Living an Intimate Life: Including the Existential Dimension in Clinical Work

  • January 16, 2017 - March 6, 2017
    9:00 am - 10:00 am

More individuals seek therapy because of concerns about purpose in life than therapists often realize. Clinical work of all kinds (nursing, psychiatry, psychotherapy, palliative care, occupational therapy) are more like callings than professions. Although our clients come with emotional or cognitive troubles, we are usually doing work that is existential just as much as it is methodical.

Privately, therapists acknowledge that our work looks a lot like spiritual practice: one-on-one relationship, confession, internal awareness, forgiveness of oneself and others, and being awake to what’s really happening in our lives.

In this 8-week online course, leading therapist and thinker Michael Stone will link common psychological symptoms and their existential dimension.

Underneath most common symptoms are raw existential questions about life, love, and death, what it means to age with dignity, how to deeply forgive those who have hurt us, and primarily, how to engage in an intimate life while at the same time not holding on to anything.

Everyone – including therapists as well as patients – are destined to experience not only the exhilaration of life, but also its inevitable darkness: disillusionment, aging, illness, isolation, loss, meaninglessness, painful choices, and difficulty letting go. So how can we support people to alleviate symptoms while at the same time explore the deeper dimensions of their questions?


In this 8-week online course you will receive:

  • A weekly 45-minute video presentation
  • Audio versions of each lecture
  • Bullet-point transcript of the entire course
  • Supplementary reading materials
  • Access to a discussion forum where Michael will respond to questions that come up during the course
  • Access to an online community of like-minded professionals engaging these topics

Learning Objectives

You will learn:

  • How to link common symptoms and people’s deeper existential and spiritual lives
  • How to help people let go of rigid narratives and rumination
  • How to include forgiveness practices in our work
  • How illness, death, and dying can be brought into clinical conversations
  • Settling distraction: how to manage our relationship with technology (especially phones and tablets)
  • Healing the unbridgeable gulf between oneself and others, and self and the world
  • Beyond Empathy: Translating empathy into moment-to-moment awareness
  • Who are you as a therapist? How are you supported?
  • Identifying the 3 key themes in psychology and spirituality
  • Knowing the primary importance of the therapeutic alliance in client change and how an existential approach might foster/strengthen the relational domain between the therapist, the person seeking therapy, and their communities

Who Should Attend

K–12 Classroom Teachers • School Counsellors/Psychologists • Learning Assistance/Resource Teachers • School Administrators • School Paraprofessionals including Special Education Assistants, Classroom Assistants and Childcare Workers • All other professionals who support students with behavioural challenges and complex learning needs including but not limited to: Nurses, Social Workers, Psychologists, Clinical Counsellors, Family Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Addiction Counsellors, Youth Workers, Mental Health Workers, Probation Officers and Community Police Officers.


Session 1: Monday, Jan 16, 2017
Session 2: Monday, Jan 23, 2017
Session 3: Monday, Jan 30, 2017
Session 4: Monday, Feb 6, 2017
Session 5: Monday, Feb 13, 2017
Session 6: Monday, Feb 20, 2017
Session 7: Monday, Feb 27, 2017
Session 8: Monday, March 6, 2017

9:00am – 10:00am PST / 12:00pm – 1:00pm EST

Hosted by Jack Hirose
Online Course

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