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Life crisis expert to speak at BPS annual conference 

04 April 2019

An expert in life transitions will tell the BPS annual conference how a personal crisis is actually just a natural part of life and can have positive effects.

According to Dr Oliver Robinson’s recent research, approximately one in four people said they were experiencing a major personal crisis at that time. He will examine whether this means crisis is common in life, does it have a function, or are we just fragile?

Dr Robinson focuses on the ways identity, wellbeing and mental health are affected by major life transitions, crises and ageing processes during adulthood. He said: 

“My research shows how a personal crisis can have a clear function by acting as a stimulus for seeking new information, making substantive changes to life, and making new – sometimes hard – discoveries about ourselves. 

This in turn means that episodes of distress and poor mental health are, to some degree, inevitable too. I will also discuss the nature of crisis at different parts of the lifespan and discuss how it relates to curiosity, the persona, future selves, and the search for authenticity.”

Dr Oliver Robinson is a programme leader and Senior Lecturer for Psychology in the Department of Psychology, Social Work and Counselling at the University of Greenwich.

He will present his keynote at the annual conference in Harrogate on Thursday 2 May. 


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