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 met, individuals are more likely to cope better with their predicaments and live a more rewarding life. When there is deficiency in these two areas, people will more likely experience difficulties in life.
Meaning therapy favors a psycho-educational approach that recognizes the vital role of meaning and purpose in healing, recovery, and well-being (Wong, 2012). It appeals to the client’s sense of responsibility to make full use of their freedom to pursue what really matters and what constitutes a rewarding future. Within this conceptual framework, the therapist provides a safe and trusting environment that facilitates collaborative effort and shared decision making in terms of preferred interventions, plans, and goals. Both the assessment and intervention in meaning therapy makes full use of empirically validated instruments and findings (Wong, 1998, 2015).
- Vos, J., Cooper, M., Hill, C. E., Neimeyer, R. A., Schneider, K., & Wong, P. T. P. (in press). Five perspectives on the meaning of meaning in the context of clinical practices. Journal of Constructivist Psychology.
- 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.
- Wong, P. T. P. (2010). Meaning therapy: An integrative and positive existential psychotherapy. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 40(2), 85-99.
- Wong, P. T. P. (Ed.). (2012). The human quest for meaning: Theories, research, and applications (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
- Wong, P. T. P. (2015). Meaning therapy: Assessments and interventions. Existential Analysis, 26(1), 154-167.
- Wong, P. T. P. (2016). Integrative meaning therapy: From logotherapy to existential positive interventions. In P. Russo-Netzer, S. E. Schulenberg, & A. Batthyany (Eds.). Clinical perspectives on meaning: Positive and existential psychotherapy. New York, NY.
This article will be published in Alfried Längle’s Handbook on Existential Therapy.