Aesthetics in Mental Health Vitality Symposium



Advanced Studies Conference: Vitality and Wellbeing – aesthetic considerations, concepts and clinical practice – Vienna, Saturday November 16, 2019

Organising Institutions:

Institute for Social Aesthetics and Mental Health, Sigmund Freud University Vienna, Austria, Collaborating Centre for Values-based Practice, St. Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, England, Endowment Fund Erwin Ringel Institute  (Stiftungsfond Erwin Ringel Institut) Vienna, Austria, Institute for Social Aesthetics and Mental Health, Sigmund Freud University Berlin, Germany

Organisers: Michael Musalek – Vienna, Austria, Helena Fox – Oxford, England

Conference Venue: Sigmund-Freud-University Vienna, Freudplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Lecture Room 3002


Margit Zangerle,  Anton Proksch Institut Wien Gräfin Zichygasse 6,  A-1230 Vienna, Austria.
Tel: +43 1 88010 101

Homepage: Institute for Social Aesthetics & Mental Health
Congress Fee: None
Registration: obligatory
Coffee break and Lunch: included
Certificate of Attendance: available

Abstract: In accordance with the WHO definition published in 1947, today mental health is understood not merely as the absence of mental illness, but as a state of complete mental well-being, This  is usually defined as a state in which an individual is able to reach their  vital goals. Such vital goals are a satisfactory degree of self-determination and a state of minimal long-term happiness. To reach these vital goals a sufficient mental and physical energy (vigor, power, vital force – vitality) is needed. Vitality includes not only mental and physical power but also liveliness in the sense of flexibility, resilience and the ability of zest, enthusiasm, fascination and excitement. The strength of vitality highly correlates and interacts with mental well-being.  The aim of the symposium is to analyze and discuss aesthetic considerations, concepts and practice concerning the complex interrelations between vitality, well-being and mental health issues. 

List of Topics:

  • Phenomenology of Vitality
  • Vitality / Drive / Power / Élan vital
  • Biology of Vitality
  • Social aesthetics of Vitality
  • Mental Health and Vitality
  • Vitality and Joy/Delight
  • Psychosocial Wellbeing and Vitality 
  • Vitality and Wellness
  • Arts and Vitality
  • Psychopathology of Drive, Élan vital
  • Drive (Vitality) Disorders
  • Burn-out and Vitality
  • Vitality and Mental Disorders
  • Neurology of Drive Disorders
  • Vitality in Psychotherapy
  • Vitality as Treatment Goal
  • Vitality and Performance
  • Vitality and Creativity