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Lifelong learning through counselling and psychotherapy 
John Loewenthal (Keele University)
Suzana Jovicic (University of Vienna)
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Brunswick G7
Wednesday 26 June, -, -
Time zone: Europe/London
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Short Abstract:

This panel considers counselling/psychotherapy as a form of anthropology that is profoundly educational. Therapy offers a space for people to learn about themselves, their relationships, and their human predicaments. It is a private kind of public anthropology where lifelong learning takes place.

Long Abstract:

Anthropology, arguably, tends to perform more of a sociology or ‘culturology’ that studies societies, culture, contexts, and systems more than human beings themselves (Piette, 2015). Meanwhile, a quintessential anthropo-logy – a study of human beings – occurs in the intimate domain of counselling and psychotherapy. Clients and therapists work together at a microscopic level, trying to make sense of people’s experiences, relationships, personalities, and problems. Counselling and psychotherapy are anthropological and educational in helping people to learn about themselves and to develop new perspectives. Therapists offer a sounding board, reflections, and provocations allowing people to get out of their heads and to perceive things afresh. Humans can be strangers to themselves, layered with mysteries, insecurities, and doubts. Social roles and identities can form masks out of synchronisation with who else people feel they really are, or were, or could become. Lifelong learning occurs as people grapple with different predicaments and learn how to live, cope, relate, lose, change, die, and address myriad aspects of the human condition. A new frontier of anthropology awaits by exploring such complexity that exists in people’s inner lives, beneath the symbols and facades of public life (Irving, 2017). This panel invites papers that consider therapy as an intimate educational anthropology; a private kind of public anthropology that helps people to learn about life. Papers may consider themes including but not limited to: identity, ageing, self-knowledge, autoethnography, temporality, epiphanies, educational and psychological theory, advice industries, lifestyle discourse, ideology, therapy training, the therapeutic alliance/relationship, supervision, cross-cultural experiences.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 26 June, 2024, -
Session 2 Wednesday 26 June, 2024, -