Stoic Week 2014: Press Release

PRESS RELEASE –  STOIC  WEEK 2014

Stoic Week 2014 is an online and international event taking place from Monday 24th to Sunday 30th November. The week is part of a multi-disciplinary project called Stoicism Today, which is helping to revive the ancient philosophy of Stoicism in modern life.

Stoicism inspired Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and modern resilience psychology, and is a powerful philosophy for helping people flourish in the face of adversity. At a time when many schools and companies are interested in teaching resilience and character, it’s never been more relevant.

Modern fans of Stoicism include Derren Brown, Adrian Edmondson, Elle MacPherson, Tom Wolfe and Jonathan Newhouse (CEO of Conde Nast International). Stoic Week will hopefully help more people discover the practical usefulness of this ancient philosophy, and while allowing us to measure its therapeutic effectiveness.

Anyone can participate in Stoic Week by following the daily instructions in the Stoic Week 2014 Handbook, which will be made freely available online. Over 60 schools have already signed up to take part, as well as philosophy groups, mental health charities and a prison philosophy club.

There is also a one-day event being held at Queen Mary, University of London, on November 29th, with places for 300 people, at which leading experts on modern Stoicism will be speaking.

More information on Stoic Week 2014: http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/stoicismtoday/2014/10/20/stoic-week-2014-everything-you-need-to-know/

More information on the London Event: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/stoicism-today-part-of-stoic-week-2014-tickets-12970112957

Background:

The team: The Stoicism Today first came together in 2012. It is composed of a voluntary group of philosophers, health professionals, therapists interested in reviving Stoicism and introducing it into different sectors, including schools, prisons, companies, the military, sports, and particularly mental health.

The team includes Christopher Gill, Emeritus Professor of Ancient Thought, University of Exeter; Jules Evans, philosopher and author of Philosophy for Life; Donald Robertson, CBT therapist and author of Teach Yourself Stoicism; Gill Garratt, CBT therapist and author of Introducing CBT for Work; John Sellars, Research Fellow at the Department of Philosophy, King’s College London; Tim LeBon, CBT Therapist and author of Teach Yourself Positive Psychology; Gabriele Galluzzo, lecturer in ancient philosophy, University of Exeter; and  Patrick Ussher, PhD student in ancient philosophy, University of Exeter.

Stoicism Today, a book made up of articles, reflections and interviews about modern Stoicism, recently published by Patrick Ussher, gives wide examples of how Stoicism is used in the modern world and the kind of work the Stoicism Today project has focussed on. It’s available in e-book format and as paperback on Amazon.

This is the third year Stoic Week has run. Last year, Stoic Week attracted significant interest, with 2,200 people taking part in the online course. The Stoicism Today blog has over 120,00 hits in and around Stoic Week. Last year, we found that life satisfaction of participants increased on average by 14%,  optimism by 18% and joy by 12%.  Negative emotions reduced by similar amounts; anger by 13% and negativity by 12%. Initial indications are also that the most potent parts of Stoicism may be Stoic rationality (challenging irrational thoughts) Stoic mindfulness (continuous awareness of the judgements we are making) and Stoic Cosmopolitanism (our close connection with others).

Possible media angles for Stoic Week 2014:

–  The revival of Stoicism – why Greek philosophy is the new mindfulness

–  Schools bring back the stiff upper lip

–  Why Stoicism is the key to resilience

–  Teaching Stoicism in prison

–  The UK commando training school teaching Stoicism to new recruits

–  How ancient philosophy inspired modern therapy

–  Taking philosophy beyond academia

The team are all available for interviews and we are happy to put journalists in touch with relevant experts and interviewees for their particular angle. We are also able to help teachers interested in getting involved, with free teaching materials available.

Contact Patrick Ussher here.

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