The 5th International Conference on Personal Meaning was held July 24-27, 2008 at the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Toronto.
The main conference theme was: Living well and dying well: New frontiers of positive psychology, therapy and spiritual care. It addressed the existential/spiritual issues that confront individuals in their journey through life and the character strengths they need to survive and flourish in trying situations.
The event featured many notable speakers
Pamela Wallin, Thomas Attig, Roy Baumeister, Salvatore Maddi, Robert A. Neimeyer, Kirk Schneider, Victor Shepherd, Ernesto Spinelli, Paul Wong, and Jeff Zeig, to name a few.
Below are some e-mals we recieved, as well as press coverage from teh event.
"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 pleasently 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."
Pastoral Counseling PhD Student at Loyola College in Maryland
"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"
"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"
, MA, MA, CCC
"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."
"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."
Psychologist, consultant, and seminar and retreat
leader; co-author of two books, Positive Psychology at
the Movies (2008) and Movies and Mental Illness
"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!"
, Ph.D, C.Psych
Article on Positive Psychology News Daily
Article in the National Post - Facing the Inevitable
Article in the Toronto Star - Living well is the best revenge for death
Article in the Toronto Star - Face anxiety head-on
Article in the North York Mirror - North York college hosts conference on dying