International Conference – Seminar “OTHER and BEING OTHER with Epilepsy: Challenges for Psychosocial Consulting“

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Commemorating ten years since the establishment for the Epilepsy Consulting Center in Kaunas.

Conference venue: Museum of the History of Lithuanian Medicine and Pharmacy (Rotušės 28, Kaunas)

Conference languages: Lithuanian – German.

The special venue of the conference allows us to focus on the contributions of Emmanuel Levinas’s philosophical perspective to our psychosocial work: “When we look at the face of the other, we become responsible for him or her, because the other’s face is the infinity and limit of my own freedom.” People experiencing epileptic seizures convey their vulnerability in relationships with the words: “I don’t want them to look at me and think about my illness, I just want them to look at me and see me.”

In addition to a presentation on the implications of Levinas’s ideas for our work, conference participants will have a unique opportunity to get insights aquired over more than one hundred and thirty years at German epilepsy centers. Bethel, Kleinwachau, and Kork centers provide multidisciplinary assistance through medical interventions such as diagnosis, treatment with epilepsy medication, surgical treatment, nutritional and psychotherapeutic measures. Non-medical interventions are also provided. These include information and psychosocial consultations on personal, legal, professional issues, as well as social, medical, and professional rehabilitation measures. The essence of the multidisciplinary approach and implications for other settings will be presented and discussed along with presentations about specific dimensions of the experience of epilepsy.

Since 2013, Caritas in Lithuania has been collaborating with the epilepsy centers, the German Social Work Association in the field of epilepsy, and the LUHS FPH Department of Bioethics to develop various forms of assistance to help people and their family members better understand epilepsy, learn to manage it, and live a more independent and authentic life. Conference presenters will address these topics in the philosophical context of learning to see the faces of people with epilepsy.

You can see the conference program here.