Testimonials

December 1, 2015

We are thankful for everyone who have been a part of the Meaning Conferences—all played a role in making them successful and meaningful events. Attendees, presenters, volunteers, and speakers alike have written in to share their positive experience of the conference.

Meaning Conference 2016
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I just wanted to thank you [Paul] and Lilian for a lovely, high-quality and professional conference! As I told you, I really felt at home, and I commend your efforts and impressive work to create such an inspiring and integrative [conference] for professionals.
– Pninit Russo-Netzer, PhD
Researcher, Counseling and Human Development, University of Haifa, Israel
Researcher, Maytiv Center for Research and Practice in Positive Psychology
Chairperson, Logotherapy Association in Israel

I attended only on Friday, but in that one day found it fascinating, and enjoyed the presentations a lot. Much more interesting and enticing than in regular psychology conventions.
– Ami Rokach, PhD
Course Director, York University, Toronto, ON
Editor, International Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

Thank you so much for such an incredible experience. The workshops and speakers were very scintillating. It was a very rewarding experience for myself and my team. We were also very honored to have been given the opportunity to speak at the conference. I look forward to the next conference
– Pei C. Grant, PhD
Director of Research, Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, NY

Thank you so much for the excellent conference. As Dr. Carol Ryff so beautifully expressed, the INPM felt like “home” to many of us. The conference content itself was a head-spinner and participants were marvelous. Thank you. I look forward to my future participation.
– Shizuka Modica, PhD, ACC
Professor, Kyoto College of Graduate Studies for Informatics, Japan
Founder & Partner, i.m.i. institute, Afton, VA

Thank you for organizing and leading the last conference in Toronto; after a few weeks of coming back home in Mexico, I have been able to savor all of the great knowledge you and your team were able to add in order to produce a simple but highly effective event. No doubt all of the learnings will be very well used in our University.
– Luis Antonio Gutierrez Aladro, PhD
Vice Chancellor, Universidad TecMilenio, Mexico

Thank you for doing such a wonderful job at presiding the Toronto conference. I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be there and attend all the keynotes as well as the panels and workshop with Dr. Neimeyer. It was such a wonderful and enriching experience; it is probably one of the best conferences I have been able to attend. I will definitely attend, and look forward to, the next one.
– Judith Lopez-Penaloza, PhD
Professor, School of Psychology, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Mexico

I want to express my deep gratitude and admiration for your work as well as giving life to such meaningful life projects. The conference passed all my expectations and brought depth, knowledge, connections and future joint programs into existence. Thank you for your extraordinary contribution to the field as well as to the very human and modest means by which this is attained. It was a pleasure to take part.
– Lia Naor, PhD Candidate & Wright Scholarship Winner, 1st Place
Department for Counseling and Human Development, University of Haifa, Israel

Thank you so much for your dedication and organizational effort that resulted in a most successful conference on Meaning in Toronto this weekend. I attend all of the session (except for those occurring concurrently) and enjoyed them immensely.
– Richard Boileau, MA, CT
Principal, Boileau Strategies, Kirkland, QC
Founding Director, Crib and Cross Franciscan Ministries, Kirkland, QC

I wanted to say thank you for the wonderful conference last week. I was particularly pleased since I got to meet and speak with Dr. Breitbart, whose work I have admired for a long time. So thank you for this opportunity.
– Joanna Shnall, MSW, RSW
Social Worker in Research, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, ON

I wanted to thank you and all those who contributed to organising the Meaning conference. It really was a wonderful experience and a great combination of research and clinical experience. I’m very much looking forward to having access to the presentations and articles.
– Michael Dash
Coordinator, Bereavement Counselling Service, Palliative Care, Concord Hospital, Australia

What an amazing Conference! Lots of ideas and opinions and new connections. And good food, and live music! Congratulations! The program schedule is a keepsake! The group of us for one of the final paper sessions, Meaning in Life, went very well, a good combination of us to share that, thank you.
– Lynn Thompson
Producer & Host, Living on Purpose Podcast, Ottawa, ON

