The Search For Meaning – A Psychology Of Modern Life

Psychology emerged from a long philosophical tradition during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, harnessing itself to natural science. Its subsequent pathway through topics like cognitive processes and its link with individual differences in behaviour left the subject of human meaning relatively untouched. The emotional consequences of two devastating world wars, increasing division of labour and population mobility opened up important debates about the meaning of human life - and the individual meanings that motivate our actions and choices. It was perhaps the horror of the Nazi death camps and the involvement of ordinary citizens in supporting the murderous ideology that spurred many Social Psychologists and Therapists to think about how individual meanings underpinned human acts.

Who is this course for

This course is for anyone who is interested in the connections between individual or group meanings and human thinking and behaviour. No previous knowledge or experience is needed - just curiosity and an open mind!

What does this course cover

This course will explore a diverse range of approaches and theories that have engaged with human
meaning. Two key sources will be the work of Dr Victor Frankl, and Dr Carl Rogers. Participation in this Course can stimulate thinking about the role of meaning in human choices and actions, a central activity for all those engaged in supporting others e.g. in therapeutic support, care and education.

What will it be like

On this short interactive course ideas and concepts will be explored and illustrated with Psychological research. These will be developed in small group and whole class discussions - Psychological research indicates that learning from your peer group is highly effective!
Your Tutor will provide informal feedback on your progress in responses to questions, comments etc.

What else do you need to buy or do

Just bring yourself - and preferably an open and inquiring mind! You may wish to bring some note-taking materials. Active participation in class exercises and discussion is positively encouraged - it makes the experience richer for everyone!

The course will be run on Zoom, please make sure you have installed it in advance of your first class on your computer or mobile device. You can sign up for free here:

You will need a microphone (it's fine to use whatever is built into your device) and camera, so we can see you via video. You may also want to use headphones during the session.
Make sure you have a small space to work in during the session.
By signing up to the course you are consenting to being on camera. The content of the lesson may be recorded by the tutor for internal education and training purposes

What this course could lead to

This is an introductory course which may enrich your general knowledge or feed into your creative thinking, occupational or professional practice. It could also be complimented by to a number of general introductory or specialist Psychology courses at the Mary Ward Centre (details in our new Prospectus). Some previous students have gone on to Access Courses, or study at a higher level e.g. at Birkbeck or one of the many other Higher Education institutions in London.

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Why choose Mary Ward?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening and weekends to suit your timetable. You can learn face to face at one of our centres (Bloomsbury or Waterloo) or take an online course

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’