Scientific theme - “A Search for Happiness”
The 33rd EFPSA Congress revolves around understanding happiness in different aspects of life. The notion of happiness is something most people are familiar with, but it is a broad concept that can be viewed from different perspectives. With the scientific programme we aim to address the many nuances of happiness and hereby obtain a better understanding of how happiness, or lack thereof affects the individual and society. The presence or absence of happiness in our life has a great influence on the individual perception of our experiences, identity and success.
The professional scientific programme will consider the concept broadly from different paradigms within the psychological field of science. Within the scientific context, we hope to explore different themes that relate to happiness in modern society. Among other things, the programme will explore how neuropsychology explains the feeling of happiness, how the search for happiness in careers and relationships affects people, and their choices in today's society. Moreover, the programme aims to investigate how to understand the connection between an individual’s happiness and mental and physical health.
Tea Trillingsgaard, Ph.d. and lecturer at Aarhus University
Lecture: “Strengthening Intimate Relationships”
Relationship science shows that the health of our intimate relationship has powerful effects on our happiness, mental and physical health. Within families, the couple relationship has also shown to be inextricably connected to the health and well-being of our children. Nevertheless, few of us realize that our intimate relationships, just like our bodies, need proper care and attention to remain healthy. The Relationship Health Checkup (Cordova, 2014; Trillingsgaard, Fentz, Stølen-Due, Steenberger, 2016) is a two-session assessment and feedback intervention designed to help couples recognize their strengths and develop strategies to confront their problems. It is the relationship equivalent to the annual physical health or dental checkup. Through this presentation, you will get an introduction to (a) the relationship science behind the relationship health checkup and (b) the skills set needed for working as a psychologist with couples to promote healthy intimate relationships.
Hans Henrik Knoop, Associate Professor with a distinction for the Department of Education (DPU) at Aarhus University. He is also an Extraordinary Professor for North-West University in South Africa. He researches especially in human well-being from a Positive Psychological perspective.
Lecture: “Flourishing through Transitions: How Positive Psychology Promotes Sustainable Change for Individuals and Communities”
The world is changing with or without us. And like all life, through evolution our species are adapted genetically to this. The special endowments of humans include intelligence and emotions, as capacities to change by learning, creating and collaborating at a level beyond any other known lifeform on Earth. Change is not only a universal, environmental condition. It is in our own nature to change in order to feel alive. We habituate; thus, no change equals no experience. Every conceivable satisfaction precludes motivation for change. From the smallest things, like satisfying thirst or browsing the internet, to every dream of improving the world. No change, no fun.
So why do people so often resist change? The general, psychological answers include anxiety (too much change already) and lack of meaning (pointless change for no good). People who are already overwhelmed seek stability before they seek further change. And people who do not find change meaningful will work to avoid it.
A key question thus becomes, how we can think, act and organize in ways that make for interesting, life-confirming, psychologically sustainable, ecological change? Change that does not undermine the viability of individuals, nor of communities? Is it even possible?
Today, along with related fields of inquiry, Positive Psychology contributes in answering these questions, across domains and at scales that go far beyond what psychology has traditionally been concerned with. It now informs and inspires economy, politics, journalism, education, health, countless workplaces and other human fora, and it is our academic and professional duty to do what we can to ensure that it is all for the better.
In this presentation, Hans Henrik Knoop offers an overview of how insights from Positive Psychology may applied in education, work life and journalism in ways that may avoid many of the predictable barriers against it forwarded by professional interest groups, traditional dogma and bureaucracies. This is exemplified by three national studies on well-being (Knoop, Holstein, Viskum & Moon, 2016, 2017, 2018) in Danish schools, focused on boredom, community and optimism, each based on data from more than a quarter million pupils.
Sverker Svikström, Professor in Cognitive Psychology, Chair of the Cognitive Division, Lund University.
Lecture: “Measuring Mental Health and Happiness with Words Analysed with Artificial Intelligence”
Mental health is one of the major future challenges. Currently, rating scales are the dominating method for measuring mental states, however, words are the natural way of communication. We have developed methods for measuring mental health, in both clinical and happiness context, using words as outcome measure, and where we use artificial intelligence as an aid in diagnoses. The results show a promising alternative for mental assessments, with high validity and reliability. The methods also allow for describing mental states.
Niels Peter Rygaard, Aut.cand.psych. and member of the EFPA Promotion and Prevention group. Danish state adoption consultant and CEO at Fairstart Foundation. International participants can see papers and presentations in several languages here.