Thank you very much for sharing your conference address. It was a great conference. Thank you and all for making this a great, insightful, and enjoyable four days.
– Emil Boychuk
Director, Career Life Energy Consulting, Toronto, ON
Chair, Association of Career Educators, Toronto, ON

Thank you for your generosity and hospitality in hosting such a wonderful conference. I loved working with you both and your lovely team. It was an incredible opportunity for me as a budding psychotherapy student to volunteer for the conference. I felt so nourished with new ideas from all of the talks I attended. You orchestrated a wonderful group of people who talked about very current, pressing, and important topics and ideas. You have a beautiful community around you!
– Caroline Millen (Volunteer)
Graduate Student, The Living Institute, Toronto, ON

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Meaning Conference 2014
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I want to congratulate you on creating a very stimulating and successful conference. I got a lot from it—great contacts, discussions, and a deeper appreciation of Frankl’s work and the importance of a meaning-orientation in psychology. All around it was very rewarding—thank you for including me.
– Gordon Medlock, PhD
Faculty & Coach, Wright Graduate University, Chicago, IL

It was very nice to see you at the conference. I always enjoy your Meaning Conference. It has been very inspiring.
– Yoshiyuki Takano, PhD
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

The meaning conference was an amazing experience for me. I deeply thank you and Dr. Wong for making this opportunity to learn more about meaning and meeting all the great people who share the same vision. I do hope I can come to the next Meaning Conference!
– Yerin Shim, PhD Candidate
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Thank you so much for having me at the Meaning Conference. I enjoyed meeting talented professionals, especially your high-achieving family. You inspired me to continue my journey in the field of psychology. So, hopefully, I can positively influence people just like you do.
– Jackie Yang
Student, Sydney, Australia

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Meaning Conference 2012
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Please know how very much I enjoyed the entire conference, including that final night that capped the experience in such a personal way. You deserve all the tributes you get for bringing the topic of “personal meaning” to such international eminence. Of course, many more tributes are in order for your research, publications (including Second Edition, which I found so stimulating), etc. As you conveyed Sunday evening, achievements like these don’t come easily. However, we all have the great satisfaction of work that is “meaningful,” in our own psyches, as well as in content. I wish you and your wife all the best in your continuing endeavours and life together.
– Niki Glanz, PhD
Researcher, Lebanon, NH

I attended the Meaning Conference last week and I would just like to formally thank you for organizing such a wonderful conference. I can honestly say that the conference was both life and career changing for me and fueled in me a passion to learn more about discovering and creating meaning and value in my life and assisting my clients in doing the same. I look forward to the next conference and I hope one day similar conferences will be held in the U.S. Thank you again…
– Dionne Bates, PhD
Psychotherapist, Savannah, GA

Congratulations on mounting such a successful Meaning Conference this year. Our students really enjoyed it.
– Jim McNamara, PhD
Programs Director, Living Institute, Toronto, ON

It was [an] extraordinary conference for me and my husband. First time, after three years of writing my PhD thesis, that I’m with people who talk about materials I’m dealing with. Real delight. So thank you very much. Also, I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to lecture in the conference, though I was sorry you weren’t there. I believe my research about young children and meaning in life, is important to this field because there is no research about it. After submitting my thesis I’ll be glad to write about it.
– Yael Sharon, PhD
Medical Psychologist, Israel

I want to thank you again for the opportunity to present a keynote address at the International Conference on Personal Meaning. It was a marvelous event. It served as a stimulus for the start of a number of new projects for me related to meaning.
– Alan Waterman, PhD
Professor Emeritus, College of New Jersey, NJ

Thank you so much for a wonderful conference! I thoroughly enjoyed myself. And it was a pleasure meeting Dr. Wong and yourself.
– H’Sien Hayward, PhD
Clinical Psychology Extern, Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco, CA

Thank you for organizing the conference. It was awe-inspiring and felt like I had come home.
– Karen Weima, MDiv
Chaplain & Consultant, Toronto, ON

I also want to say thank you for a very professional, informative, and enjoyable conference! This was my first year attending and I am extremely happy with all I experienced. I am very grateful to [Paul], Lilian, and all of the organizers and presenters. I look forward to reviewing the presentations on-line because there was so much information to take in!
– Carrie Bailey
Counsellor, George Brown College, Toronto, ON

