From INPM to the Decade of Meaning: Expanding Visions

Expanding Vision for INPMThis new year promises to be an exciting year for INPM. I will highlight a few new developments here as opportunities for our meaning partners. The following diagram represents my expanding visions of the ever-evolving INPM. This is a living diagram, as all of this is in progress. The meaning of the different connections will become clear when you finish reading my report.

The Task Force on the Decade of Meaning

My vision for the Decade of Meaning has become very clear this year. I propose an interdisciplinary Task Force with the following two objectives:

(1) To advance meaning-oriented research and applications in order to deepen our understanding of what it means to live a meaningful, fulfilling life and how to achieve it in spite of the dark side of human existence.

(2) To advance scientific meaning research by taking into account the phenomenological experiences of subjects.  We will advocate de-centered research that incorporates the explanatory framework of both the researcher and research participants.

I have already applied to APA for a listserv as the platform of this Task Force.  It will be based on the Humanistic Division of APA, but we will reach out to other APA divisions as well as other learned associations interested in our endeavours.

This Task Force on the Decade of Meaning will work in close partnership with INPM, thus broadening the support base of INPM’s Meaning Conference and our journal.

The International Journal on Meaning and Purpose

My proposal for the new journal is currently under consideration by several publishers. Taylor & Francis Journal Group has decided not to go ahead with our proposal because they are already publishing the Journal of Positive Psychology. I am confident that we will find a major publisher for this new journal. As you can see, we have assembled a very strong editorial team, with some of the most influential leaders in meaning-oriented research and psychotherapy:

  • Dr. Michael Steger (Colorado State University, Counseling Psychology & Applied Social and Health Psychology, Positive Psychology – he has agreed to succeed me as Editor-in-Chief after three  years)
  • Dr. Edward Chang (University of Michigan, Asian American Studies, Positive Psychology and Asian Psychology)
  • Dr. Crystal Park (University of Connecticut, Health Psychology & Spirituality)
  • Dr. Brent Potter (R. D. Laing Institute, Humanistic-Existential Psychology)
  • Dr. Alexander Batthyany (Vienna Medical School, Logotherapy)
  • Dr. Dmitry Leontiev (Moscow State University, Personality Psychology)
  • Dr. K. K. Hwang (National University of Taipei, Indigenous Chinese Psychology)
  • Dr. Ajit Dalal (Allahabad University, Attribution Theory, Indigenous Indian Psychology)
  • Dr. Joel Vos (University of Roehampton, Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy)
  • Dr. Emmy van Deurzen (New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling, Existential Therapy)
  • Dr. Daniel Shek (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Cross-Cultural Psychology)
  • Dr. Stefan E. Schulenberg (University of Mississippi, Disaster and Trauma)

We also have a very distinguished editorial board, which includes:

  • Dr. Jonathan Raskin (State University of New York at New Paltz)
  • Dr. Alan Waterman (The College of New Jersey)
  • Dr. Mick Cooper (University of Roehampton)
  • Dr. William Breitbart (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center)
  • Dr. Monika Ardelt (University of Florida)
  • Dr. Daniel Haybron (Saint Louis University)
  • Dr. Brent Dean Robbins (Point Park University)
  • Dr. Louis Hoffman (Saybrook University)
  • Dr. Peter Hill (Rosemead School of Psychology)
  • Dr. Everett Worthington (Virginia Commonwealth University)
  • Dr. Anthony J Marsella (University of Hawaii)
  • Dr. Dov Shmotkin (Tel Aviv University)
  • Dr. Carol Ryff (Pennsylvania State University)
  • Dr. Kenneth I. Pargament (Bowling Green State University)
  • Dr. Harris Friedman (University of Florida)
  • Dr. Joshua Hicks (Texas A&M University)
  • Dr. Rebecca Schlegel (Texas A&M University)
  • Dr. Kennon Sheldon (University of Missouri)
  • Dr. Sheldon Solomon (Skidmore College)
  • Dr. Itai Ivtzan (University of East London)
  • Dr. Tayfun Dogan (Nigde University)

We aim to have about 30 people on the editorial board, to represent different disciplines and different countries. Feel free to nominate additional editorial board members, including self-nomination, for consideration.

Certificate and Diploma Programs on Meaning-Centered Counselling and Therapy

Another important initiative is to develop the above programs, based on a partnership between INPM and the Meaning-Centered Counselling Institute (MCCI). Since both organizations are my creations, there will be a close partnership between them, with MCCI primarily responsible for providing meaning therapy and training.  The terms of such partnership will be collaboratively decided by the board of INPM and the leaders of MCCI.  These two programs represent a revenue stream for INPM.

So far, the faculty for our training programs includes Paul T. P. Wong, Lilian C. J. Wong, Brent Potter, and Robert Neimeyer. Any INPM member interested in joining our faculty or taking courses in these programs please contact me. We have already started offering some courses (see Upcoming Events).

The Official Board of INPM

I am pleased to report that we have now passed the revised constitutions and by-laws as required by the Canadian Government. Now we are ready to form the new Board of Directors, which will confirm Dr. Brent Porter as President-Elect.

Only my wife and I are carried over from the previous Board; all the rest will be new Board Members. The following individuals have been nominated and will be put forward to our membership for a vote:

  1. Paul T. P. Wong – President, Chair of the Board
  2. Lilian C. J. Wong – Chair of Professional Education Program
  3. Gordon Medlock – INPM Press, Professional Education Program
  4. Joyce Li – Meaning Conferences
  5. Luis Marrero – Liaising with like-minded organizations
  6. Daniel Jordan – Marketing Coordinator
  7. Zvi Bellin – Professional Education Program & Conferences
  8. Joan Ewasiw – Professional Education Program
  9. Ryan Marcoux – Student Representative

Brent Potter will serve as an officer appointed by the board because our constitution only allows 8 board members. My hope is that the new board will be a working board that gets actively involved in all aspects of the work of INPM.

A Personal Note

I have already committed to teaching a course on Meaning Therapy at Saybrook University this semester, and am speaking at the World Congress for Existential Therapy in London in May, the Fourth World Congress on Positive Psychology in Florida in June, and the APA Convention in Toronto in August. I expect my calendar will fill up quickly in the days ahead.  Feel free to contact me regarding invitations to teach Meaning Therapy.

Looking forward to hearing from you.