Talks

Lecturers, workshops & training

Joel is frequently invited as speaker by mental health services, universities, political , debate, religious and spiritual groups. Please contact him to speak! Below is a selection of previous lectures.

 

General audience

Societal topics

Introduction to the economics of meaning in life

Format: lecture

Duration: 1-2 hours

Aim: This lecture will describe the history of economics, from the perspective of meaning in life. Some economists have claimed that economics is neutral-free, but academic research of their texts show the opposite: all economists describe explicitly or implicitly how people should live their lives. Instead of hiding these meanings, this lecture will make these meanings transparent and will show how economics and politics can become more democratic when these meanings can be explicitly debated instead of hidden.

Method:  A lecture with powerpoint, interaction with audience, brief exercises for the audience

Text: This lecture will be based on the book Vos, J. (2018). The Capitalist Life Syndrome: scientific foundations to living a meaningful life in a meaningless system. [tbp]

 

– The Capitalist Life Syndrome: why people are unhappy in wealthy societies

Format: Interactive lecture/workshop

Duration: 1 to 4 hours (can be combined with other lectures and workshops, such as introduction to the economics of meaning in life)

Aim: This lecture will describe the Capitalist Life Syndrome: what is it, how it has been caused, and how it could be solved. Scientific research indicates that approximately one in two individuals suffer from the Capitalist Life Syndrome, which describes the psychological discomfort that individuals may experience in capitalist societies. This includes a focus on superficial types of meaning in life, a functionalistic approach to life instead of engaging in the flow of life, and a combination of both identifying with this capitalist life as well as feeling trapped and helpless.

Method:  A lecture with powerpoint, interaction with audience, several exercises for the audience

Text: This lecture will be based on the book Vos, J. (2018). The Capitalist Life Syndrome: scientific foundations to living a meaningful life in a meaningless system. [tbp]

 

– Surviving capitalism: how to live a meaningful life in a meaningless system

Format: workshop

Duration: 3 hours / 6 hours / 9 hours / 12 hours. This could be combined with other lectures.

Aim: This workshop will help the participants to understand the psychological challenges of living in a capitalist society, and how these could be overcome. The focus is on developing skills to live a meaningful life despite the influences of the expectations from others, and despite difficult life situations such as unemployment, housing problems or discrimination.

Method: Theory didactics, group discussions, self-reflective questions, exercises about      mindfulness and feelings, one-to-one discussions

Text: This lecture will be based on the book Vos, J. (2018). The Capitalist Life Syndrome: scientific foundations to living a meaningful life in a meaningless system. [tbp]

 

– Britain’s mental health crisis: what caused it and how could it be solved

Format: interactive lecture

Duration: 1 to 4 hours

Aim: This lecture will give an overview of the mental health problems in the United Kingdom. More than one in two individuals will experience mental health problems during their lifetime; never has any country in history had such a large number of individuals with mental health problems. This lecture will explain what has caused this large scale mental health crisis, and how the mental health system has only been able to partially address these problems. Several possible solutions will be recommended.

Method: Lecture with power point, group discussion

Text: This lecture will be based on our book Vos, J, Robert, R. & Davies, J. Britain’s mental health crisis & beyond [tbp]

 

How it is like to be an immigrant in the 21st century: an existential perspective on immigration

Format: interactive lecture

Alternative format: this could be combined with a workshop on how to live a meaningful life as an immigrant

Duration: 1-4 hours

Aim: This lecture will explain the impact of emigration on the lives of immigrants, and how they can build a new live in a new country. Immigration is often regarded as an economic endeavour, but academic research shows that it is much more than that: it changes everything in life for the immigrant. How can immigrants cope with these changes in life, and how can they build a new meaningful life? How can these life changes cause problems in integrating in the new country? Research shows that religion helps immigrants to integrate in the new country, but some individuals cannot cope with their life changes and are attracted to religious radicalisation and possibly even terrorism. How could immigrants be supported in building a new meaningful life? How could religious radicalisation be prevented? What is the influence from Brexit and Trump on the lives of immigrants?

Method: Interactive lecture with powerpoint and group discussions

Text: This lecture will be based on the multiple awarded book in Dutch Vos, J (2006). Het migrant-zijn van de immigrant. Leiden University. Leo Polak Awards for the best research on the humanisation of society. 

 

– Will the wold never be the same anymore? How to live in a time of terror.

