Friend or Foe


This conference arises as an imperative and crucial need for a dialogue on the complex interplay between the personal dimension and the evolving landscape of social and political engagement, set against the backdrop of heightened stakes in contemporary society. The conference will explore the challenges posed by a world dominated by a growing trend toward self-centred cultures and the tension it creates with an increase sense of social and political unease and will address the pressing issues at the intersection of personal development and social responsibility.


The conference will create a space for probing the intricacies of the human journey. Amidst the clamour for individualism and the relentless pursuit of personal gratification, the conference will seek to explore the delicate balance between nurturing one’s authentic self and embracing the call to social responsibility and to unravel the tensions arising from the pursuit of the authentic self while addressing the demands of a socially conscious world. It will specifically explore further explore the intricate dance between personal therapy which is by nature self-centered and aiming to empower the individual and the self with social and political engagement and pondering on the possibility of making choices to the benefit of the greater good.


As we negotiate this nuanced terrain, we navigate the dichotomies inherent in personal therapy. We reflect on the challenge of discovering one’s authentic self in a world gripped by escalating political and social stakes. In this exploration, we acknowledge the profound impact of individual empowerment, not merely as an isolated pursuit but potentially, as a force for positive change in the broader societal narrative.


The ethical terrain, complex and multifaceted, beckons our attention. Balancing the authenticity of self-expression with the ethical imperative of social responsibility becomes paramount. As Mental health professionals are we perceived by ourselves and by others as ethical guides, navigating individuals through the labyrinth of ethical considerations in a landscape where the personal and the collective intersect?


Diversity, a cornerstone of our exploration, underscores the significance of inclusivity and intersectionality. We recognize that personal therapy and social engagement are not monolithic experiences but weave through diverse perspectives, shaped by factors such as race, gender, and socio-economic backgrounds.


At the heart of our exploration lies the existential approach, a lens through which we examine the existential tensions, contradiction and paradoxes inherent in navigating personal growth and social responsibility in a world marked by consumerism and individualism. This approach offers profound insights into the human experience, enriching our understanding of the delicate balance between the authentic self and the collective including the profound insights provided by the existential approach, with passion and purpose.


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