Jonathon Walker

Supervisor: A/Prof Lisa Phillips

I’ve returned to the University of Melbourne after a 10 year break, working as a clinical psychologist. My PhD research is based on my observations in therapy, and how people create meaningful lives. For a long time I’ve had an interest in both psychology and philosophy, and spent several years reading about the concept of 'eudaimonia', a Greek word synonymous with “the good and meaningful life”. In this context, ‘Eu’ simply means ‘good’, while a ‘daimon’ refers to our ‘inner spirit’ or ‘true self’. The ancient philosophers, such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, proposed the inner ‘daimon’ needs to be cultivated with virtue and expressed behaviourally to achieve well-being. However, psychology has taken a long time to catch up with these ideas. I’m very interested in discovering what aspect of the true self needs to be expressed to create a meaningful life, and then designing a procedure to restore meaning when it’s absent.