Format: workshop

Duration: 1-4 hours

Aim: This workshop will help the participants understand how news about terror influences their lives and how they could cope with this. This workshop will consists of an introduction into psychological research on how people cope with terror, and with a specific focus on the Terror Management Theory. These brief didactics will be followed by exercises to identify how terror explicitly or implicitly influences the lives of the participants, and how they could in a meaningful way with these influences.

Method: theoretical introduction, group discussion, individual self-reflective exercises, one-to-one discussions

Text: This lecture will be based on the awarded essay and newspaper article in Dutch: Vos, J. (2002). De wereld zal nooit meer zijn zoals die was. 

 

– Psycho-anarchism: how to create mentally healthy politics

Format: lecture

Duration: 1-3 hours

Aim: This lecture will explain how a mentally healthy politics could be created. Politicians often seem to be driven by economic motivations in their decisions. How would it look like if politicians would make decisions from the perspective of helping people to live a meaningful and satisfying life, while realistically taking into account their psychological make-up and  socio-economic life situation? This political aim could be described with the new term ‘psycho-anarchism’, where the term ‘anarchism’ refers to the individual freedom and ‘psycho’ to the psychological capability of citizens to live a meaningful and satisfying life in the complex societal system. This lecture will describe how different political approaches address the (lack of) capability of citizens to live their life to the fullest, and where they do not seem sufficient. On the basis of scientific research, suggestions will be provided how individuals could be supported by politicians to live a meaningful life.

Method: interactive lecture, group discussions

Text: This lecture will be based on the text on Psycho-anarchism, written by Dr Joel Vos on ActivistWiki.net

 

– How music has revolutionised society: a history of the role of music in social revolutions

Format: lecture, and listening to music

Duration: 1-3 hours

Aim: Societal change has always gone hand in hand with specific music styles. For example, the American Civil Rights Movement was accompanied by soul and blues, the anti-nazi movement in the UK by punk and reggae during the period of Rock Against Racism, and the recent uprisings in the Middle East were accompanied by rebellious music. This lecture will describe examples, and will particularly focus on the role that punk can have in the currently divided politics in the West and in the social movements in South-East Asia.

Method: lecture, listening to music, group discussion

 

– Creating the foundations: how to start a new company or volunteer group

Format: workshop

Duration: 2-4 hours

Aim: Many people have good ideas about starting a new company, volunteer group, political group, etc. Few individuals succeed in realising their ideas. This is often due to having not developed solid foundations for the new initiative. This workshop will help individuals lay the foundations for their company or group. The focus will be on identifying the meaning or purpose. The result of the workshop will be the draft formulation of a foundation document, which will include all the important decisions needed for a successful group.

Method: brief theoretical introduction, individual exercises, one-to-one discussions

Text: This workshop will be based on the evidence-based Foundation Document (© Vos, 2015), which will be handed out in the workshop. A summary of this Foundation Document has been published on ActivistWiki.net

 

– How to lead groups and deal with difficult group dynamics

Format: interactive lecture / workshop

Alternative format: workshop

Duration: 1 hour – 6 hours

Aim: Groups and communities are great to develop a sense of connection and belonging, help each other and create a synergy from which all will benefit. However, the dynamics of groups can be difficult to handle, and constructive group processes can be blocked by negative group processes. This interactive lecture and workshop will introduce core concepts of group dynamics and how to lead difficult groups. This workshop is particularly relevant for volunteer groups, political activists, religious communities, etc. The workshop leader is a trained group therapist with thousands of hours of experience in leading therapy groups. The leader has been consultant on group dynamics for several NGO’s and large companies (names available upon request). This session can be tailored to the unique needs of participants.

Method: theoretical introduction, individual exercises, one-to-one discussions

 

– How to build meaningful political activist groups and prevent activist burnout

Format: interactive lecture and workshop

Alternative format: combine with workshop/lecture on group dynamics and with the foundation document

Duration: 1 – 7 hours

Aim: Positive societal change is often led by groups of political activists. However, creating effective activist groups and building a larger social movement is difficult, particularly because these groups consist of volunteers with different motivations and little experience in creating pluralistic groups. Political groups on the left often either fail due to a lack of structure and leadership, or due to a rigid top-down structure which is inconsistent with the left values of most left groups. This lecture will focus on the diversity of meanings that political activism has for different individuals, and how all these different motivations can be given the space to flourish in a pragmatic pluralistic organisation structure and group dynamics. That is, individuals can become activist because of a range of reasons: materialistic gains, fun, boosting self-esteem and control, social belonging, altruism, higher purposes such as creating a more just world, and religious or spiritual purposes. The organisation structure needs to enable individuals to realise the meaning that activism has for them, and set and realise both realistic and larger goals. Only when individuals can follow their own meanings, burnout can be prevented. Social movements will also only grow when activists are able to tap into the wide variety of reasons why non-activists would support the aims of this activist group. This lecture and workshop is based on empirical research on political activist groups and the creation of social movements.