After decades of work with children and youth in orphanage, foster care, refugee and adoption systems, the presenter published the 2005 handbook “Severe Attachment Disorder in Childhood”, soon spreading in 14 language versions. Lectures and studies of care systems worldwide instigated the idea of creating a virtual meeting point to connect international child researchers, organisations and government agencies in charge of children and youth without parental care, and their frontline caregivers.
Stretching from Greenland to Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America, the Fairstart Foundation enters two year partnerships with organisations, educating their staff as international instructors in how to train caregiver groups in attachment based care. In each partnership, local language training programs are designed. 420 instructors have graduated, having trained the caregiver groups to improve the mental health of some 30.000 children. Recognised and supported by EFPA, APA, the Danish Psychologist Association and colleagues around the world, Fairstart has created a major network, contributing to international standards for caregiver education.
Lecture: “Applying psychology research on a global scale - by designing online educations and partnerships”
This example will inspire you to make your own e-learning designs, channel your competences, and multiply your audience across borders and cultures. How do you get from A to B, and what are the challenges when designing blended learning projects? Welcome to a global journey!
Online therapy, education and training is a rapidly expanding field, providing new job opportunities for young psychologists. To inspire the audience, this example describes the process from idea to a global organisation, providing NGOs and governments with blended learning staff educations, and group training programmes in 20 languages. This project aims to improve care for the millions of abandoned children, but the basic designs can be applied to any area of psychology.
Rikke Pristed, Aut.cand.psych. and specialist in sexological counseling (NACS)
Rikke has had a private sexological practice for the past 6 years, and before that she worked at a public sexological clinic. She works almost exclusively with sexology and couples counseling, and she is also an assistant professor at University of Agder, where she teaches sexology at their 2-years training programme.
Lecture: What is a “good” sex life? How is it defined, and who defines it? What is important about sex, and why do humans have it?
Workshop: Prejudice; are you aware of your own prejudices concerning sexuality and different sexual practices? What do we do when we are confronted with or own prejudices in the therapy room?
Emil Rask, Aut.cand.psych from Aarhus University.
Emil Rask specialises in the treatment of children and adolescents with anxiety disorders and has been working in that field since 2012. He holds a particular interest for experiential psychotherapy and has experience in both ACT and ISTDP from certified courses and his own practice. Both traditions focus on the here-and-now in therapy and aim to give the client a more flexible relationship with their own thoughts and feelings through new experiences with their inner life.
Workshop: “The Costly Pursuit of Happiness”
The workshop centres on the paradoxes of trying to control inner experiences and the contradictory relationship between pursuing and achieving happiness. The workshop is grounded in ACT, and as a participant you will experience a dynamic workshop with demonstrations and exercises guided by the general notion that learning is best reached through experiencing rather than listening.
Do you have knowledge to share? Then look here!
This is your time to make a difference! The 33rd EFPSA Congress is approaching and this is your chance to share your research with peers. This is the opportunity for you to show your hard work and genius ideas, to inspire and to discuss your findings with fellow psychology students from all around Europe!
This is not the time for second thoughts! Take your chance and you will not regret it!
The Congress theme is “A Search for Happiness”. Have you been working on some related issues? Do you have any ideas regarding emergent areas where this concept is being be explored? We would like to know about happiness in different fields of expertise – health psychology, neuropsychology, social psychology, education, among many others!
We assure you that it will be worth it, you’ll have an experience of a lifetime!
How can you participate?
You can contribute to the Scientific Programme of the Congress by:
- presenting a poster which synthesize the results of your research;
- giving an oral presentation about your research;
- giving a workshop on a topic related to the Congress theme.
Stay tuned for more detailed informations on how to participate in our Student Programme!,
Social Theme - "Happily ever after"
With the social theme "Happily ever after" we wish to present a variety of happenings and social events that aim to bring the attending students closer together and to spread a feeling of happiness among the participants. Furthermore, the social programme seeks to give an impression of Danish values and cultural heritage. The social theme will be inspired by H.C. Andersen’s world of fairytales, and the programme will encourage the participants to enter and embrace a imaginative and open-minded perspective during the week.
Take a day out of the academically stimulating week to relax and have fun with your new friends. Come see the longest wooden ship in the world, a lordly castle, a park full of deer, and the “City of Smiles” - Aarhus - the second largest city in Denmark. We end this magical day with all-you-can-eat buffet of national and international cuisine before heading back to our fairytale congress.