Emmy van Deurzen, Ph.DEmmy van Deurzen (www.nspc.org.uk) is a philosopher, existential psychotherapist and counselling psychologist, with a dozen books to her name.  She was the inspiration and creative force behind the launch of the Society for Existential Analysis and its Journal of the same name in 1988, the year that her book Existential Counselling and Psychotherapy in Practice was first published by Sage.  She founded both the School of Psychotherapy and Counselling at Regent’s College and the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling, of which she continues to be Principal, both in London. Her application of philosophical ideas to psychology, psychotherapy, counselling and coaching has revolutionized the field and has established the existential approach firmly in the UK, inspiring many European and international developments. Her work has been translated into a dozen languages and she lectures all around the world.  She is Visiting Professor of Psychotherapy with Middlesex University and has been a professor with Regent’s College, an honorary professor with Schiller International University and with the University of Sheffield as well as a Visiting Senior Associate of Darwin College, Cambridge. She was the first chair of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy and external relations’ officer to the European Association for Psychotherapy as well as their representative to the European Commission and the Council of Europe for many years.

Amongst her books are the bestseller Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling in Practice (3d edition, Sage 2012), Psychotherapy and the Quest for Happiness (Sage, 2009) and Everyday Mysteries (2nd edition Routledge, 2010). Sage published her co-authored book Skills in Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling in 2011.

Emmy lives in the peak district with her husband Prof. Digby Tantam, where she enjoys hill walking alongside her writing, painting and singing song-writing.

Click here for additional information about Dr. Emmy van Deurzen.

Keynote Abstract:

The Meaning of Suffering: Emotional Life and our Reasons for Being

Human existence is marred by daily problems in living and sometimes perturbed by crisis and extreme suffering.  The way in which we regard and understand emotional life determines how we can work with trauma in therapy.  Do we aim to achieve positive emotion or do we learn to make the most of each emotional experience, tracking for purpose and meaning? Is it possible to live a meaningful life without emotion?  Is it possible to be truly human without suffering?  May it even be that meaning is not created despite but because of our troubles, dilemmas and difficulties?   Whichever way we look at them, understanding emotions and motivations and seeing their connections with values and beliefs remains one of the most important jobs of therapy.  This presentation will demonstrate new ways of helping people to clarify and make sense of their experience in order to achieve greater personal freedom and a deeper awareness and engagement with their lives.

This will include a demonstration of the structural existential analysis method, using the four worlds map and the emotional compass model.

Workshop Abstract:

Living with your Emotions

This workshop will provide a philosophical and therapeutic perspective on emotional experience.  It will introduce the idea of the Compass of Emotions as well as the Sensory Compass, the Personal Compass and the Moral Compass.

Some theoretical existential theory will lead to experimentation in applying the ideas to your own life.  Emmy’s ideas are based on Spinoza’s and Sartre’s theories of emotions and relate emotional experiences to a person’s personal beliefs and values.

Participants will be invited to practice with the compass and to explore the different flavours and meanings of emotional shadings by applying these to experiences in their own lives.

The Heideggerian notions of attunement, understanding and discourse will also be introduced and connections will be made with colour theory.  Phenomenological case study material from a therapeutic setting may be considered for discussion unless material is generated directly in the session with one of the participants.