Method: theoretical introduction, individual exercises, one-to-one discussions

Text: Vos, J. (2016). The meaning of activism. On: activistwiki.net

 

Philosophical topics

– A brief world history of meaning in life

Format: lecture

Alternative format: combine with a lecture on the Capitalist Life Syndrome

Duration: 1-2 hours

Aim: It is a common myth that individuals in all times and cultures have asked questions about meaning in life. The individual quest for meaning in western countries started at the end of the Middle Ages. How Before this, individuals were allocated their place in the social-cosmic-divine order that they felt they were living in. Of course, there have always been sceptical individuals but usually these were only a small privileged elite. The wide-spread scepticism from the Protestant Reformation and the increase of material wealth enabled individuals to ask questions about their own life. The individual quest for meaning was a political act against the societal system in which clergy and nobles rules the lives of ordinary citizens. Some individuals radicalised in their scepticism and felt unable to combine scepticism with a personal quest for meaning, as was stimulated by Romanticism. In the 20th century, the sceptical attitude towards meaning further radicalised, and meaning is often approached in a functionalistic manner and has become the primary focus of manipulation by governments and companies. In non-western cultures and religions, meaning is approached in non-functionalistic manners, for instance via meditation and sacred acts. Examples will be provided from different cultures and religions, such as Hinduism, Aztecs, tribes in Southeast-Asia, and local communities in East-Africa. This lecture will show how there are multiple ways to live a meaningful life, and how meaning manipulation can be avoided.

Method: interactive lecture with some individual experiential exercises

Text: Vos, J (2017). Meaning in life: an evidence-based handbook for practitioners. Palgrave McMillan.

 

– Meaning in life for sceptics: meaningful philosophy and science

Format: lecture

Alternative format: workshop; combine with other lectures

Duration: 2 – 6 hours

Aim: This lecture will describe how meaning in life and scepticism can go hand in hand. This will be called a ‘dual attitude’. It will be described how it is possible and mentally healthy to develop such a dual attitude. This lecture will use scientific research to help the audience discover how they can live a meaningful and satisfying life, despite the challenges that they may be facing in life. This lecture shares ten scientifically proven instruments to help them discover their personal meanings. At school, we learn how to write and to calculate. From our parents we learn how to behave. However, nobody teaches us how to live a meaningful and satisfying life. Some individuals may search for guidance from spiritual or philosophical meaning gurus. Others may follow the adverts and buy nice experiences, such as the latest phone or an exciting holiday; these McMeanings may give a quick sense of satisfaction but not a deep sense of meaningfulness. This self-help lecture offers a different approach, in line with the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who suggested that we should become a joyful scientist of our own life. We can use knowledge from academic research to explore how we can live a meaningful life, and to experiment with meaningful changes in our own life. The introduction will describe how a scientific mindset can help individuals to live a more meaningful life, without needing meaning gurus or McMeanings. Meaning will be described as a psychological experience which includes motivation, values, understanding of your place in the world, goal management, self-worth, commitment and existential skills. The core of the lecture is formed by a description and exercises with the meaning sextet. That is, scientific research in over 45.000 individuals world-wide have shown that individuals find meaning in these six types of meanings: materialistic, hedonistic, self-oriented, social, higher and philosophical meanings.

Method: lecture with exercises

Text: Vos, J (2017). Meaning in life: an evidence-based handbook for practitioners. Palgrave McMillan.

 

– Meaning in life in fifty pictures

Format: lecture with pieces of art presented via powerpoint

Duration: 1-3 hours

Aim: This lecture will introduce the science of meaning life and how individuals can live a meaningful life, via showing 50 pictures made by the presenter. Each of the pictures will have a brief description and some individual exercises and sharing in dyads will happen.

