Featured Members, Positive Living in Difficult Times

Andrzej Krzysztof Jastrzębski, O.M.I

As far back as I can remember, my passion has been to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be human. From a very young age encounters with human existential problems became the driving force in my search and I felt intuitively that spirituality would be fundamental in understanding the depths of the human being. This conviction contributed to my decision to join a religious congregation in the Catholic church, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate as well as to receive the priestly ordination in their ranks. Being an oblate brought my desire to understand and serve people to fruition as the OMI are devoted to evangelization using the God-given gifts of each member.

My professional and spiritual journey developed with the gradual realization that in order to be effective in my desire to serve, I had to learn about and integrate the latest achievements of many sciences into my research if I were to attain my goal; studies in theology, philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy and neuroscience were crucial to name but the most important ones.

Thus, my academic path started in 2001, when I carried out my first research on a little-known part of the history of philosophy in the United States at the end of the nineteenth century, the so-called “Bostonian School” and its founder Borden Parker Bowne who inspired Martin Luther King Jr. civil rights movement.

During my time of research on American personalism, I also started a degree in psychology and psychotherapy. As my research interests broadened, so did my passion for delving into the mystery of the human being. Over the years, I initiated interdisciplinary research in personality psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy and philosophy and eventually in neurobiology. This led to my reaching into the analytic philosophy of psychology, and thus the philosophy of the mind.

As a result of these years of exploring, I began to merge into entirely different aspects of my research, which was followed by a fuller integration of knowledge about the human, including both scientific and the humanistic-existential approaches where my spiritual mentor became Viktor Emil Frankl with his understanding of who we are as spiritual-psychic-physical beings. I discovered in his work the best expression of my own belief in humanity being created in the image and likeness of God and endowed with free will and intellect.

Presently, I share my knowledge of Logotherapy and more generally that of existential and spiritual issues in counseling with my students at Saint Paul University in Ottawa. My passion remains research and teaching on issues touching spirituality, philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience in order to create a larger and more holistic understanding of the human being in view of the psychotherapeutic process leading to achieving the full human potential. My most recent book Integrating Spirituality into Counseling. Methods and Practices (Routledge 2023) was conceived to assist students in becoming partakers of change in our contemporary society in their own right.