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The Ethics of Anxiety

Full details of events (SOLD OUT)

Anxiety is a natural part of life – from brief moments of inner turmoil to some who suffer from a constant, painful hum making daily life a struggle. But why do we get it? What does it mean?

In the medical community, anxiety is generally viewed as an individual psychological problem attributed to difficult thought patterns which can be treated with the likes of Lexapro, counselling or cognitive behaviour therapy. Philosophers Søren Kierkegaard and Martin Heidegger saw anxiety as serving as a deeper revelation about existence, while Paul Tillich argued it was related to the loss of God and community structures. Others blame the pressures of capitalism and industrial society – the constant struggle to be ‘successful’, the precariousness of work, the expectation to perform on social media… and on it goes. Meanwhile, scientists continue to find neural underpinnings to the condition.

Why is it some people’s adrenal glands can get so out of control? What role does the system play in ‘getting us down’? Is it right that we are all being pressured into ‘thinking positively’? Or is worry actually a sign that someone is a moral person? What are some of the breakthroughs in science and CBT?


Genevieve David is a psychotherapist who has worked in private practice for 16 years. For the past ten years, she has been incorporated Buddhism into her practice and is currently President of the Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists.

Associate Professor Adam Guastella is a Clinical Psychologist and Principle Research Fellow at the Brain & Mind Research Institute at Sydney University. His research aims to develop new and more effective treatments for a variety of mental health disorders by translating neuroscience findings into community practice.

Nick Malpas teaches philosophy at the University of Sydney. He is currently completing a PhD entitled "One World, Many Voices: Hannah Arendt and the Foundations of a New Political Morality."

Kerri Sackville is an author, columnist, social commentator and anxious person. She writes regularly for Fairfax, parenting magazines and online publications, and is a panellist on Channel 7's Morning Show. Her second book was 'The Little Book of Anxiety - Confessions from a Worried Life'.

Doors open at 6pm for 6:15pm start.
Drinks and nibbles provided complimentary with ticket.


Earlier Event: 23 April
Upskill to Upcycle
Later Event: 6 May
CitizenFour Screening