Method: lecture with powerpoint, individual exercises, group discussion, discussion in dyads

Text: Vos, J. (2017). Fifty pictures of living a meaningful life. Independent Publishing.

 

Reading Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger for life

Format: lecture with group discussion and individual exercises

Alternative format: workshop

Duration: 1-6 hours

Aim: The philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger are two of the most influential –and controversial- philosophers of the last centuries. They have influenced many authors, but have also inspired individuals in how they live their lives. This lecture will introduce their core ideas, and will focus how these ideas could be applied to personal life.

Method: lecture, group discussion, individual exercises

 

– Gateway to full existence: philosophising about art for life

Format: lecture with pieces of art presented via powerpoint

Duration: 1-3 hours

Aim: Over thousands of years, philosophers have been thinking and writing about art. There have been many schools in the philosophy of art. The Ancient Greek regarded art as ‘mimesis’, the mimicking or copying of reality. Several millennia later, art has often lost its mimetic character. In the line of the Romantics, it is often assumed that art tells something about the inner life of the artist. Postmodernists in the second half of the 20th century argued that there is no essence to art, and that any interpretation goes: the perspective of the viewer is equally important as the perspective of the artist. In postmodernism, artists have lost their shamanic power of reflecting reality or expressing the deepest of their souls. However, another trend can be seen in early impressionists and cubists, which can also be seen in the modern street art movement. Art means for these artists a gateway to a full existence. That is, art casts perspectives on life which we usually do not see. ‘A true piece of art opens existence’, so wrote Heidegger. If art needs justification in the 20th century it is this: art keeps us alive. Therefore art needs to be protected against commercialisation.

Method: Lecture with powerpoint presentation in which art work is shown; the author will bring some of his own art work with him

 

The life lessons of Voltaire the Punk: how the eternal pessimist-optimist can help us in our life

Format: interactive lecture with pictures presented via powerpoint

Duration: 1-3 hours

Aim: The French philosopher Voltaire (Francois-Marie Arouet) was possibly one of the first punks in history. He was well-known for his wit, his anti-Establishment writings, and his troubles with powerholders. Voltaire has often been interpreted as a philosopher of thinking. In this lecture, I will show that Voltaire was more a human being and a philosopher of living. His work was often a reflection of his own personal struggles in life. The lecture will focus on how he dealt with his feelings of pessimism about the world after he witnessed big terrorist attacks, natural disasters and wide-spread corruption. This will particularly on his Poem About the Disaster in Lisbon and his novel Candide. His life lessons will be translated to our 21th century. How can Voltaire help us here and now?

Text: this lecture will be based on: Vos, J. (1998). Voltaire: tussen optimisme en pessimisme.

 

Practical how-to lectures and workshops

– Punkify Your Life: how punk can help you survive society

Format: interactive lecture Alternative format: workshop

Duration:1-3 hours

Aim: Punk is in the first place an attitude, and is not about a specific music or clothing style. Punk is about Acceptance of differences, Being yourself, Creative Counter-Culture, Do it yourself (‘DIY’), Empowerment (giving individuals practical and psychological resources to improve their own life situation), Fighting narrow-mindedness (e.g. explicitly opposing racism, homophobia, transphobia and discrimination of individuals with mental health problems), Getting together as community, and Having fun (acronym: ABCDEFGH). Psychological research suggests how this punk attitude improves mental health and deepens social relationships. In this lecture, examples of punk attitude will be given, and recommendations will be given how the audience could punkify their life.

Text: Vos, J. (2018). Punkify your life. TBC.

 

