Author: Paul Wong

Death Acceptance and the Meaning-Centered Approach to End-of-Life Care

Ray Hennessy Authors Co-authored with David F. Carreño, M.A. University of Almeria, Spain, and Beatriz Góngora Oliver, M.S., Torrecardenas Hospital, Almeria, Spain. The final examination that faces all of us is how to die well. Death anxiety, just like test anxiety, in and by itself will not enable us to pass this final test. How can we best prepare ourselves to defeat this common enemy? Is there any way to cure this dread? There is a trend in favor of hospice and palliative care over aggressive attempts to prolong lives (Teno et al., 2013). The increasing acceptance of physician-assisted...

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Paul T. P. Wong’s Contribution to Existential Therapy

Meaning therapy (MT; Wong, 2010, 2016) is also known as meaning-centered counseling and therapy (MCCT). It is based on Frankl’s logotherapy, but is extended to integrate with cognitive-behavioral therapy and positive psychotherapy. Thus, it is a pluralistic approach to counseling and therapy that focuses on the fundamental human needs for meaning and relationship. It is a comprehensive way to address all aspects of meaning in life concerns in a supportive therapeutic relationship (Vos et al., in press).   The motto for meaning therapy is, “Meaning is all we have; relationship is all we need.” Meaning therapy assumes that when these two essential human needs are...

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Critique of Positive Psychology and Positive Interventions

Abstract This chapter critiques positive psychology (PP) and PP interventions (PPIs) at three levels. First, it identifies the fundamental problems of elitism and scientism, which permeate and negatively impact PP research and applications. Second, it critiques the conceptual and methodological limitations of PP and PPIs, providing specific examples. Third, it critiques specific problems in PPIs. Finally, this chapter proposes second wave PP (PP 2.0) as a correction to the deficiencies at all three levels so that PP can move forward in a more inclusive and balanced matter. The aim of PP 2.0 is to reach the global audience in...

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Differentiating Between Meaning and Purpose, And Why It Matters

Submitted by Luis A. Marrero, M.A., RODP, LLP, Boston Institute for Meaningful Purpose, for the Positive Living Newsletter (July 2017). Read the rest of the newsletter here. It is not a secret that defining and differentiating meaning and purpose continues to be a challenge for researchers and practitioners alike. This became apparent to me in the course of reviewing the literature while writing my book, The Path to a Meaningful Purpose: Psychological Foundations of Logoteleology. And since publishing the book back in 2013, the debate continues. Being a practitioner, and being intimately aware that my corporate clients demand clear definitions, I pressed on...

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Featured Member: Florence Huang

Submitted by Florence Huang, PhD for the Positive Living Newsletter (July 2017). Read the rest of the newsletter here. I used to be a global executive who worked 18-hour days in multiple time zones and countries. Having spent almost 20 years in the corporate environment, I have witnessed the negative side of competitiveness, the cutthroat industry norm to what is considered success, and the price to pay for maintaining a winning culture. A career in banking, finance, and management consulting was exciting, fast paced, and challenging. My job satisfaction came from a combination of the excitement, sense of achievement, and...

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UK is Aflame with Meaning

President’s Report for the Positive Living Newsletter (July 2017). Read the rest of the newsletter here. After reeling from a string of terrorist attacks in London, the UK is ready for the bold vision of turning tragedy into triumph and frustration into strength through the power of meaning. Now, I am at my desk, just after speaking at the first International Meaning Conference (IMEC) at the University of Roehampton, still feeling the excitement of having been at the mountaintop and caught a glimpse of the glorious vision of a human family caring for each other. Having been a lone voice in...

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International Psychology and I: A Reflection

My birth and historical and cultural background as a Chinese combined with my higher education and academic career as a Canadian have destined me to be an international psychologist. Since my days as a graduate student, all that is within me has recoiled from simple-minded, mechanistic mainstream psychology and compelled me to pursue a different path of integrating East and West. In experimental psychology, I rebelled against the barrenness of S-R learning theory and argued for a contextual “field approach” to investigate the process of adaptation (Wong, 1995). In social-personality psychology, I rejected the bi-polar approach to locus of...

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Summer Institute 2017

Dr. Paul Wong will be leading a two-day intensive workshop on integrative meaning therapy at the INPM’s Summer Institute 2017: “How to Harness the Power of Meaning” on July 22-23, 2017 in Toronto. The workshop will also be available via an online interactive livestream. It is suitable for all mental health professionals or mature lay people preparing to lead Meaningful Living Meetups. Participants receive a certificate of completion as well as an optional 12.0 CPA-approved CE credits. See details below or visit the Summer Institute site. SUMMER INSTITUTE 2017 July 22-23 | Toronto, Canada | Online Interactive Livestream | 12.0...

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How to Measure Existential Meaning

Note This is a manuscript review of the paper published as George, L. S., & Park, C. L. (2016). The Multidimensional Existential Meaning Scale: A tripartite approach to measuring meaning in life. The Journal of Positive Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/17439760.2016.1209546 Introduction I was favourably inclined towards this manuscript because of its title. I was very pleased that positive psychology (PP) researchers are now interested in tackling a fundamental concept in existential psychology—“What is the meaning of life?” or “What is the meaning of human existence?” Such questions have been most frequently asked, according to a simple Google search, because...

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