San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Freud Bar: Wellbeing in the City led by Professor Helene Joffe, in discussion with psychoanalyst Shirley Spitz.
In this session I explore what gives people in the UK’s largest cities wellbeing, based on studies that use a free association method. Socially, we want a sense of social connection and to feel safe. Physically, we want good services, beautiful buildings, convivial green spaces and accessible transport. The Bar will home in on our desire for social connectedness, in particular, as well as on the free association method used. Our wish for social connectedness with both ‘strong ties’ and ‘weak ties’ contains a good dose of nostalgia for an imagined idealised past in which neighbours chatted over garden fences and people such as bobbies, train conductors and shop staff engaged with us face-to-face. This challenges the ‘smart cities’ agenda since it is not technological fixes that people wish for in cities but a more human, face-to-face connectedness.
Helene Joffe, Professor in Social Psychology, UCL, writes:
"I run the social scientific side of EPICentre. I am a Professor in Psychology and the joint holder of the Centre's funding. My work investigates public engagement with risks such as earthquakes. Within EPICentre we have worked on how those in highly seismic areas represent earthquakes and the link between these representations and how they prepare for earthquakes. A second strand of the work examines how publics represent earthquake prediction. This appears to be heavily shaped by cultural factors. All of my current work is interdisciplinary, and beyond earthquakes, it also explores how publics engage with climate change, wellbeing and a host of emerging infectious diseases."
Prof. Helene Joffe is Professor of Psychology at UCL (University College London). She studied psychology, initially in South Africa and then at London School of Economics, where she worked before moving to UCL. Her earlier work was on how people conceptualise the risks they face, ranging from AIDS to Ebola, from earthquakes to climate change. More recently she has also worked in the field of city dweller aspirations, in the context of the need to reduce carbon emissions and simultaneously increase wellbeing. With major funding form UK research councils, she works in interdisciplinary teams internationally.
When & Where
British Psychotherapy Foundation
The bpf’s vision is of a society in which psychotherapy is available to everyone who needs it to promote their emotional well-being and mental health.