Dr. Paul T. P. Wong

“Meaning is all we have — relationship is all we need.”

Brief Biography

Paul T. P. Wong, Ph.D. (University of Toronto), C.Psych, is Professor Emeritus of Trent University and Trinity Western University. He is a Fellow of APA, APS, and CPA, and the founding President of the International Network on Personal Meaning and the Meaning-Centered Counselling Institute. He is Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Existential Positive Psychology and Consulting Editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology.

As a research psychologist, he is well known as a leading authority on Viktor Frankl and Logotherapy. As a pioneer of the positive psychology of suffering, he is responsible for a major paradigm shift from positive psychology to the existential positive psychology of flourishing through suffering.

He has published 8 books and more than 300 articles and book chapters, with increasing impact according to Google Scholar. He is also shortlisted by AcademicInfluence.com as one of the most “noteworthy and influential psychologists,” with a world ranking of No. 155. He has been invited to give keynotes, webinars, workshops and lectures on all 7 continents.

As a clinical psychologist, his spiritual mission is to spread the good news of self-transcendence – the hope of awakening people to their potential to see the light and be the light in darkness through faith in God. The struggle of turning suffering into highest achievement will make people strong and whole with a sense of peace and harmony.

His brand of Integrative Meaning therapy (IMT) aims at unlocking the transforming power of suffering. It incorporates various therapeutic modalities, such as CBT, narrative therapy, and cross-cultural therapy, with meaning as the central integrating construct. Rather than focusing on symptom reduction, IMT emphasizes that both healing and flourishing can be achieved by meeting the basic human need for meaning, relationships, and faith.  

The motto of IMT is “Meaning is all we have; relationship is all we need.” The ideal client is someone who feels trapped in a living hell or thinks that it is futile to strive and life is meaningless.  

As a Christian leader, he was the founding pastor of Toronto’s first Chinese Gospel Church and founder of the Peterborough Chinese Christian Fellowship. His other leadership positions include the Founding Director of the Graduate Counselling Program at Trinity Western University, and Head of Social Science Division at Tyndale University.


Dr. Paul T. P. Wong is a registered psychologist who originated Meaning-Centered Counseling and Therapy (MCCT), an integrative, existential, and positive approach to counseling, coaching, and psychotherapy. Dr. Paul is also the Founding President of the International Network on Personal Meaning (INPM) and the International Society for Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy (ISEPP), which publishes the International Journal of Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy (IJEPP). Aside from being the Editor-in-Chief of the IJEPP, he is also serving on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Humanistic PsychologyHe is Professor Emeritus at Trent University and Trinity Western University, and Adjunct Professor of Saybrook University.

Currently, Dr. Paul devotes most of his time to the INPM, writing, and private practice. His autobiography is being published in weekly installments, which can be found here.

Academic Contributions

Dr. Paul T. P. Wong received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Toronto in 1970. He has held professorial positions at various universities, including the University of Toronto, York University, and Trent University. As the Founding Director of the Graduate Program in Counselling Psychology at Trinity Western University (TWU), he established an accredited and widely recognized graduate program. He served as the Division Chair of Psychology and Business Administration at Tyndale University College. He was visiting scientist at the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of British Columbia. He has been invited to lecture at numerous universities and institutions in North America, Asia, and Europe.

Dr. Paul has published extensively with more than 120 scholarly journal articles, 60 invited chapters, and 7 books; many of his papers have been reprinted in anthologies. He is internationally known for his research on meaning-in-life, death acceptance, successful aging, existential positive psychology (EPP)—also known as the second wave of positive psychology (PP2.0)—and meaning therapy. His major publications are the two editions of The Human Quest for Meaning: A Handbook of Psychological Research and Clinical Applications (with P. S. Fry) (1998) and The Human Quest for Meaning: Theories, Research, and Applications (2012), as well as The Handbook of Multicultural Perspectives on Stress and Coping (2006).  He is shortlisted by AcademicInfluence.com as one of the “noteworthy and influential psychologists.” 

Dr. Paul is also known for developing several psychological measurements, including the Multidimensional Jealousy Scale (MJS) (with S. M. Pfeiffer)[1], the Stress Appraisal Measure (SAM) (with E. J. Peacock)[2], Death Attitude Profile-Revised (DAP-R) (with G. T. Reker and G. Gesser)[3], the Personal Meaning Profile (PMP)[4], and the Servant Leadership Profile-Revised (SLP) (with D. Page)[5]. With more than 21,000 citations (according to scholar.google.com), Dr. Paul is one of the few psychologists who have been cited by journals and textbooks in diverse areas, ranging from animal learning to social cognition, stress and coping to positive aging and dying, and cross-cultural psychology to meaning research.

