We are a group of clinical and research psychologists from the University of Toronto and McGill University who are distributing tools that will improve psychological and physical health to interested individuals everywhere.
We believe that writing exercises such as those presented on this website can help people confront their past, understand and improve their personalities in the present, and increase the chances that their futures will be meaningful, productive and healthy.
Careful writing is a form of complex thinking, and thinking about your experiences, past, present and future, helps eliminate uncertainty and increase promise and hope.
This is of vital importance, because uncertainty triggers emergency mental and bodily responses, particularly through the action of the stress hormone cortisol, and chronic cortisol overproduction can increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, obesity, anxiety, depression and infection. Such overproduction is a major cause of mental degeneration, as well, and contributes to rapid aging.
It is not good for your mind and body to react to life as if it were an ongoing emergency.
Coming to terms with the past, improving the present, and planning the future can help you remove unnecessary stress from your life.
Dr. Jordan B. Peterson has a B.Sc. from the University of Alberta and a Ph.D. from McGill University.
Dr. Peterson is a clinical psychologist and Professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, a post he has occupied since 1998. He previously served as a professor at Harvard University.
He has authored two books: Maps of Meaning & 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos (Jan 25, 2018) and authored or co-authored more than 80 academic research articles on a wide-variety of psychological topics. His YouTube channel has over 1 million subscribers, and presents more than 250 lectures and videos on psychological and philosophical topics. His lectures have been viewed more than 50 million times.
Founder, Head of Software Development
Dr. Daniel M. Higgins has a B.A.I. in Civil Engineering from Trinity College, Dublin, an M.Sc. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from M.I.T. and a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Harvard.
Dr. Higgins has a dual background in psychology and software development. His research has focused on the role of cognition and personality traits in workplace and academic performance.
His expertise in the statistical models underlying psychological assessment coupled with his knowledge of modern web technologies makes him particularly suited to bringing psychological instruments to the web.
Dr. Robert O. Pihl has a B.A. from Lawrence University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Arizona State University.
Dr. Pihl is a professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at McGill University, a post he has occupied since 1979.
He is recognized as a leader in his field, having authored or co-authored more than 250 academic research papers and received multiple awards including the 2009 Canadian Psychological Association's Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Lifetime Contributions to Canadian Psychology and the National Patient Safety Award from the Drug Safety Institute in 2013.
The Past Authoring program was particularly valuable to me. When I began it, I struggled to think of experiences to include. I thought that my life was mundane, that I lacked significant/pivotal life events. With some thought, I began to remember experiences that I had not thought of for a while, that involved early family conflict. Working through the exercises for chosen experiences made me understand their significance and their persistent influence on me. Working through the exercise personally made me organize my thoughts and feelings about these experiences.
I first heard about this from the article in "O" magazine. Then I watched the short video on your website. I suffer from depression, so I've been through a great deal, trying to regain my equilibrium. I feel stronger and more positive, right now, more hopeful about the future than I have in years. And this is after only the first two sections! I completed the Virtues section first. Then, a couple of days later, with a little trepidation, the Faults section. I appreciated your warning to be well-rested and in a good frame of mind. Anyway, I realized a few days after that that I no longer was waking up at three a.m., drenched in guilt, a fairly regular occurrence before that. This was huge! Obviously, I am anxious to keep going. I finished the first part of the Future section yesterday. My daughter is ready to make changes in her life and is too hard on herself. I want her to have whatever benefit she can gain from the program, so I offered to pay for her. Another friend, a truly amazing artist, is suffering from debilitating depression right now. If I can figure out how to pay for hers, as well, I will. Thanks for creating this valuable tool. I feel like it's helping me get out of my own way.
The Future Authoring program was a great way to solidify and identify my goals, heading towards the future. Now that I've explicitly stated them, how to succeed and avoid falling short, I feel that I can no longer run away from them or make excuses because responsibility now weighs heavily on my shoulders. It was an eye-opener thinking about the worst-case scenario in my life, and I realized how badly I didn't want that.