Positive Existential Psychology

The INPM strives to promote the practice of existenial positive psychology or second wave positive psychology. Existential psychotherapy is known for its dark themes, such as meaninglessness, alienation, despair, and fear of death (Yalom, 1980). Therefore, the idea of positive existential therapy sounds oxymoronic. However, once we free ourselves from the tradition of Continental Existential Philosophy and focus on the meaning-centered approach, we begin to see existential therapy is a more positive light. Meaning-based positive existential psychotherapy has many characteristics, which include: Realizing people are meaning-seeking, and meaning-making creatures, living in a world of personal and cultural meanings; recognizing that people have the predisposition to strive for personal significance, growth, and happiness given the reality of the impermanence of life; balancing self-actualization with the need for community and spiritual union; viewing existential anxieties as the necessary preconditions for the development of virtues such as altruism, courage, creativity, resilience, love, and optimism; advocating an integrative approach towards various schools of existential and meaning-oriented psychotherapies; fostering the integration of scientific psychology and spirituality in the practice of counseling and psychology; stressing the discovery of meaning and purpose of both specific situations and life as a whole. Through the writings of such influential doctors as Carl Jung, Alfried Längle, Victor Frankl, Alfred Adler, our own Paul Wong, as well as many INPM members, we seek to expore the current practices of positive psychology, and to help define the future of it.

To connect with other therapists who practice Positive Psychology, please check our Meaning Therapy section.
To discuss your own thoughts on Positive Psychology, feel free to visit our Forums, specifically the Therapy section.
Below is a small listing of the various articles we have on Positive Psychology. To see more, check out Archives.

 

Radical Positive Psychology
A Manifesto
Paul T. P. Wong,
Ph.D. C.Psych
Toronto, Ontario

We at the International Network on Personal Meaning believe that the world needs a positive psychology which seeks to transform negatives to positives. Radical positive psychology dares to embrace the unworthy, challenge the tyrants, and bring heaven to hell.
(Full Article)

Chinese Positive Psychology:
What is the Ancient Chinese Secret to Resilience and Happiness?
Paul T. P. Wong,
Ph.D. C.Psych

The Chinese people might have been through the process of natural selection, bred to adapt to all kinds of extreme adversities over the past six-thousand years. The collective history of having endured and survived numerous natural disasters, oppressive regimes, and foreign occupations has endowed Chinese people with the character strengths of endurance and patience.
(Full Article)

Positive psychology of organizational behavior and management:
Some preliminary references
Paul T. P. Wong,
Ph.D. C.Psych
(References)

Viktor Frankl: Prophet of Hope and Herald of Positive Psychology
Paul T. P. Wong,
Ph.D. C.Psych

"The legacy of Viktor Frankl was assessed in terms of his prophet voice of hope and his contribution to positive psychology. Viktor Frankl’s (1985) tragic optimism (TO) posits that one can remain optimistic in spite of tragic experiences..."
(Full Article)

Radical positive psychology for radical times
Paul T. P. Wong,
Ph.D. C.Psych

"International terrorism, radical fundamentalism, natural disasters, AIDS, ethno-geographical wars, oppressive regimes, devastating poverty and the widening gap between the haves and have-nots indicate that the state of the world is not well. Radical positive psychology is needed for the radical times of 21st century..."
(Full Article)

What Makes Therapy Theraputic?
George Kunz
Seattle, WA

"What makes therapy therapeutic? Is it transference and counter transference? Is it the therapeutic alliance? Is it unconditional positive regard? Yes! All these are therapeutic. However, we need to ask deeper philosophical questions about the nature of this relationship...."
(Full Article)

The Positive Psychology of Persistence and Flexibility
Paul T. P. Wong, Ph.D., C.Psych.
From the February 2006 President's column
Coquitlam, B.C., Canada

What are the most valuable life strategies essential for survival and resilience? What are the most common traits shared by successful athletes and CEOs? More importantly, what are the virtues most important in living the good life?
(Full Article)(.pdf File)


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