Meaning discoveries: how to use science to live a more meaningful life

Format: interactive lecture

Alternative format: workshop

Duration: 1-3 hours

Aim: This lecture will present scientific research to help the audience discover how they can live a meaningful and satisfying life, via texts about psychological research on meaning in life and evidence-based exercises. This is of utmost importance, as at school, we learn how to write and to calculate. From our parents we learn how to behave. However, nobody teaches us how to live a meaningful and satisfying life. As a result, individuals may search for guidance by spiritual or philosophical gurus. Others follow the commercials and buy nice experiences, such as using alcohol and drugs, buying the latest phone or going on an adventurous holiday; these superficial meanings may give a quick sense of satisfaction but not a deep sense of meaningfulness. This presentation offers a different approach, in line with the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who suggested that we should become a joyful scientist of our own life. We can use knowledge from academic research to explore how we can live a meaningful life, and to experiment with meaningful changes in our own life. The introduction will describe how a scientific mindset can help individuals to live a more meaningful life, without needing gurus or superficial meanings. Meaning will be described as a psychological experience which includes motivation, values, understanding of our place in the world, goal management, self-worth, commitment and existential skills. The core of the presentation will be formed by the description of six different types of meaning in life. Scientific research in over 45.000 individuals world-wide have shown that individuals find meaning in these six types of meanings: materialistic, hedonistic, self-oriented, social, higher and philosophical meanings. In each of these chapters, a theoretical explanation will be provided, followed by individual exercises. The last part will focus on applying the lessons in daily life, and coping with disappointments and challenges.

Text: Vos, J. (2018). Meaningful discoveries: how science can help you to live a more meaningful life.

 

– Live life to the full: learning how to make decisions

Format: 5 workshops (can be tailor-made)

Alternative format: interactive lecture

Duration: 15 hours

Aim: The world has never seen such a large amount of wealth and freedom of choice as in western countries nowadays. For many individuals, this large number of opportunities is not a blessing. Many individuals find it difficult to make decisions in life. Many feel that they miss a guidance, like clergy and philosophers guided laymen in past millennia. Although we may be ‘condemned to freedom’, like the philosopher Sartre wrote, at the same time we can be guided by an intuitive sense of meaning. This workshop will use a wide variety of insights from psychologists, sociologists and philosophers to help individuals discover how they make decisions, why they find it difficult to make decisions, and how they could learn to make decisions via self-insight. This workshop has been given to approximately 1000 young people, who almost all wrote in evaluation forms that the workshops had enabled them to make large life decisions by the end of the course of workshops.

Text: Vos, J. (2018). Meaning in life: an evidence-based handbook for practitioners. Palgrave McMillan.

 

– Meaning in life training: learning to live a more meaningful and satisfying life

Format: group workshop/training

Duration: 10 sessions (can be tailor-made)

Aim: This training helps individuals to live a more meaningful and satisfying life, despite life’s challenges. This will improve the sense of meaningfulness of life, life satisfaction, psychological stress, depression and anxiety, self-efficacy, coping with difficult life events, and general quality of life. This will consists of 5 to 10 weekly sessions, with a focus on what has been meaningful in past, present and future. There will be didactics, experiential and mindfulness exercises, and some practical homework to try out new meaningful options. The approach is positive and non-judging and based on empirical evidence. See more information on the page ‘therapy’ of joelvos.com

Text: Vos, J. (2018). Meaning in life: an evidence-based handbook for practitioners. Palgrave McMillan. See research publications under the research page on joelvos.com

 

– How to live a meaningful and satisfying life with a chronic or life-threatening disease

 

Aim: The aim of this series of workshops/training is to help individuals with a chronic or life-threatening disease to live a meaningful and satisfying life despite (or thanks to) their disease. This is an adjustment of the above-mentioned general training on meaning in life. Examples are cancer, cardiovascular disease such as heart attach or stroke, and chronic pain. Individuals with such a disease have shown to benefit much from this series of workshops and training.

Text: Vos, J. (2018). Meaning in life: an evidence-based handbook for practitioners. Palgrave McMillan. See research publications under the research page on joelvos.com

 

– Learning how to die with life in mind

Format: workshop

Alternative format: interactive format

Duration: 1-6 hours

Aim: Many individuals are afraid of dying. However, all of us have to die one day. How can we approach our death without fear? And how we use our fear to live life more to the fullest in the here and now? This workshop will explore our experiences with death of others in our life, and more in particular moments that we felt that we could die. By speaking about death and standing still at our experiences, death can lose its threat. Many individuals discover that they are actually not afraid of death, but they are afraid of life; that is, they feel that they are not living life to the fullest now and therefore they are afraid of dying. This workshop will use theoretical discussion, experiential exercises, sharing personal experiences and art to overcome the fear of death, so that we can live life more to the full.

Text: Vos, J. (2018). Death in existential therapies. In: Iverach. See research page on joelvos.com

 

Professional audience

General academic skills

How to develop the conceptual design of research and publications in social sciences

Format: multiple lectures (tailor-made)

Alternative format: multiple workshops (tailor-made)

Aim: This workshop will help students and researchers in social sciences to write more conceptually coherent texts. They will learn how to organise the research literature and build a logical way of reasoning. This method is based on an analysis of the conceptual structure of the 100 most frequently cited publications in social sciences. The authors from these articles use a similar method to conceptualise the text and build a strong valid argument. The workshop will consist of explanation of theory, examining examples, and trying out the method on a topic of their own choice. We will be creative and use many post-its to visualise the conceptual models in our texts.

