We are living in unprecedented times.
COVID-19 has plunged us into the depths of a global crisis, the likes of which we haven’t seen since World War Two.
Almost overnight, we’ve been thrown into social isolation, lost loved ones, experienced redundancies, and had some of our most basic freedoms taken away. Every aspect of our lives has changed and we must do things entirely differently from how we did things before. For example, you may need to use PPE for simple day-to-day activities such as food shopping or queuing outside the bank. You have to maintain two metres distance from every single person you encounter whilst walking down the street. It is illegal to pop into your neighbours garden to chat about your weekend plans, and it is illegal to see friends, family and partners unless you live with them. You cannot travel more than five miles from your house and you can’t go to work unless you are an essential worker. Schools and universities are closed. Personal care is banned. Holidays are banned. All forms of socialising are banned. All of this is contributing to a kind of ‘collective trauma’, which is affecting our mental health and wellbeing on a planetary scale. Even after things “return to normal”, whatever that will be, many people will still feel lingering trauma. This is why little things, like using A sample Return to work memo, to help encourage people to return to the office could make a huge difference. Slowly introducing the social aspects of working while reassuring any fears about the dangers of the virus will help workers feel safer and less traumatized when they begin to work in close proximity once again. However, this could still be a long way off.
As we adjust to our ‘new normal’, research is showing that rates of depression, anxiety and suicide are on the rise – particularly among vulnerable groups.
What can we do about this?
How can we best heal from the collective trauma we are all experiencing? And might it be possible to emerge from the crisis stronger than we were before it began?
These are just some of the questions the speakers will discuss at The Weekend University this month.
In this series of talks, we’ll explore:
You’ll learn how these insights can improve your own psychological wellbeing in times of crisis, and also how they can be applied to help others do the same.
What can you do when you carry scars not on your body, but within your soul? And what happens when those spiritual wounds exist not just in you, but in everyone in your life? Whether or not we have experienced personal trauma, we are all – in very real ways – impacted by the legacy of familial and cultural suffering. Recent research has shown that trauma affects groups just as acutely as it does individuals; it bridges families, generations, communities, and borders.
However, just as trauma can be integrated and healed for a single person, groups large and small can also find recovery. In this session, world-renowned spiritual teacher Thomas Hübl will present a hopeful road map to mending the mind, body, and soul from the collective trauma caused by COVID-19 and how it activates much deeper wounds in our collective. You’ll learn about the most recent science of trauma and the principles of Hübl’s Collective Trauma Integration Process (CTIP), a protocol he has facilitated for groups in the US, Germany, Israel, and elsewhere.
Thomas Hübl is a renowned teacher, author, and international facilitator whose lifelong work integrates the core insights of the great wisdom traditions and mysticism with the discoveries of science. Since the early 2000s, he has been facilitating large-scale events and courses that focus on the healing and integration of trauma, with a special focus on the shared history of Israelis and Germans. Over the last decade, he has facilitated dialogue with thousands of people around healing the collective traumas of racism, oppression, colonialism, genocides in the U.S., Israel, Germany, Spain, and Argentina. He is the author of the book Healing Collective Trauma: A Process for Integrating Our Intergenerational and Cultural Wounds, available at www.CollectiveTraumaBook.com. His non-profit organization, the Pocket Project, works to support the healing of collective trauma throughout the world.
Books and Articles:
In this session, Dr Joel Vos will explore how the novel coronavirus is giving rise to a new order in our personal lives, societies and politics. Rooted in systematic research on COVID-19 and previous pandemics, he will describe how people perceive and respond to COVID-19, and how it has impacted a broad range of domains, including lifestyle, politics, science, mental health, media, and meaning in life. Of course, the pademinc has caused many people to loose their jobs and income. Life must be extremely difficult for those who are struggling financially. However, they could always consider trying to make more money for themselves by reading this Bitcoin System review to try and make some money on Bitcoin. That could help some people to get more money through these difficult times.
Building on this, the focus shifts to setting out how we could improve our psychological and social resilience during COVID-19 and future pandemics
Dr Joel Vos PhD CPsychol is a psychologist, philosopher, researcher, public speaker and existential therapist. He is Senior Researcher at the Metanoia Institute, Research Coordinator at the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling, and Chair of the IMEC International Meaning Conferences. During the pandemic he has been running the weekly support group MentalHealth4All, and has conducted research on the psychology of COVID-19.
His most recent book is ‘The psychology of COVID-19: building resilience for future pandemics’ (SAGE Swift, December 2020). Previous books include ‘The economics of Meaning in Life’ (University Professors Press), ‘Mental health in crisis’ (SAGE Swift) and ‘Meaning in Life’ (Palgrave McMillan, 2019).
For many, facing the existential threat of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic has been a shared traumatic experience – a kind of collective trauma. What exactly is collective trauma, what are the different kinds, and what effects do they have on us? How can they impact our beliefs and narratives, and how do posttraumatic narratives and beliefs perpetuate collective trauma going forward? How might we instead be able to utilize this period as a time of emotional and social enrichment, even while we may be experiencing anger and grief? Synthesizing both academic research on trauma and lessons from indigenous teachers, Sousan will be sharing a concrete framework for developing capacities that will not only allow us to heal but create new potentialities for ourselves and our communities going forward.
Dr. Sousan Abadian earned a Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University, an M.P.A. in International Development from Harvard’s Kennedy School, and an M.A. in the Anthropology of Social Change and Development, also from Harvard University. Her earlier research on healing the effects of long-standing collective trauma and cultural damage, a key contributing factor in violence and impoverishment, was described by Nobel laureate in economics Amartya Sen as “pioneering” and “highly original.” She now has an independent practice teaching, speaking, and consulting internationally on leadership, innovation, culture change, and her A.R.I.A. principles.
She builds on her earlier work at Cambridge Leadership Associates facilitating workshops and speaking on Adaptive Leadership. Between June 2017-June 2019, Dr. Abadian served as a Franklin Fellow at the U.S. State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Her portfolio included preventing violent extremism, rights of religious minorities in the Middle East and South Asia, gender issues, atrocity prevention, and cultural restoration. She has also served as a Fellow at M.I.T.’s Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values as well as at Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership. More information can be found at www.sousanabadian.com
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