer.
He is a visiting lecturer at Regents University and the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling in London.
Martin is the author of several books, including: ‘A Concise Introduction to Existential Counselling’, ‘Skills in Existential Counselling and Psychotherapy’ which he co-authored with Emmy van Deurzen, and most recently: An Existential Approach to Human Development’, which was published by Palgrave in 2018.
He has contributed to Case Studies in Existential Therapy and to the Wiley World Handbook for Existential Therapy. In his spare time, he is also a sculptor.
Positive psychology, or the ‘science of optimal human functioning’ as it was originally termed by psychologists Dr Martin Seligman and Dr Mihalyi Cziskmihayli, emerged at the turn of this century as a focus of scientific research. Traditionally the field of psychology had predominantly studied how the mind worked and how it goes wrong i.e. the causes, cures and management of psychological dysfunction. Although this was important, it wasn’t the full picture. Relatively little research attention had been given to what enables human beings to both feel and function at their best and if and why that really matters.
In the last twenty years however, there has been an exponential increase in the publication of peer reviewed studies in this area. A growing evidence base is emerging that can help us understand how we can make the most of ourselves, live happy and fulfilling lives and enable our societies to flourish. In this talk, Vanessa King will provide an overview of some key concepts from positive psychology and some practical ways these can be applied to help you realise more of your potential, and also how to help others do the same.
Vanessa is an author, speaker and Board member of Action for Happiness, the leading UK-based not-for-profit that focuses on proactively building skills for psychological wellbeing and resilience. She leads the translation of psychological research into practical action for individuals, organisations and communities, as well as Action for Happiness’ consulting work with organisations.
She is one of a small group people globally to have completed a Masters degree in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, studying under Martin Seligman, Adam Grant, and Mihalyi Csikzentmihalyi.
She speaks internationally, and has given two TEDx talks as well as a Guardian Masterclass. Her work has been featured in the Sunday Telegraph, the Financial Times, the Sunday Express, and the Huffington Post.
Vanesa is the author of two books on positive psychology: The 10 Keys to Happier Living, and 50 Ways to Feel Happy. You can follow her on twitter @changespace
20th July 1969: Neil Armstrong becomes the first person to walk on the Moon. We all recognize this to be one of mankind’s greatest achievements. Yet what did it take to make John F. Kennedy’s dream a reality?
In this talk, Professor Richard Wiseman will present a pioneering study of the mindset that took humanity to the Moon, and show you how you can harness and use it to achieve the extraordinary in your everyday life. Through personal interviews, mission archives and cutting-edge psychology, you’ll learn the eight key principles that make up the Apollo Mindset, and discover a series of practical techniques that you can use to incorporate these winning principles into both your professional and personal life.
Whether you want to start a business venture, change careers, find your perfect partner, raise a loving family, get promoted, gain a new qualification, escape the rat race, or pursue a lifelong passion, these techniques will help you to reach your own Moon.
Professor Richard Wiseman is a psychologist, magician, author and Britain’s only professor for the Public Understanding of Psychology.
With an international reputation for his research into unusual areas including deception, luck, humour and the paranormal, he is the psychologist most frequently quoted by the British media and his research has been featured on over 150 television programmes.
Described by Scientific American Magazine as ‘one of the most innovative experimental psychologists in the world today’, Professor Wiseman has presented keynote addresses to organisations such as The Swiss Economic Forum, Google and Amazon.
He is the author of several bestselling books which have sold over 3 million copies worldwide and been translated into over 30 languages, including the ‘Luck Factor’, ‘59 seconds’, and most recently ‘Shoot for the Moon’. You can follow him on twitter @RichardWiseman
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