Text: Vos, J. (2014). The conceptual components model. In: Vos, J. (2014). Reference guide to research in counselling psychology.

 

How to design a PhD study in social sciences

Format: multiple lectures (tailor-made)

Aim: This workshop will help students to design their PhD study in social sciences. They will learn to develop a conceptually coherent and valid research project. This will focus on the formulation of a clear overall aim, based on literature and clinical needs, which will be followed by sub-studies required for examining possible trends or proving any the hypotheses. Most important, this workshop will help students to manage their expectations and emotions during the emotional rollercoster that doing a PhD is.

Text: Vos, J. (2014). How to design your doctorate project. In: Vos, J. (2014). Reference guide to research in counselling psychology. 

 

– How to improve your academic English writing skills

Format: multiple workshops (tailor-made)

Aim: This workshop will help students to learn how to write in good academic English. Writing academic texts is different from writing any other texts. Even many native speakers find it difficult to learn to write at an academic level. These workshops consist of theory and exercises.

Text: Vos, J. (2014). Academic writing skills. In: Vos, J. (2014). Reference guide to research in counselling psychology. 

 

– How to conduct systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses in social sciences

Format: multiple workshops (tailor-made)

Aim: This series of workshops will offer a step-by-step approach to conducting a systematic literature review and meta-analysis in social sciences.

Text: Vos, J. (2014). How to conduct a systematic literature review: a step-wise method. In: Vos, J. (2014). Reference guide to research in counselling psychology. University of Roehampton.

 

– How to criticise clinical trials, and how to design ethically sound trials in social sciences

Format: 1 or 2 interactive lectures/workshops of 1-3 hours

Aim: The participants will learn in this workshop how to critically analyse clinical trials in social sciences. They will learn to work with a new assessment tool, ‘The Likelihood of False Positive Results Index’, or ‘The Cheat Index’ in short. They will discover that many trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses present overtly positive results. Subsequently, the participants will learn how to set up and conduct a sound clinical trial.

Vos, J. (2014). How to conduct clinical trials (and not how to conduct). In: Vos, J. (2014). Reference guide to research in counselling psychology. University of Roehampton.

 

Counselling and therapeutic skills

– Psychological & philosophical skills training: introduction to pragmatic phenomenology

Format: interactive lecture and workshop

Duration: 3-6 hours

Aim: Phenomenology may be compared with unpeeling an onion or a mango: it helps you to get rid of irrelevant layers between you and other people. Phenomenology is a method that can help therapists to set their personal biases and prejudices temporarily aside, and be open for the client. Phenomenological skills have been regarded important in several therapeutic skills, particularly within phenomenological existential therapies. This interactive lecture and workshop will give an introduction to how phenomenology can be used in practical work with clients. The method that will be taught will be called pragmatic, as the focus will be on the unpeeling process and so much on the final result. Phenomenological philosophers have in the past fallen out with each other over the question whether the end result of phenomenological unpeeling is that we arrive at a truth or essence (like the core of a mango), or whether the end result is an endless unpeeling of layers without arriving at an essence (like an onion which does not have a core). For practitioners, the end result is less relevant than the process. Empirical research indicates that the process of phenomenological unpeeling helps to create a strong relationship between the therapist and the client, and helps the client to improve in well-being.

Texts: Vos, J. (2018). Meaning in life: an evidence-based handbook for practitioners. Palgrave McMillan. Vos, J. (2018). Existential-phenomenological therapies: a review of research evidence. In: Van Deurzen et al. World handbook of existential phenomenological therapy.

 

Psychological skills training how to lead groups

Format: lecture and workshops

Duration: 3-12 hours

Aim: In this training, the participants will learn how to lead groups. These could be groups in an office, volunteer groups or psychotherapy groups. The role of group dynamics will be explained, as well as different ways to cope with difficult individuals in groups. The process of group formation and continuation will be explained, as well as different leadership styles.

