11th Biennial International Meaning Conference 2021

From Vulnerability to
Resilience & Wellbeing
during the pandemic:
Advances in Existential Positive Psychology (PP 2.0)


August 6-8, 2021
Virtual Meaning Conference


Early Bird Registration is Now Open

REGISTER TODAY!

It is unfortunate that we had to postpone the 2020 Biennial International Meaning Conference to August 6-8, 2021 because of COVID-19-related travel restrictions and health concerns. The conference theme remains the same but with more focus on the pandemic.

COVID-19 has killed more than 2.5 million people, devastated the world economy, and wreaked havoc on mental health globally. The challenges for psychologists are: How can we help people stay positive and become better and stronger? and How can we make the world a safer, kinder, and fairer place for all people?

We invite you to the 11th Biennial International Meaning Conference, where you will learn from leading researchers, practitioners, and educators on how to rise to such challenges, transcend pandemic fatigue, and live a meaningful life. The International Meaning Conferences continue to be the only world congress on existential positive psychology, embracing disciplines ranging from psychology, philosophy, and religion, to management, education, and medicine.

Come and learn the new science of flourishing through suffering. More specifically, you will learn: How to find healing and hope in tragic times and how to transform vulnerabilities to resilience.

Given travel restrictions, we are pleased to offer the conference virtually and reach more people globally. Mark August 6–8, 2021, on your calendars so that you do not miss this unique event.

Confirmed keynote speakers thus far include Robert A. Neimeyer, Louis Hoffman, Todd Kashdan, Tim Lomas, Darcia Narvaez, Blaine Fowers, Scott Barry Kaufman, and Christina J. Becker.

We have chosen the conference theme, because at a time when our vulnerability is laid bare by the external threats and our collective existential crisis, we embrace it as an opportunity to explore and discover new pathways to resilience and wellbeing in trying times. Subthemes of the conference include the following:

  • The role of meaning in wellbeing.
  • The contributions of cultural differences and indigenous psychology to global wellbeing.
  • The need to confront human suffering as the foundation for wellbeing.
  • The role of responsibility in personal, institutional, and global wellbeing.
  • The transformation of shame, guilt, anxiety, and other negative emotions as a means of achieving sustainable happiness.
  • The role of faith and spirituality in positive mental health.
  • The positive psychology of sickness, death and dying.
  • The effect of interactions between positive and negative emotions on wellbeing.
  • A dialectical mindset in avoiding radicalism and achieving a balance.
  • Humility and servant leadership in resolving conflicts.
  • Moral courage in the face of dangers and risks.

This is only a subset of the expanding domain of existential positive psychology (PP 2.0). All submissions are welcome in any areas related to the adaptive benefits of what is typically considered as detrimental to wellbeing.

Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Blaine Fowers, PhD

Blaine Fowers, Ph.D. is Professor of Counseling Psychology at the University of Miami. He conducts theoretical and empirical investigations of virtue and flourishing. Fowers has written or co-written six books, including Frailty, Suffering, and Vice: Flourishing in the Face of Human Limitations (2017, APA), The Evolution of Ethics: Human Sociality and the Emergence of Ethical Mindedness (2015, Palgrave Macmillan), Virtue and Psychology (2005, APA), Beyond the Myth of Marital Happiness (2000, Jossey Bass), and Re-Envisioning Psychology (1999, Jossey Bass). He and his research team study virtues, higher order goals, and their links to choiceworthy goods and human flourishing. Fowers has published over 100 peer reviewed articles, books, and book chapters. He was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Birmingham, England in 2016. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and a recipient of the Joseph B. Gittler Award for Contributions to the Philosophical Foundations of Psychology.

