A Less Traveled Road to Healing and Flourishing

Something unusual and significant is happening in Toronto, quietly and under the radar, but it won’t be for long, until this heart-warming story catches national attention.

Every other Sunday afternoon and Tuesday evening, people from all walks of life gather at the residence of Dr. Paul T. P. Wong for regular Meaningful Living Group Meetup.

Participants come from all ethnic backgrounds and different walks of life: Graduate students, retirees, mental health professionals, entrepreneurs, accountants, engineers, and stay-home moms.

Some members have cancer or mental health issues. A few are going through difficult life transitions. But they all come for the same purpose— healing their inner emptiness, overcoming personal predicaments, and leaning how to live a more meaningful and rewarding life.

Dr. Paul Wong, an internationally renowned positive psychologist, starts each session with an engaging talk on a topic related to the universal quest for meaning, such as Who am I? How can I find happiness? Lectures outlines and exercises are all posted online (www.inpm.org) so that participants are prepared before the Meetup.

After the mini-lecture, Dr. Lilian Wong, a psychotherapist, leads the group discussion. Often, the discussion feels like a group therapy session, when individuals disclose their personal struggles and past hurts. But most people simply want to gain some knowledge and insights about meaning and happiness; they also want to experience an authentic way of relating.

Refreshments are served at the end of each group meeting. Then participants mingle and socialize, either one-on-one or in small groups in various rooms.

They keep on coming because they have found a less traveled road to healing and flourishing. One participant says, “It feels like heaven on earth to be able to celebrate life together and help each other to grow.”

There are already more than 70 “meaning partners” registered for www.meetup.com/Toronto-Meaningful-Living-Group/. Requests have come from other parts of Canada to start Meaningful Living Group Meetups. This grassroots mental health movement may spread all across Canada.

“The mental health needs in Toronto and Canada are great,” Paul Wong observed, “These needs cannot be met by the medical establishment alone. We need preventive measures and psychological interventions that accentuate on the human potential for positive change and personal growth.”

“The best part of what we are doing to improve the mental health of Canadians is that it is free,” said Dr. Wong, who has been giving positive psychology away to Canadians for more than 30 years.

In order to duplicate the success of the Toronto-Meaningful-Living Group in other cities in Canada, Wong plans to train many group facilitators and leaders skilled in meaning-centered counselling.

“A rare opportunity for receiving this training is the INPM Summer Institute on August 19-20 at the Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Toronto,” says Prof. Wong. For more information and registration details, please visit www.meaning.ca.

For more information and interviews, please contact Dr. Paul Wong at ptpwong@rogers.com or call 416-587-4990.


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