 

– Psychological skills training: working with subcultures

Format: lecture / workshop

Duration: 1-3 hours

Aim: In this workshop, the participants will learn how to work with clients from specific sub-cultures, such as punk, gothic or hip-hop. Do’s and don’ts will be explained, and role play will help develop skills. The participants will learn to reflect on their own biases and assumptions about other sub-cultures.

 

Meaning-centered and existential counselling skills

– MEANING Training (C) Vos, 2016. Four day training into meaning-centered therapy.

Format: Four day training

Duration: 4 days of 7 hours (alternative formats possible)

Aim: This training teaches practitioners to help clients live a meaningful and satisfying life despite life’s challenges. This is the official training accompanying the book Meaning in life: an evidence-based handbook for practitioners, which will be published by Palgrave McMillan in 2017. This training has been developed in 2016 and has been given many times to therapists in the Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom. Empirical research shows that meaning-centered therapy largely reduces the psychological problems of clients and largely improved their quality-of-life. During this training, the participants will receive theory via lectures, practice with specific therapeutic skills and give therapy to each other to learn how to give therapy. The training has been based on the largest possible empirical foundations of working with meaning in life.

Texts: Vos, J. (2018). Meaning in life: an evidence-based handbook for practitioners. Palgrave McMillan.

 

– Helping clients to live a meaningful life: an evidence-based overview of meaning-centered practices

Format: lecture

Duration: 1.5 hours

Aim: This lecture gives an overview of research on meaning in life and more in particular on psychological meaning-centered therapies. This lecture is based on 11 systematic literature reviews conducted by the presenter. This will give an up-to-date overview of the field.

 

Meaning-centered support for physical diseases: How to help clients to live a meaningful and satisfying life with a chronic or life-threatening disease

Format: lecture of 1.5 hours

Alternative format: workshop of 4-7 hours

Aim: A majority of individuals with chronic or life-threatening physical diseases ask questions about how they can live a meaningful life despite their disease. This lecture or workshop will give an overview of the medical and health-psychological literature on the role of meaning-making in coping with physical diseases. This will show that all dominant conceptual models in psychology give attention to the role of meaning-making. However, few psychological interventions exist to explicitly and systematically help clients with their questions about meaning in life. An exception are meaning-centered therapies, which have shown to reduce their psychological stress largely, improve their quality of life largely, and improve their self-reported and objective physical well-being relatively strongly. The principles of meaning-centered work with physically ill patients will be explained, as well as the empirical evidence which shows that meaning-centered therapies are more effective than traditional therapies which do not address meaning-centered questions.

 

– Introduction to evidence-based existential psychotherapy and phenomenology

Format: lecture

Duration: 4 hours

Aim: This lecture will give an introduction into the different types of existential psychotherapy and their methodological roots in phenomenology. The focus will be on recent developments, which show that different existential approaches seem to grow more towards each other. This lecture will provide a systematic overview of the empirical evidence for the overall effects and the assumptions in existential therapies.

Texts: Vos, J, Craig, M, & Cooper, M (2014). Existential therapies: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis. JSEA. Vos, J, & Vitali, D (2018). Psychological meaning-centered therapies: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis. Journal of Palliative and Supportive Care. 

 

– Existential concerns in cancer patients: an overview of concerns and treatments

Format: Lecture

Duration: 1.5 hours

Aim: A patient may be diagnosed and treated for a physical disease, but this often only the start from a long process of adjustments in their life. A majority ask questions about how they can live a meaningful and satisfying life, despite their disease. This lecture will give an overview of their existential concerns, and possible psychological ways to help them with these questions. This lecture is based on systematic literature reviews and clinical trials in cancer patients.

Text: Vos, J. (2016). Meaning in chronic and physical disease. In: Russo-Netzer & Batthyany.

 

– Existential concerns in patients with cardiovascular disease: an overview of concerns and treatments

Aim: A patient may be diagnosed and treated for a physical disease, but this often only the start from a long process of adjustments in their life. A majority ask questions about how they can live a meaningful and satisfying life, despite their disease. This lecture will give an overview of their existential concerns, and possible psychological ways to help them with these questions. This lecture is based on systematic literature reviews and clinical trials in patients with cardiovascular disease.

Text: Vos, J. (2016). Meaning in chronic and physical disease. In: Russo-Netzer & Batthyany.  Vos, J. & Hutchinson, Z. (2018). Meaning in acute cardiovascular disease: a systematic literature review, and pilot study.