Looking For Love
A four week course to help us navigate the complex business of deepening and revitalising love.
Never before in human history have we expected so much of our romantic partners. We ask them to be our lovers, our best friends, our confidants, our sexual partners, the parents of our children, our adventurers, our career councillors and our therapists – all the while seeking stability and assurance from them with the occasional hit of spontaneity and excitement. It’s a lot to measure up to for anyone.
To help us navigate the joys and sorrows of love, we have drawn together the best of The School of Life curriculum into a four-week intensive course. With other curious and open-minded people, we will develop the emotional skills to explore our expectations and realities of love in our lives, and the part we play in the equation of evolving and lasting love.
Our curriculum brings the best insights of philosophy and psychology to bear on the complex emotional concerns that we face in the journey of loving another person and sharing our lives with them. Each week expert faculty will guide us through ideas and exercises designed to challenge our patterns and instincts around love and will encourage us to share our experiences and insights in an intimate, non-judgemental environment.
Part One: How To Make Love Last, Tuesday 4 February
In our first class, we learn seven core skills that underpin successful long-term relationships. We will learn:
- How to communicate, teach and learn.
- How to allow others to get close to us.
- How to understand and explain our distinctive way of feeling loved.
- How to navigate conflict.
- How to deal with sexual differences and awkward desires.
Part Two: Stay or Leave? Tuesday 11 February
In our second class, we will take an audit of love in general and our relationships in particular to examine the following topics:
- How much should two people argue and how should they do it?
- What should a partner understand about us? And what should we not expect them to grasp?
- How do we assess our own ideas of a ‘deal-breaker’?
- What level of sexual satisfaction is to be expected?
Part Three: A Night of Better Conversation on Sex, Friday 14 February
In week three we take our new insights and skills out of the classroom to enjoy an evening of adventurous conversation with other curious, open-minded people at The School of Life’s A Night of Better Conversation: Sex.
A Night of Better Conversation has been designed to help us enjoy rich and memorable conversations about things that really matter in life, inspired by the ideas of great thinkers and philosophers. The night will be broken into theory and practice. You will begin by learning a specific technique for better conversation and then invited to practice the technique with other people focusing on the theme of Sex.
Part Four: How To Enjoy Life, Tuesday 18 February
Back in the classroom for our final session, we will take all we have learned about the joys and sorrows of love and consider its role in a deeper exploration of how we live a good life:
- The skills of appreciation and gratitude.
- How little we sometimes notice what is around us.
- How to awaken ourselves to the beauty and value of the things, people and ideas with which we are surrounded.
- How to properly absorb what is already precious in our lives.
- The art of sampling happiness without being sentimental or deluded - a skill we term ‘cheerful despair’.
TIMETABLE (Part One, Two and Four)
TIMETABLE (Part Three, 14 February)
7.30 pm Technique 1 & conversation
8.00 pm Technique 2 & conversation
8.30 pm Technique 3 & conversation
9.00 pm Event Concludes & Permission to Speak Freely
Compatibility is an achievement of love; it shouldn’t be its precondition.
- Alain de Botton
Sarah Pant is a psychotherapist, change specialist, organisational development consultant and group facilitator. Sarah brings over thirteen years experience and a conscious creativity to every endeavour. She has a particular interest in conflict work, ecopsychology and the creative process and dynamics of change. Before her career in coaching and psychotherapy Sarah completed a Bachelor degree in Music Theatre at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). She worked as a performing artist and shared her theatre and musical skills through a variety of creative workshops within community groups, schools and youth justice services throughout Europe and Australia.
Pierz Newton-John is a writer, psychotherapist and software designer. Pierz’s short stories have been widely published in Australian literary journals and anthologies, and his critically acclaimed collection “Fault Lines” was published by Spineless Wonders in 2012. As a psychotherapist, Pierz worked for many years in private practice and in the correctional system. He wrote a book on post-prison reintegration which for several years was provided to all prisoners released from Victorian gaols. More recently Pierz has pursued an interest in technology, working as a web developer for the not-for-profit counselling organisation On the Line.
Fiona Gruber is a journalist, broadcaster and radio documentary maker. Fiona presents, produces and has made a wide range of documentaries for ABC Radio National including the ten-part series Australian Portraits, A Late Afternoon with Clive James, Former Foreign Correspondent Jill Jolliffe’s Latest Battle–about the journalist’s journey with Altzheimers – A Short History of the Nuclear Bunker and Art After Death, a look at how the art world deals with the legacy of artists and their works. In 2004 she founded Gert’s Sunday Salon, a cabaret club in Melbourne, for which she won a Green Room Award.