Writer-Author-Blogger, Instructor (Psychology, University of British Columbia), and Existential Coach/Consultant
Contributing to the social and psychological discourse on our human nature and current state. Specializing in (1) educational development and leadership, (2) psychological writing & editing, and (3) existential guidance for individuals, groups, and businesses.
Welcome… I’m a writer, author, and instructor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, with a PhD in Health Psychology (2013, UBC). In addition to my ongoing involvement in research, much of my time is now dedicated to authorship and education in the field. I am particularly concerned with the state of science literacy today, and it is one of my main goals to support and promote a stronger connection between public discourse and scientific literature (with a focus on human behaviour). I want to help us understand who we are; why we do the things we do, why we keep making the same mistakes, and how we might best move forward together.
I also offer consulting services aimed at helping individuals better manage their relationship with the world. To understand yourself and your place in it, I believe it is necessary to seek answers to some of your biggest questions.
Some of my questions...
The questions are infinite, of course, and they can be approached either personally or collectively. But there are a few that I consider to be of paramount interest to our collective experience here:
What is the role of the individual in society, and in the world at large? What is our relationship to the natural world? Will we (can we) ever live in harmony with nature?
To what extent are growth and development possible while attempting to maintain elements of the past? In other words, how do we move forward without leaving everything behind?
What is it going to take to make this work? Can we actually learn how to get along in a way that contributes to global health and development?
Can we learn how to better ourselves in ways that also better others? Can we use our personal agency for purposes of communion rather than to simply gain further agency?
Where are we headed, and in what ways are we in this together? What does positive growth look like?
While I believe in the importance of self-reflection and inner discovery, I also believe strongly in the importance of communion and the maintenance of community and society at large. I am somewhat critical of the self-help industry for placing too much emphasis on the self to the exclusion of others. In reality, we are all in this together. We need to do more to consider those around us; and to learn how to be more compassionate, empathic, and charitable.
Consider this: Some suggest that in order to love others, you must first learn to love yourself. I would challenge you to consider the possibility that by loving others, and by being kind and compassionate, you might learn how to better love yourself.
My Teaching Philosophy
I describe my approach to teaching as engaging and collaborative learning through progressive teaching. In addition to intellectual engagement, I have found that personal engagement is equally valuable to the learning experience of my students. By personal engagement I mean the capacity for students to relate topics to their own lives and experiences, thus improving understanding and retention of concepts and information. I further strive to make learning collaborative in my classes, such that students and instructor alike are engaged together in discourse, resulting in a dynamic classroom experience.
I accomplish these goals using a variety of strategies within a thought-provoking and highly progressive framework, where contemporary research is discussed, new ideas are encouraged, and diverse perspectives are acknowledged and respected. I believe this creates a more authentic and stimulating learning experience for students. Outside the classroom, it is my hope that such strategies will enable students to be more engaged citizens, so that they approach the world with greater intellectual curiosity, respect, and open-mindedness.
I consider myself a co-learner among my students and make every effort to ensure that students see me in this light. I am further dedicated to teaching in a way that is compassionate and open-minded. To this end, I frequently touch on issues related to social justice and equality within the context of course topics, in order to support social change and advocacy in the community.