Integrating practice in counselling psychology: Directionality, synergy and social justice

Monday, May 21 2018

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This talk will present a new framework for drawing together a wide range of counselling psychology approaches, as well as social justice concerns. It's basic assumption, consistent with a counselling psychological ethos, is that human beings are 'directional': agentic, motivated, intelligible beings that strive to actualise their desires and goals within their worlds. Here, psychological distress can be understood as problems with actualising our most important 'directions'. This may be because our directions are in conflict, because we do not have effective means of actualising them, or because the worlds we inhabit do not allow us to do so. Hence, both psychological and social factors are drawn together in an understanding of wellbeing and distress. The talk will begin with a presentation of the concept of directionality, and the different phases of a 'directional arc'. It will then go on to look at the relationship between directionality and emotions: how psychological research shows that wellbeing and positive affect is associated with the actualisation of these directions. Having looked at different dimensions of our desires and goals, the talk will go on to articulate a structural framework for understanding our directions, and the conflicts between them. The talk will then look at how this model can integrate the full range of therapeutic approaches, and how it integrates an understanding of the social world and its inequities. Please see the programme tab for further information. Address