Darcia Narvaez, PhD

My life has been an adventure through many careers. I am still growing. My academic scholarship has moved from work on nonconscious moral rationality (in the 1990s), to moral character education in the schools (late 1990s- early 2000s), to the neurobiology of moral development (mid 2000s to present), to the study of evolved parenting practices (presently), and the study of small-band hunter-gatherers who represent the type of society in which humans evolved (presently). All this comes together in a moral developmental systems theory that emphasizes the ongoing epigenetic plasticity of how we develop our humanity and our morality. We are co-constructed by our families and our experiences. My concerns are for developmental optimization and fulfilling human potential—actionable communal imagination.  I put some of this together in various articles and chapters but mostly in my 2014 book, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom. All my careers aim at discovering what it means to be human, to develop and use one’s talents, to give more than take from Life, and to live a virtuous life. 

Kirk J. Schneider, PhD

Kirk J. Schneider, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and leading spokesperson for contemporary existential-humanistic psychology. Dr. Schneider is the current president of the Existential-Humanistic Institute (EHI), Council Member of the American Psychological Association (APA), past president (2015-2016) of the Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32) of the APA, recent past editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology (2005-2012), and adjunct faculty member at Saybrook University and Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Schneider is also an Honorary Member of the Society for Existential Analysis and the East European Association for Existential Therapy.  A Fellow of the APA, Dr. Schneider has published over 200 articles, interviews and chapters and has authored or edited 13 books including The Spirituality of Awe, The Polarized Mind, Awakening to Awe, The Handbook of Humanistic Psychology, Existential-Humanistic therapy, Existential-Integrative Psychotherapy, and the Wiley World Handbook of Existential Therapy. Dr. Schneider’s work has been featured in Scientific American, the New York Times, Psychology Today and many other health and psychology outlets. For more information on Dr. Schneider’s work visit https://kirkjschneider.com.

Tim Lomas, PhD

Dr Tim Lomas

Dr. Tim Lomas has been a lecturer in positive psychology at the University of East London since April 2013. Tim completed his PhD at the University of Westminster in 2012, where his thesis focused on the impact of meditation on men’s mental health. Since 2013, Tim has published numerous papers and books on topics including positive psychology theory, mindfulness, Buddhism, linguistics, and gender. His work has been featured in articles in prominent publications including Scientific American, The New Yorker, and The Psychologist. His main research currently involves creating a lexicography of untranslatable words relating to wellbeing (www.drtimlomas.com/lexicography).

Louis Hoffman, PhD

Dr Louis Hoffman

Dr Hoffman is a widely recognized author, professor, scholar, therapist, and speaker. He is a psychologist in private practice in Colorado Springs, Colorado and the Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Humanistic Counseling and Psychological Association. Dr. Hoffman is a past president of the Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32 of the Society of Humanistic Psychology). An accomplished scholar, he serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Humanistic PsychologyThe Humanistic PsychologistJanus Head, and PsycCRITIQUES: APA Review of Books. He is a co-founder of the International Institute of Existential-Humanistic Psychology (IIEHP). Through the IIEHP and the China Institute of Psychotherapy, Dr. Hoffman provides training in certificate programs on humanistic and existential psychotherapy in China. In 2015, Dr. Hoffman was recognized as a fellow of the American Psychological Association, which is granted to individuals for “unusual and outstanding contribution or performance in the field of psychology.” He is also a fellow of three divisions of the American Psychological Association including the Society for Humanistic Psychology (APA Division 32), the Society for General Psychology (APA Division 1), Society for the Study of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts (APA Division 10), and Division 52 (International Psychology).

Farooq Naeem, PhD

Dr. Farooq Naeem is the Chief of General and Health Systems Psychiatry at CAMH, and a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He was trained in Psychiatry in Merseyside training scheme in Liverpool, England. He completed his MSc in Research Methods in Health and PhD at the Southampton University in England. He also received training in Lean thinking and in quality improvement in England. Dr. Naeem is also a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist. In addition to cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) for common mental health disorders, he received training in CBT for psychosis from Professor David Kingdon while working as his lecturer during training. He has pioneered techniques for culturally adapting CBT. These techniques have been used to adapt CBT for a variety of common and severe mental health problems in South Asia, North Africa, the Middle East and China. He has conducted nearly 20 RCTs along with colleagues from Southampton and Manchester universities in England. He is considered a leader in global mental health. He has a keen interest in health systems. He has worked as an expert in Lean thinking and quality improvement in England, Canada and some low- and middle-income countries. He has written six books and numerous book chapters. He has published more than 150 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He has presented his work at numerous conferences, and has conducted many workshops globally on CBT, especially CBT for psychosis.

