Nijmegen, Netherlands

Existential Questions Regarding Life Issues. An Intercultural and Integrated Approach

when 10 August 2021 - 14 August 2021
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC

On many moments in life people are confronted with questions about their existence. Unique questions about what they will do or not do, about their relationships with others, the environment in which they live and what is happening in their world, their past, present and future.

In every stage of life these questions get their own color and content. Philosophers, theologians and psychologists in history have attempted to trace all such questions to a number of fundamental questions that apply to all people.

The existential psychologist Yalom distinguishes four existential questions.

• The first, in his eyes the most basic life issue is that of time, which ends in death. The only certainty we all have is that we will ever die, isn’t it?
• The second is that of freedom. We all have the desire to be able to determine our own lives, haven’t we?
• The third is that of solitude versus connectedness. We all seek satisfactory relationships with others. Who doesn’t have the experience that in those kinds of relationships sometimes things go wrong?
• The fourth is that of meaningfulness of existence. All of us hope that what we do, how we live will ultimately prove to be meaningful.

Those questions can trigger anxiety. We can try to avoid them, but our well-being depends to a large extent on the answers that we find every time again.

The professional guidance of people requires an intercultural and integrated approach. Existential questions arise differently in different cultures. Such a variation is noticeable in various situations in which people find themselves: at home, at school, at work, in family- replacement homes, in institutions for health and well-being.

Course leader

Dr. Wim Smeets
Supervisor Spiritual Care Department
Radboud University Medical Centre

Target group

• Professional

Professionals in practice fields of care, welfare, education, coaching and leisure.

Course aim

After this course you are able to:

1. To explore what kind of existential questions people face.
2. Guide people in these life issues.
3. To deal with the intercultural context of existential questions.
4. To develop elements of integrated care.

Fee info

EUR 0: Fee and date will be announced in the fall. Registration opens December 1st 2020. The fee includes the registration fees, course materials, access to library and IT facilities, coffee/tea, lunch, and a number of social activities.