Positive Living Newsletter

The Varieties of Self-Transcendence: The Good and the Bad

President’s Report for the Positive Living Newsletter (January 2017). Read the rest of the newsletter here. Recently, I have touted the benefits of self-transcendence (ST) in several publications (e.g., Wong, 2016a, b). Since all things exist in polarity (Wong, 2016c, d), naturally, ST also has its downside. This essay will explore the dark side of ST and suggest ways to prevent it. Examples of Negative Self-Transcendence An estimated 21,500 civilians have been killed in East Aleppo, more than 400,000 refugees have fled Aleppo, and over four million citizens have left Syria. Yet, Syrian President al-Assad, in an interview with the French media, asserted that all

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Proposed Guidelines for Collaborative Research

Proposed Guidelines for Collaborative Research

Why do we need collaborative research? It is needed because of the complex and holistic nature of any human phenomenon. In order to advance the common good, we need to learn from each other and work together towards a better understanding of human experience and behavior (Gergen, 2016; Wong, in press). My Experience in Collaborative Research Personally, I have been involved in various forms of collaborative research efforts for over 30 years. I spent five years as a member of the Panel on Biological and Behavioral Sciences in the National Institute of Mental Health. I also worked as a member

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Four Defining Characteristics of Self-Transcendence

From Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy to the Four Defining Characteristics of Self-Transcendence

Introduction The present paper continues my earlier presentation on self-transcendence (ST) as a pathway to meaning, virtue, and happiness (Wong, 2016), in which I introduced Viktor Frankl’s (1985) two-factor theory of ST. Here, the same topic of ST is expanded by first providing the basic assumptions of logotherapy, then arguing the need for objective standards for meaning, and finally elaborating the defining characteristics of ST. To begin, here is a common-sense observation—no one can remain at the same spot for life for a variety of reasons, such as developmental and environmental changes, but most importantly because people dream of a

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Positive Living Newsletter

Acceptance, Transcendence, and Yin-Yang Dialectics: The Three Basic Tenets of Second Wave Positive Psychology

President’s Report for the Positive Living Newsletter (November 2016). Read the rest of the newsletter here. Since the INPM is home of second wave positive psychology (PP 2.0), this month I will continue to examine this topic so that our readers can have a better understanding of the three basic tenets of PP 2.0. The most fundamental tenet or the overarching conceptual framework for PP 2.0 is the Yin-Yang dialectics as illustrated in the above Carl Jung quote and a quote from Tao Te Ching (道德經), written by Lao-tzu (老子) and translated into English by Stephen Mitchell (1988): When people see

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Positive Psychology in North America

Positive Psychology in North America

Historial Background to Positive Psychology in North America Humanistic Psychology The story of positive psychology (PP) in America begins long prior to the modern movement called PP, and the humanistic psychologists provide a reasonable place to begin. Humanist psychologists were the first psychologists who focused on the positive side of people—their innate goodness and natural tendency towards the self-actualization of their potentials. Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow were the leading figures in this movement. The humanistic approach began as a reaction against the determinism of psychoanalysis and behaviorism, both of which were dominant forces in psychology in the 1950s and

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Positive Living Newsletter

INPM President’s Report – September 2016

President’s Report for the Positive Living Newsletter (September 2016). Read the rest of the newsletter here. Mapping the Contour of Second Wave Positive Psychology (PP 2.0) The 9th Biennial International Meaning Conference has come and gone, leaving behind many lasting memories and a rich reservoir of ideas for research and interventions. In this report, I want to highlight the main themes that map the contour of PP 2.0. Second Wave Positive Psychology (PP 2.0) Summit The PP 2.0 Summit was a historical first. Some of the most creative minds in positive psychology attended the summit to chart the course of the

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Self-Transcendence

Self-Transcendence: A Paradoxical Way to Become Your Best

Introduction I propose that the way to become your best self is, paradoxically, to become more selfless. I want to make the case that, in a world of cut-throat competition, the best strategy to survive and prosper for individuals and societies is to give our best in serving each other. In psychological terms, this way of life is called self- transcendence (ST). ST sounds paradoxical and counter-intuitive and may not make sense at first glance because in this individualistic consumer society, self-interest always seems front and centre in our consciousness. From parenting to education, we are ingrained with the idea

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The Future of Humanistic Psychology

Meaning-Centered Approach to Research and Therapy, Second Wave Positive Psychology, and the Future of Humanistic Psychology

Abstract This paper describes six research principles for revitalizing humanistic psychology and impacting mainstream psychology based on Gergen (2016) and DeRobertis (2016). It demonstrates how Wong’s meaning-centered research and therapy is an extension of humanistic-existential psychology and has impacted mainstream psychology indirectly by following six principles. Furthermore, it also shows how Wong’s (2011) second wave positive psychology is able to provide a new humanistic vision to impact mainstream psychology directly. Finally, it argues that humanistic psychology needs to take these six principles seriously by going beyond phenomenological research and replacing a “tribal” mentality with a pluralistic big-tent perspective since humanistic-existential

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Positive Living Newsletter

INPM President’s Report – July 2016

President’s Report for the Positive Living Newsletter (July 2016). Read the rest of the newsletter here. PP2.0 Summit Explores the New Vistas of Second Wave Positive Psychology: How to Embrace the Dark Side to Make Life Better The much anticipated first Second Wave Positive Psychology (PP2.0) Summit is fast approaching; leaders in PP2.0 from around the world will be gathered in Toronto at the 9th Biennial International Meaning Conference between July 28-31 to explore the exciting new vistas of research and interventions in second wave positive psychology. A few months ago, I answered the basic question: What is Second Wave Positive Psychology

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Book Review

The Need for Existential Cross-Cultural Competency in Therapy and Supervision

Abstract Reviews the book Addressing Cultural Complexities in Practice: Assessment, Diagnosis, and Therapy (3rd ed.) by Pamela A. Hays. While acknowledging the timeliness and comprehensiveness of Addressing Cultural Complexities in Practice, this critique highlights the deficiency in addressing existential and spiritual issues in therapy in most chapters of the book. The critique argues that since meaning is the core of human experience and well-being, a cross-cultural competence in working with meaning-in-life issues is needed both for promoting the positive psychology of optimal well-being as well as for coping effectively with the inevitable dark side of human existence. Addressing Cultural Complexities

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