Thank you for putting on the 2012 Meaning Conference. I so enjoyed the experience and feel enriched by it. So many tributes were made to you both [Paul and Lilian] last night. I had no idea of the full extent of the work you are doing. The people whose lives you have touched spoke so eloquently, and with authenticity about you both. There will probably be some ripple effect in that they in turn will “pay forward” some of what you have given to them.
– Gaynor Kim-Sing
Senior Administrative Assistant, Toronto, ON

I wanted to email you to let you know how much I enjoyed the Meaning Conference. It was life changing for me. It reaffirmed my decision to go on this journey of self-discovery and personal development. It also made me realize just how much passion I have for this new career/calling and I’m looking forward to becoming a psychotherapist. It feels really good to look forward to something and to know that I am moving in the right direction.
– Bina Paiva
Conference Attendee

It was a pleasure and honor to help you on the conference. I’ve got priceless experience of organization such events and unforgettable memories of meeting great people. I’m very grateful for that and touched by your kindness.
– Nina Matveeva
Conference Volunteer

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Meaning Conference 2008
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I want to commend Paul Wong, his wife Lilian, and their entire crew for a successful, well-organized, conference of the International Network on Personal Meaning this past weekend. Some of my personal highlights were Roy Baumeister’s two presentations on his new research on self-regulation, Salvador Maddi’s talk on hardiness research, and Jeff Zeig’s two presentations on resiliency, grief, and clinical work. I would highly recommend those who were not able to attend to consider it in the future.
– Ryan M. Niemiec, PsyD
Education Director, VIA Institute on Character, Cincinnati, OH

It was enjoyable to hear so many people discuss their research at the recent Meaning Conference and have the opportunity to further converse with them. As a contributor to Dr. Hart’s symposium, it was also informative to receive feedback on my work with logotherapy as relates to college students and alcohol abuse. The meeting was productive, with numerous opportunities to exchange information.
– Stefan E. Schulenberg, PhD
Associate Professor & Director of Clinical Disaster Research Center, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS

Having attended over 200 academic conferences around the world, your International Meaning Conference held in Toronto this July and August stands out as a unique academic forum. First, this is the only conference of its kind in the world, with an existential, meaning-centred focus. Secondly, I found the level of scholarship to be outstanding. If anything, there was an embarrassment of riches. Every hour there were so many different sessions to choose from, from academic research papers to workshops by invited topics on the timely and important topic of death and dying with dignity and meaningfulness. Third, I have never seen so many plenary presentations available at a conference; I had to get up extra early to be there for the first and second plenary speaker, and that was just the first part of each day’s program! Finally, it was great to have such a breadth of attendees, from the many students from Canada and other countries that attended, to leaders in their fields from academic settings all over the world. I have made good contacts and look forward to future dialogue with colleagues from Indonesia, Taiwan, the USA, and Australia.
– Danielle Nahon, PhD
University of Ottawa, ON

The opportunity to hear Roy Baumeister speak was especially exciting for me, and it was a tremendously stimulating thing to interact with such a diverse interdisciplinary group, seeing connections made all the way from the specifics of individual empirical studies to philosophical and theological considerations of the meaning of life and death. The presentation of stories and family photos by Viktor Frankl’s grandson was a real treat. I want to thank Paul and Lilian (and their small army of sleep-deprived volunteers) for all their work at making this conference a success.
– Charles H. Hackney, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology and Chair of Psychology Department, Briercrest College, Caronport, SK

I just wanted to say congratulations on another wonderful conference. I know this one was a unique challenge and you did a fantastic job in organizing and carrying out the conference. Thank-you!
– Ed Peacock, PhD, CPsych
Formerly at Correctional Service Canada

I gained plenty of personal and professional treasures on this occasion. I shall remember your gems: “We are performers”; “It’s about building relationship” and the “5Rs.” Many thanks.
– Teresa Steinfort, MA, CCC

