Understanding Ourselves And Others

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Bi-weekly – Week 1 ; Wednesday ; 12pm – 2pm

Term 1 – via Zoom; Term 2 – Tartu (tbc)     Space available

For millennia, thinkers have developed theories to explain human behaviour. How does personality develop and to what degree can it change?  What is empathy and can it be taught?  How important is early attachment to individual well-being?  We will explore these and other questions in order to better understand ourselves and others. Participants will research and present on either: (i) an idea or concept (e.g. emotions, personality, vulnerability, empathy, happiness, loneliness, attachment, etc.), explaining what it is: its importance, how it varies from individual to individual, and if/how it can change over an individuals lifespan or (ii) the contributions of a significant thinker to understanding human behaviour (e.g. Freud, Carl Rogers, etc.). A list of suggested topics and references will be provided. Please join us on this fascinating journey as we explore what it means to be human.


Thea Herman(theaherman1@gmail.com) is a retired judge, lawyer and senior civil servant. In retirement she is learning Spanish and playing in a band. She has co-facilitated workshops at the Academy on Dance and Pandemics. Thea enjoys exploring what makes people tick, an interest that began when she studied psychology in university. 

Yvette Matyas(ymatyas5351@rogers.com) studiedundergraduate psychology at McGill and worked for over twenty years in healthcare administration. She has co-facilitated workshops at the Academy on Architecture, Ageing, Birds, Dance, andPandemics.Yvette is curious about what makes people tick and looksforward toexploring together what it means to be human. 

Workshop Notes:

Welcome Letter

Topics with References