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The new psychology of health: Unlocking the social cure

03 January 2018 6:15 pm - 7:45 pm
This event is free and open to BPS members only. Registration is required. See Pricing tab for more information.
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This event is now FULLY BOOKED.

If you are over 50 and you join one social group today you will cut your risk of being diagnosed with depression in the next two years by 24%.

With every group membership that that you lose after retirement, your quality of life declines by 10%, and your life expectancy reduces by about 3%. Such statistics point to the fact that group life is an important determinant of well-being and health. Yet its importance is rarely discussed, and far less explained.

This talk will attempt to address this gap in understanding by showing that groups exert a profound impact on our psychology and health through their capacity to be internalized within the self, as part of our social identity (a sense of the self as ‘we’ and ‘us’, not just ‘me’ and ‘I’).

It will show that when this occurs, groups provide us not only with social support but also with a sense of meaning, belonging, purpose, and agency — factors that in turn have powerful consequences for our psychological and social functioning.

More generally, we argue that there is a strong case for advancing theory and practice in clinical and health domains by attending to lessons that derive from social identity theorizing. In particular, this is because the approach provides an important alternative to prevailing approaches that define the self (and the psychology of mental and physical health) in individualistic terms.

The London and Home Counties’ Branch of the British Psychological Society is pleased to bring you opportunities to hear speakers on different topics. The views expressed by the speakers are not necessarily the views of the Society or Branch.

Please see the Programme Tab for further information. 

Friends House,
173-177 Euston Road,

Nearest tubes; Euston (Northern and Victoria lines) and Euston Square (Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith and City lines).

Event Location: 


Catherine Haslam
(PhD, Australian National University) is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Queensland. Her research focuses on the social and cognitive consequences of identity-changing life transitions (e.g., trauma, disease, aging). She is an Associate Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (as part of its Social Interactions, Identity and Well-being Program), and an Associate Editor of the British Journal of Psychology. She previously edited The Social Cure: Identity Health and Well-being (with Jolanda Jetten and Alex Haslam; Psychology Press).

S. Alexander Haslam (PhD, Macquarie University) is a Professor of Psychology and Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow at the University of Queensland. He is a former Chief Editor of the European Journal of Social Psychology whose research focuses on the study of group and identity processes in social, organisational, and clinical contexts. Together with colleagues he has written and edited 12 books and over 200 peer-reviewed articles on these topics including, most recently, The New Psychology of Leadership: Identity, Influence and Power (Psychology Press, 2011, with Steve Reicher & Michael Platow).

Who can attend?

This is a free event for members of The British Psychological Society only.

To join the Society please follow the link below:

Registration information 

Clicking on the register button will take you to the BPS online Shop - please sign in using your usual BPS membership number and password.

If you don't yet have an account, you can create an account via this link:

Once you have signed in, click on this event to register and you should be able to complete the form and add to basket.

If you have any queries regarding this event please contact Member Network Services, quoting 'LHC-Unlocking-Jan2018' at

Alternatively telephone during office hours on +44 (0) 116 252 9515 stating the name and date of the event.


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