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Meaning Conference 2006
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As Premier of the Province of British Columbia, I am pleased to welcome everyone to Vancouver and the Addiction, Meaning and Spirituality conference. I am also pleased to extend a special welcome to everyone who has travelled from within and out of the province to be here. I understand that this year’s conference will host renowned researchers and clinicians from all over the world, providing a valuable opportunity for everyone to meet, gain new knowledge and discuss important issues on prevention, treatment and recovery of addiction. I would like to recognize all those from the International Network on Personal Meaning, as well as the sponsors and volunteers, for their work in coordinating this event. The agenda offers everyone access to information on a variety of interesting topics and I am sure there will be a lot of constructive discussions. On behalf of the people of British Columbia, welcome to Vancouver. I am sure the conference will be a great success and beneficial to all who attend.
– Gordon Campbell
Premiere, Provincial Government of BC

I am pleased to recognize the International Network on Personal Meaning as it convenes its 4th international conference, and I welcome all delegates to Canada and Vancouver. This Conference reminds us that addiction – whether it involves alcohol, drugs and other substances, or tobacco – has major consequences and touches many lives on many levels. The impact of addiction is indeed far reaching. It goes beyond the individual, affecting families, communities, the public health and legal systems, and the economy. This Conference also reminds us of the importance of dialogue and knowledge-sharing in meeting our shared goal – helping people overcome their struggles and live an addiction-free life. Please accept my best wishes for a productive and successful conference.
– Tony Clement
Minister of Health, Government of Canada

On behalf of the government of British Columbia, I am pleased to send greetings to the participants in the Addiction, Meaning and Spirituality conference and to welcome you to Vancouver. This government has long recognized addictions as a health issue. BC is proud of the strides we have made in integrated mental health and addictions services and supports that meet the health needs of our communities. We have drawn on the best practices to promote a compassionate and effective response to problematic substance use and addictions in our communities and to support individuals and their families in the recovery process. As participants in this international conference you will have the opportunity to share your experience and your expertise and to examine the current evidence in addictions care and its application.
– George Abbott
Minister of Health, Provincial Government of BC

Yesterday night, I arrived back in Vienna and, guess what, I already miss your company and the company of the many, many nice colleagues I came to know and the friends I made during these remarkable days in Vancouver. I also relish how fast and natural our friendship grew. Just as if it was to be (thanks to Irmeli). I would like to thank you for being such superb hosts and for nourishing it in so many ways (scientifically, personally, and not to forget the tasty and mouthwatering menus). To sum it all up in one word: it was a personally inspiring and scientifically important conference and I am looking forward to our growing and continuing friendship and collaboration between INPM and the Viktor Frankl Institute Vienna. Thanks again and my best greetings (also from the Frankl-Family which joins me in sending you cordial greetings).
– Alexander Batthyany, PhD
University of Vienna, Austria

Congratulations on hosting a successful conference! I’m writing to say my attendance and involvement in the sessions was both edifying and enjoyable. It refreshing to see people smile at an academic symposium. The shared enthusiasm was clear to see and refreshing. My impression was that the delegates all shared a strong sense of mission and purpose. I felt privileged to share company with the special breed of delegates you were able to attract. The delegates consisted of a heterogeneous group, which was a strength. I liked the opportunity to understand different world views and to build bridges and cross disciplinary boundaries. If we are to advance viable solutions to the problem of addictions, so much integration needs to be done to close gaps. In this regard, I feel the conference helped bring stakeholders that much closer. Personally, I found the experience to be valuable from a personal and professional standpoint. Attending the sessions enhanced my knowledge and competence as a scholar and researcher. I also found the opportunity to informally interact with other delegates during the lunches and dinners to be beneficial. During the informal sessions meant for socializing, I gave and received a number of business cards from delegates who shared common values. Thanks for providing a wonderful opportunity to network with others concerned with the three-way intersection of addiction, meaning and spirituality. If everyone benefited as I did, you should feel very satisfied that such a high level of value was added. Speaking personally, my welfare has been enhanced by attending and participating in the Vancouver experience. I’m grateful you had the vision to host such a specialized conference and that you followed through with all your hard work. Congratulations on being a trailblazer. Again, I extend my sincere thanks to you and everyone on the organizing committee for a job well done! It all came together because you were able to work in harmony together in a unified team effort. Bravo!
– Kenneth E. Hart, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Windsor, ON