His research areas include CBT, psychosis and culture, with an overall aim to improve access to CBT. He has also published on issues related to health services and quality improvement. He works with a team of IT experts, and has developed a CBT-based therapy program – called eGuru – that can be delivered through web and smart phone apps.

Christina Becker, MBA, RP

Christina Becker, MBA, RP is a recipient of a Diploma of Analytical Psychology – a PhD equivalent –  which gives her the designation of Jungian Analyst. She trained for 6 years in the C. G. Jung Institute (Zurich, Switzerland) and found meaning, purpose, and fulfillment in exploring Jung’s ideas and experiences.

In addition to her Jungian training, she studied astrology at the Faculty of Astrological Studies in London, England, and with Liz Greene through the Astrodeinst seminars in Zürich. She is a member of the Canadian Association for Sandplay Therapy and has actively completed her certification in this modality.

She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in music composition and has an active interest in sound healing and music. Her post-graduate degree was an MBA in non-profit management. She continues to be a successful organizational consultant to the non-profit sector. She is also a principal in a small family business Becker Associates.

Paul T. P. Wong, PhD

Paul T. P. Wong

Paul T. P. Wong, Ph.D., C.Psych. is Professor Emeritus of Trent University. He is a Fellow of APA and CPA and President of the International Network on Personal Meaning (www.meaning.ca) and the Meaning-Centered Counselling Institute Inc. Editor of the International Journal of Existential Positive Psychology, he has also edited two influential volumes on The Human Quest for Meaning. A prolific writer, he is one of the most cited existential and positive psychologists. The originator of Meaning Therapy and International Meaning Conferences, he has been invited to give keynotes and meaning therapy workshops worldwide. He is the recent recipient of the Carl Rogers Award from the Society for Humanistic Psychology (Div. 32 of the APA).

Early Bird Registration Pricing (until May 31)

All prices in CAD All Inclusive Day Pass CE Credit
Non-members $216 $90 $80
Members $173 $72 $80
Students $130 $54 $80

REGISTER TODAY!

Call for Papers and Submission Guidelines

Call for Papers

Submission and application for scholarship deadline: May 30, 2021

The 11th Biennial International Meaning Conference once again rises to the challenges of our time in a world battling a global pandemic. The enormity and complexities of real-life problems demand an integrative and multidisciplinary solution. That’s why more than ever before, the world needs INPM’s inclusive “Big Tent” approach.

We have chosen this conference theme because at a time when our vulnerabilities are laid bare by external threats and inherent limitations, our worst time may also be our best time. We embrace the present crisis as an opportunity to explore new pathways to resilience and wellbeing. The basic orientation of existential positive psychology or second wave positive psychology (PP 2.0) is that flourishing necessarily involves embracing the dark side of life and transcending suffering (Wong, 2021a, 2021b). We welcome researchers and practitioners from all disciplines and theoretical stripes to join us in tackling any of the following areas.

  1. The mediating role of meaning or meaning-focused coping in mental health.
  2. The contributions of cultural differences and indigenous psychology to global wellbeing.
  3. The need to confront human suffering as the foundation for wellbeing.
  4. The role of responsibility in personal, institutional, or global wellbeing.
  5. The transformation of shame, guilt, anxiety, and other negative emotions as a means of achieving sustainable mature happiness.
  6. The role of faith and spirituality in positive mental health.
  7. The positive psychology of sickness, death and dying.
  8. The effect of interactions between positive and negative emotions on wellbeing.
  9. A dialectical mindset in avoiding extremes and achieving an adaptive balance.
  10. Humility and servant leadership in resolving conflicts.
  11. Moral courage in the face of dangers and risks.
  12. The role of self-transcendence in flourishing.

