Psychology and Therapy
President, International Network on Personal Meaning
Coquitlam, B.C., Canada
Now that the 2nd Biannual Meaning Conference
is behind us, it is time to look ahead: What will be the direction
for INPM in the next few years? Is there a blueprint for the future?
I will use this Column to share with you some of the new developments
After the Existential Summit and the Membership
Meeting at the July Meaning Conference, one thing has become very
clear - we need to create a Division within the INPM. This new Division
will be named the International Society of Existential Psychology
and Therapy (ISEPT).
After considerable debate on various thorny
issues, ranging from the meaning of "existential" to the professional
identify we want to adopt, we have decided to move forward with
The consensus is that such a Division is needed
to provide a home, a forum for all those interested in research
and therapy on existential issues. We believe that a truly authentic
psychology requires an existential perspective.
We believe that a truly human science needs
to address existential, phenomenological issues, such as meaning
and spirituality, which are essential to understanding the human
condition and vital to fulfilling our human potential, individually
In accordance with the spirit of the INPM, the
new Division will be a "big tent", welcoming researchers employing
a wide variety of methodologies and clinicians wearing different
theoretical stripes. Such openness will contribute to community
building and the cross-fertilization of creative ideas.
Thus, existential psychology will encompass
experimental existential psychology, humanistic-phenomenological
psychology, transpersonal psychology, social and personality psychology,
narrative psychology, constructivist psychology, theoretical and
critical psychology, etc.
Similarly, existential therapy will embrace
clinicians from different schools and traditions, including logotherapy
and existential analysis, humanistic-existential psychotherapy,
Jungian analytical psychotherapy, Adlerian psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral
therapy, narrative therapy, philosophical counseling, and integrative
meaning-centered counseling and therapy.
Another impetus to this new development is that
many INPM members feel very strongly that a new Division is necessary
to more accurately reflect their professional status in research
and psychotherapy. Therefore, this Division will have more stringent
academic requirements for membership. Qualifications for membership
in the ISEPT will be announced soon. Please stay turned.
The time has arrived for existential psychology
and therapy to claim a spot in the center stage, because it has
much to offer to both psychology and society in general. This new
Society will give us the kind of identity and visibility we need
to advance existential ideas. We are very excited about this new
adventure as we move forward.