It was a privilege to meet all of you at the Vancouver “Addiction, Meaning, and Spirituality? Conference. It was an excellent and well-organized conference with insightful keynote speakers and presenters. I want to thank all of you for organizing this great program and for the opportunity to present a poster there.
– Anthony E. Brown, MD, MPH
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

It was such a pleasure to meet Paul and Lilian, and to experience firsthand the vision, faith, compassion and determination they both have for INPM! I truly enjoyed the conference – Paul brought in some truly inspiring speakers, and Cindy and I met some wonderful people affiliated with INPM. I look forward to our ongoing friendship!
– William F. Evans, PhD
James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

I wanted to thank you for your work to put the Meaning Conference together. Both professionally and personally, I was thrilled with the experience. It was a way to really claim my interest in the field of meaning-making and get to connect with the latest buzz from the field. I was also pleasantly surprised to see the extent of overlap between the fields of meaning and spirituality. I am really excited to begin my dissertation journey next semester and dive into this field of meaning, focusing on the transcendent aspects of meaning.
– Zvi Bellin, PhD Candidate
Loyola University, Baltimore, MD

What a wonderful conference and wonderful people. I thought the conference had diverse topics, lively debate, talented speakers, and compassionate people obviously full of commitment to their work and the field. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to participate. Thank you again, I will always remember the hippo!
– Pam Meredith Scarfone

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Meaning Conference 2004
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I really enjoyed the conference, and that I especially enjoyed your presidential address. I fully support your call for a more integrated approach to psychology. I noticed that you mentioned the work of Ken Wilber—I have a strong interest in his integral model and I’m always glad to hear more academics mentioning his work.
– Shelley Fahlman, PhD
Health Promotion Facilitator & Psychology, Alberta Health Services, AB

My experience of the conference was […] exceptional and mind-altering in many ways. Many of the sessions moved me in a deeply emotional way, and a great deal of the imparted knowledge has carried with it a compelling force that demands the knowledge be reflected on and shared. My favorite part of the conference was the brief moments with people when we reflected on what we heard together in a session or when we stated, “so where were you the last hour? How was that session?” There were many valuable presentations going on simultaneously, and sometimes a forced-choice was difficult and a little painful. There was a murmur of gratitude for the Wongs that was carried around by many of the speakers, volunteers, and others who have known them for years.
– Melissa Schmalz

Thank you for all your hard work to put on the meaning conference, it was a fabulous, growing experience that I will be thinking about for a long time!
– Marie Amos

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Meaning Conference 2002
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I found the 2nd INPM Conference both inspiring, and increasing of my motivations to increase levels and qualities of support available to individuals committing to lives of personal meaning. We are in the midst of developing a pilot project that works to increase support of personal meaning at community levels. More later. Thanks to you and Lillian for your unselfish dedication.
– Dick Vittitow

It is with much gratitude that I express my thanks for the opportunity to volunteer some time for the Meaning Conference. The experience was for me the pinnacle of my academic experience thus far. Entering into the event, I sometimes worried that as an undergraduate student I would be intimidated by the level of knowledge and academic maturity that I would interact with in my capacity as an assistant. This feeling dissipated quickly, in fact, by the second day. I found myself in conversation with many different scholars who were not only passionate and enthusiastic about their areas of expertise, but also, open and genuine in conversation with me. At no time were my questions or comments treated as invalid or trivial and these interactions will remain with me as the finest parts of the conference. The process by which we all must endure to attain a degree is sometimes arduous and tiring. The Meaning conference, through the workshops I was able to participate in, to the lectures that I have already been able to incorporate into term papers, has rekindled my passion to pursue a career in the field of counselling psychology. Pencil me in for the next conference, I want to do it again!
– Conference Volunteer

Congratulations on a terrific conference! Well done! It, and the talks that I had with many of the speakers, has left this brain of mine spinning with expansion and new approaches—about which I am excited and very grateful.
– Conference Volunteer