Scholarly Sharing Initiative

23 January 2014 - 23 January 2014
13:15 PM
Abbotsford Campus

Come join us in the Scholarly Sharing Initiative this month as we discuss two projects with implications for mental illness and ageing.

University House, Abbotsford Campus
Delicious lunch provided

Thurs, 23 January 2014

Peter Raabe, Philosophy — Philosophy's role in counseling and psychotherapy

In my book, Philosophy's Role in Counseling and Psychotherapy, I argue that philosophy is an effective method in treating mental illness. Calling for a paradigm shift away from the standard belief that the brain and mind are identical I argue that so-called “mental illnesses” such as depression and schizophrenia are not the actual causes of psychological misery. Instead, they are just labels for symptoms. For example, the word “depression” is merely a label attached to a collection of symptoms such as sadness, hopelessness, and low self-esteem. I posit that distressing or painful life events can cause symptoms that are often clinically labeled as the mental illness of depression. The suffering brought on by painful life events can often be alleviated with helpful discussions, and without resorting to medications. Because philosophy is the foremost form of discussion, it means that the suffering that is labeled mental illness can be treated and even cured with philosop hy. I conclude that philosophy is beneficial in three ways: it can prevent the onset of a so-called mental illness in the person who studies it, it can be used to help individuals suffering from the distress that is labeled “mental illness,” and it will enhance the competence of the counselor or therapist who practices it.

Andrea Hughes, Lesley Jessiman and Karisa Teindle, Psychology — The effects of aging on the comprehension of language

As we age we lose some of the language skills we have developed over our lifespan. Most of these changes in linguistic resources are somewhat subtle and often go unnoticed by older adults. Despite these somewhat subtle changes, the common belief held within societies and reported within the literature is that older people are inappropriately talkative, occasionally disinhibited, and somewhat egocentric in their speech (Arbuckle & Gold, 1993). Our research focuses on the language skills that are specifically affected by typical ageing pathology. We also look at how younger adults talk with older adults, either because young adults perceive cognitive and linguistic decline in older adults or as a consequence of preconceived ideas about how old age makes us less effective language users. Our most recent research looks at how well older adults do when faced with language comprehension tasks that rely heavily on emotional content, such as meaning predominantly conveyed by paraling uistic cues, namely facial expressions and prosody (i.e. our melody of speech). We invite discussion on the implications of this work considering that language, and conversations in particular, provide richness and meaning to our lives, something that becomes increasingly more important as we age.

Sponsored by and with the generous support of: UFV Office of Research Services and UFV College of Arts Office

For more information contact Melissa Walter ( or Michelle Riedlinger (





For more information contact Melissa Walter ( or Michelle Riedlinger (

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