The Science of a Meaningful Life
At school, we learn how to write and to calculate. From our parents we learn how to behave. But who teaches us how to live a meaningful life? And how can we find meaning in an era of scepticism and continuous stress from the economic ratrace? The first part of this lecture will describe ten key findings from scientific research about meaning in life. This will not only show the importance and feasibility of living a meaningful life, but will also show the importance of being sceptical towards our own lives. It will also be shown how clients can strongly benefit from meaning-centered therapies and practices.
The second part will put our quest for meaning in a wider social-historical context. This will show the uniqueness and challenges of how we live our lives. Specific attention will be given to the Capitalist Life Syndrome, which describes the psychological discomfort that individuals may experience in capitalist societies. This includes a focus on materialistic, hedonic and self-oriented types of meaning, a functionalistic approach to life, and a combination of both identifying with this capitalist lifestyle as well as feeling trapped and helpless, like the Stockholm syndrome. With the help of the scientific insights from the first part of the lecture, it will be shown how we can overcome this Capitalist Life Syndrome, and live a meaningful and satisfying life in our sceptic and capitalist era.
About the Speaker:
Dr Joel Vos
Dr Joel Vos (www.joelvos.com) is clinical psychologist, philosopher and director of the internet platform Meaning Online (www.meaningonline.org). He works as researcher and lecturer at The Metanoia Institute and the New School for Psychotherapy and Counselling in London. He is chair of the successful IMEC International Meaning Conferences London (www.meaning.org.uk) Joel has over 70 scientific publications, including the books ‘Meaning in life: an evidence-based handbook for practitioners’ (Palgrave McMillan) and ‘Fifty pictures of living a meaningful life’ (amazon.co.uk).