Why Psychology is Best Explored in a Community, Not a Classroom… and How it Can Change the World.

Why Psychology is Best Explored in a Community, Not a Classroom… and How it Can Change the World.
Photo by Hannah Busing / Unsplash

Psychology is a broad field, covering everything from neuro-anatomy and mental health to human development and behaviour theories. Most people are interested in psychology - it's the one subject that gives us insight into why we are the way we are - yet the field of professional psychology can seem impenetrable to the uninitiated (which is most of us). Pop psychology and self-help books aside, most actual psychological research findings are hidden away, sometimes because of overly-academic language and other times because we just don’t know where to find it.

This is a shame, as psychology has the power to change the world. Psychological research - which happens to be funded by our taxes, in most instances -  helps us understand ourselves and others better, allowing us to navigate our relationships more easily. And peaceful, collaborative and respectful relationships are the key to a happy and healthier life.

What's more, many professionals working in psychology and mental health find it quite isolating. Academics and researchers tend to work on projects focused on narrow subject areas while psychotherapists and counsellors spend most of their time having confidential conversations they can share only in very specific circumstances. When these professionals do get the chance to share, it is usually with others from their own field; this encourages a kind of silo-ing which may make communication about their work difficult outside their professional networks.

Medical information exhibit at the Museum of Weed
Photo by Bret Kavanaugh / Unsplash

Here at Stillpoint, our vision is to make psychology less mysterious, more accessible and friendlier, so that that knowledge can be more easily put to good use for individual and social change. We think it makes a lot of sense to bring together those in search of a community, who have the skills and knowledge about psychology and mental health, with people who are keen to learn more about those subjects, yet don’t necessarily have the time, money or inclination to study them in a more formal setting.

This is why we created our community and this is what our in-person spaces have always been about. We want to provide a space where anyone can learn about psychedelic psychotherapy or Jungian concepts, where questions can be asked and jargon is either eliminated or explained. Our online community is a virtual space geared towards debates and discussions about all things psychology, and we support the learning that occurs there with a carefully compiled programme of events, courses and workshops that help you explore cutting-edge topics in the field and put the findings into practice. So whether you’re a psychological professional or trainee or someone keen to learn more about the subject, we have a membership to suit.

We’re not alone in our belief that psychological knowledge is powerful - particularly when shared. Below are some other organisations and individuals who have a similar mission of making psychology more accessible, for good causes.

  • Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility: PCSR is a fantastic organisation that teaches its members to recognise the impact of context (i.e. social, political, ecological and economic factors) on the client-therapist relationship, and on the population at large, so they can combat discrimination.
  • Climate Psychologists -Anxiety to Action: The Climate Psychologists are a husband and wife partnership who are on a mission to help people turn their climate anxiety into positive, meaningful action to combat climate change. You can learn more about their work by checking out this video of an event we hosted with them back in October.
  • Psychoanalysis and Social Justice: Our colleague and collaborator, the fantastic Marìa Laguna, works tirelessly to promote how psychoanalysis can be explored and leveraged for social justice. Check out her site for some interesting events or blog posts about this topic, or join us for next monthly talk on Critical Psychology.
  • Stillpoint Engage: Our sister company, Stillpoint Engage, does its best to serve those that serve humanity, by facilitating increased psychosocial resilience for humanitarian aid workers and first responders to strengthen and sustain their work in the field.
  • Masawa: Our friends over at Masawa are doing their best to turn their expertise in investing towards a good end, by investing in companies that are revolutionising mental health.
  • Anyone: The folks at Anyone are creating an app that enables users to call Anyone on their books, for a free,  5-minute call about any subject you can think of. It’s a fantastic tech-based initiative to enable everyone to have access to experts, without paying through the nose for it.

It’s more important than ever that insights from psychology are being freely shared outside of academia and the confidential space of the consulting room. There are many ways in which people can be exposed to what these insights have to offer, and Stillpoint is committed to exploring those with its community of psychology professionals and enthusiasts alike. If you haven’t already, come and join us.

You can try whichever membership you prefer, for free, for two weeks. We also have great free resources for you to check out, like our YouTube page and this very blog.

Alex Grunnill works for Stillpoint, and is based in London, UK. She is passionate about psychology, travelling, sustainability and linguistics. She hopes to train as a psychotherapist. You can find her on Linked In.

Stillpoint is an organisation that aims to make psychology more publicly accessible, through events, online content and a virtual community for the psychologically curious.

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