The meaning of life has been debated for centuries with different philosophical and religious perpsectives but what about the meaning of death? The topic is somewhat taboo in modern western societies and talking about death can be met with resistance and fear.
However, we fundamentally cannot separate life from death they (along with taxes) are the only certaintees we have. Irvin Yalom, an existential psychotherapist, spoke about how 'though the physicality of death destroys us, the idea of death may save us'.
At this month's café we will be considering death, denial, near death experiences and what these ideas mean to you!
Here is a video about the 'psychological benefits of contemplating death', for those who are interested:
About the Café
Café Psychologique began in Leeds, UK in 2011. The café is a space for a conversation held once per month. Each time, a new person will provide discussion starters, and people bring along whatever issue they want to discuss and explore. Café Psychologique can discuss a variety of topics concerned with living today ranging from feminism, consciousness, love, creativity, consumerism, and the like.
Where is it?
Café Psychologique meets 7.00 PM – 9.00 PM on the last Wednesday of each month (apart from in December). The café is held at The Horse Hotel, 381 Crown Street, Surry Hills, NSW, 2010
Café Psychologique in Sydney is hosted by Steve Mayers & Emma Agnew whose aim is to provide a space for people to connect through conversation and consider issues related to psychology in a public and accessible way. Steve & Emma are UK trained clinical psychologists. Steve was a member of the Leeds café and recently set up the successful Liverpool (UK) branch of café psychologique: https://www.goodnewsliverpool.co.uk/2017/09/13/friendly-cafe-where-talk-is-cheap-in-fact-its-free/
How does it work?
Steve and Emma will be at the café each month to kick things off. Each time they will be joined by one or more people who will pose some questions and start the conversation. There are no long presentations. Rather, the conversation is driven by the participants, and the areas they want to discuss based on the theme of that particular meeting. People are free to talk about what they want, the facilitators role is to enable exploration and discovery.
There are a few rules that help the conversation to flow well.
1. Everyone can talk in Café Psychologique. There will be no lectures, and this is about creating a conversation, so at some point in the evening, do try and make sure you say something in the whole group. Even if it's just to say you're not sure what to say...
2. All points of view are valid. Whatever you say is valid. It may be 'wrong', in others' opinion. But it is valid to say it. Whatever it is.
3. One person talks at a time. Some topics make people feel very passionate and it can sometimes be hard to allow one person to speak at a time but it makes for much better conversation.
4. Use statements not questions. As I said, we are here to have a conversation, not to listen what a professional has to say, so as much as you can, say what you think, and particularly speak from your experience if you can, not just from your knowledge. Sometimes when you feel the urge to ask a question to a person, maybe think, what is my perspective on this? What do I want to say?
5. It is your agenda. The conversation can go wherever you want it to. You can raise whatever issue you want to. In the end, the one guaranteed way to have your point raised, is to say it.
Come along and join in the conversation!