Dr. Paul is a Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the Canadian Psychological Association. Apart from his current editorial duties for the IJEPP and Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Dr. Paul has previously served on the editorial boards for PsychCRITIQUES, Stress Medicine, and the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science. He has also served on federal government agencies, including the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Washington, DC and the National Advisory Council on Aging for the Canadian Minister of Health in Ottawa, ON. 

 Community Contributions

Apart from his academic pursuits, Dr. Paul is also devoted to serving people as a Registered Clinical Psychologist and an ordained pastor in Ontario. Currently, he and his wife maintain a private practice through the Meaning-Centered Counselling Institute, Inc. (MCCI). They also offer professional training and supervision for those interested in meaning-centered counselling and therapy (MCCT). The meaning-centered approach is designed to repair what is broken as well as bring out what is best in people. He has applied this approach to developing positive leadership and management as well.

Dr. Paul was also the Founding Pastor of the Chinese Gospel Church in Toronto, as well as the founder of the Peterborough Chinese Christian Fellowship. He has spent more than three decades ministering to refugees, foreign students, and new immigrants. He has contributed many articles to Christian publications and spoken at pastors’ conferences. 

Awards & Honours

Dr. Paul has received numerous awards and honours from around the world, most recently the Carl Rogers Award in 2016 from Division 32 of the American Psychological Association for his “outstanding contribution to the theory and practice of humanistic psychology.” Moreover, he has received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Life Education from the National Taipei University of Nursing and Health (2013, Taiwan), the 12th Global Love of Life Medal from the Ta-Kuan Chou Foundation for his contributions to the suffering people through his writings, teachings, and personal example of being a courageous cancer survivor (2008, Taiwan), and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the INPM (2008, Toronto). Furthermore, he has received the Statue of Responsibility Award from the Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy (1999, Vienna) and the VanCity Cultural Harmony Award from the Society for Community Development (1997, Vancouver).

Dr. Paul is an Honoured Professor at the Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis (2015) and an Accredited Honorary Lifetime Member of the International Association of Logotherapy and Existential Analysis at the Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy in Vienna (2014). Moreover, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Tyndale University College (2004) and the Paul T. P. Wong Center for Research in Counselling Psychology was established by the Board of Governors at Trinity Western University to honour his contributions (2002).

Dr. Paul has been consulted and interviewed by major TV and radio stations, such as ABC, BBC, CBC, CNN, Global News, and CTV News, on a variety of psychological issues, such as the Stockholm Syndrome, PTSD and post-traumatic growth, transformative grieving, and positive psychology. As well, he has been consulted and interviewed by major newspapers, including the New York Times, the Financial Post, the National Post, the Toronto Star, the Vancouver Sun, and Peterborough Examiners. He has been cited by more than 6,000 websites internationally. 

Family Life

Dr. Paul is happily married to Dr. Lilian C. J. Wong, a practicing psychotherapist with a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of British Columbia. Their older son, P. Austin Wong, is the director of business and legal affairs at DHX Media. Their younger son, Wesley P. Wong, is an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, associate faculty at Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, and a principal investigator at Boston Children’s Hospital.


  1. Peacock, E. J., & Wong, P. T. P. (1990). The Stress Appraisal Measure (SAM): A multidimensional approach to cognitive appraisalStress Medicine, 6, 227-236.
  2. Pfeiffer, S. M., & Wong, P. T. P. (1989). Multidimensional jealousyJournal of Social and Personal Relationships, 6(2), 181-196.
  3. Wong, P. T. P. (1998). Implicit theories of meaningful life and the development of the Personal Meaning Profile (PMP). In P. T. P. Wong, & P. Fry (Eds.), The human quest for meaning: A handbook of psychological research and clinical applications (pp. 111-140). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  4. Wong, P. T. P., & Page, D. (2003, October). Servant leadership: An opponent-process model and the revised servant leadership profile. In Proceedings of the Servant Leadership Research Roundtable.
  5. Wong, P. T. P., Reker, G. T., & Gesser, G. (1994). Death Attitude Profile – Revised: A multidimensional measure of attitudes toward death. In R. A. Neimeyer (Ed.), Death anxiety handbook: Research, instrumentation, and application (pp. 121-148). Washington, DC: Taylor & Francis.
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