FARMINGTON, ME (September 15, 2015)—The University of Maine at Farmington is proud to announce “The Public Classroom,” a new occasional series featuring UMF’s outstanding new faculty that engages the community in exciting academic topics explored by experts in the field.

The opening lecture: Making a “To Be list”: Do your values influence your happiness?, is presented by Natasha Lekes, UMF assistant professor of psychology, at 7 p.m.,Wednesday, Sept. 23, in the Emery Community Arts Center on the UMF campus.

Caught in the busyness of modern life, many of us regularly make to do lists, without taking the time to think about our core values. Yet writing a “To Be list” or reflecting on our values may foster our overall well-being.

In this talk, Lekes explores the following questions from the perspective of her field of psychology, drawing on her research, as well as her experiences as a parent, teacher and psychotherapist. How do we define happiness? How do different types of values relate to our happiness and well-being? Are wealth and image linked to happiness as advertisers would have us believe? Is striving for our own personal values incompatible with taking care of our environment?

As a therapist, teacher, and researcher, Lekes is passionate about the role that psychology can play in helping people to live more satisfying and fulfilling lives. Her practice as a psychologist has included individual counseling, couples therapy and sex therapy. She feels privileged to guide students in exploring questions on how mental disorder is defined and treated, views on death and dying and approaches to mental health and well-being. Her research has examined the relationship between values and happiness. Her work is most recently published in the Journal of Positive Psychology and the Journal of Research in Personality.

Lekes received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from McGill University.

“The Public Classroom” series is sponsored by the UMF Office of the President. Lectures in this series are free and open to the public.


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