Exploring what it is to be human and how to live a life that’s really worth living, with a sprinkling of psychology, a dash of neuroscience, a generous helping of philosophy, and a light dusting of social theory… Welcome to The Question!
In the seven years that I’ve been practicing as counselor and psychotherapist, one thing keeps coming up again and again and again. Whatever brings people to therapy – whether it relates to childhood experiences, relationship difficulties, abuse or trauma, the terrible sadness that can engulf us when we’re bereaved, or any of the many other experiences that cause us hurt and distress – the underlying wish is to live a more rewarding life while asking ourselves the fundamental question: ‘What kind of life do I want to live, how do I want to live differently?’
It’s a powerful question, and a question you don’t need to be in therapy to ask.
How we understand ourselves, other people, and the world we live in has an enormous impact on how we live our lives, sometimes for better but sometimes for worse. Right now, I’m writing a book and producing a documentary series that explore what it is to be human and what we all need to live purposeful and meaningful lives. And I’m inviting you to join me on the adventure…
I’ll be sharing a model of human growth and development – a model of how we become who we are – that draws upon:
- psychology and emerging insights from neuroscience that offer new views on what it is to be human
- philosophical perspectives on human nature and the nature of our shared social reality
- and social theories that shed light on the workings of the world we’re living in
If life is a game, I’ll be shining a light on the rules of the game, so we can play more effectively and live more fulfilling and meaningful lives.
In this blog, I’ll be sharing the ideas that I’m working on, ideas that can help us answer questions like:
- What is it to be human?
- What is the world really like?
- How did ‘I’ become ‘me’?
- Do relationships really matter?
- Are depression and anxiety diseases, or something completely different?
- What do I need to live a meaningful life?
- What does it mean to be free?
I’ll be posting articles every couple of weeks, and I hope you’ll not only enjoy them but also share your thoughts and contribute to the conversation. Do sign up for the mailing list and get articles sent directly to your inbox as soon as they’re posted, and please do take part in any discussions because what you have to say counts too.
Welcome to the celebration!
In my next post, I’ll introduce my model of how we become who we become and it’ll become clear just why it’s something to be interested in. Until then, take care…
Richard Askew is a counsellor and psychotherapist, registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). Alongside his private practice, Richard has taught trainee counsellors, studied philosophy and modern history as an undergraduate and beyond, and worked in the community and voluntary sector in Brighton and Hove. His interests are wide-ranging and include: psychology; continental philosophy; community development; human rights; sustainability; gender; power and the exercise of freedom; international relations; and capability-based approaches to human development. Outside office hours, his interests tend to be far more light-hearted, infused with a passion for music, film and – of course – people.