The above represents only a subset of the vast domain of PP 2.0. All submissions are welcome in any areas related to the adaptive benefits of what is typically considered as undesirable or detrimental for wellbeing.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions are not restricted to the above conference themes. We welcome submissions on a wide variety of topics related to the broad domains of meaning research and applications, such as resilience, grit, addiction recovery, positive education, life and death education, and psychotherapy. Both qualitative and quantitative presentations are welcome.

Please submit all abstracts to drpaulwong@gmail.com and Cc timothy.tfm.yu@gmail.com no later than 11:59 PM EST on May 30, 2021:

  • The email subject line should be “Meaning Conference 2021 Submission | [Author Name(s)]”
  • The attached file(s) should be .docx or .doc (or .rtf for those without Microsoft Word)
  • Minimum 1 and maximum 3 submissions per person
  • Text should be single-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-pt font
  • Include author name(s) and affiliation(s), submission title, presentation type, presentation length (if it is a workshop)
  • Please see the presentation types below for further instructions for each presentation type and CE credits

Notice of acceptance will be issued as soon as the review is completed, and no later than June 15, 2021.

Presentation Types

Symposia

Symposia are 60-minute presentations by 3-5 individuals who address a common theme or topic. Ten minutes should be reserved for questions from the audience. Proposals for symposia should include a 300-word overview and abstracts from the individual participants of about 300 words.

Paper Sessions

Individual oral presentations should be no longer than 10 minutes and will be grouped with other presentations. Individual papers should include a 300-word abstract and an indication of which conference theme(s) apply to it. Your submission may be reviewed for a poster presentation if it cannot fit into a paper session. Please note that invited paper presentations will be 20 minutes.

Workshops

Workshops may range from 1 to 2 hours. Typically, they involve interaction with participants with a focus on interventions. Workshop proposals should include a 500-word overview and a 250-word biography which includes the presenter’s education and professional experience.

Posters

Poster submissions should include a 300-word abstract. Posters will be displayed on 4’ x 3’ (121cm x 91cm) poster boards.

CE Credits

If you seek CE Credits, please include a 250-word biography for each presenter as well as the learning objectives of your submission. Fulltime attendees can get a maximum of 22 credit hours.

The International Network on Personal Meaning is approved by the Canadian Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. The International Network on Personal Meaning maintains responsibility for the program.

Dr. Salvatore Maddi Scholarship for Graduate Students

SCHOLARSHIP TO HONOUR DR. SALVATORE MADDI

On Sunday, November 29th, 2020 Dr. Salvatore Ignacio (aka Richard) Maddi, loving husband of Deborah Khoshaba-Maddi and father of Karen and Christopher Maddi, passed away of cancer at the age of 87.

This scholarship was established by Deborah Khoshaba in honour of her husband. A scholarship of $1,500 CAD will be granted to the best submission related to hardiness and resilience by a graduate student. The winner will be decided by a committee.

Winners will be notified before June 26th, 2021.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR THE SCHOLARSHIP TO HONOUR DR. SALVATORE MADDI

All graduate students are invited to submit their papers to drpaulwong@gmail.com and Cc timothy.tfm.yu@gmail.com no later than 11:59 PM on May 30, 2021:

  1. The email subject line should be “The Maddi Scholarship competition | Author Name(s)”
  2. The attached file(s) should be .docx or .doc (or .rtf for those without Microsoft Word)
  3. Text should be single-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-pt font
  4. The paper should be 1,000 words with a 200-word abstract
  5. The submission should be authored by either (a) one graduate student OR (b) one graduate student as the first author and a supervisor as the second author.

Honey Family Foundation Scholarship for Graduate Students

HONEY FAMILY FOUNDATION STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP CONTEST

Honey Family FoundationThis scholarship contest is to encourage graduate students to get involved in the exciting and ongoing development of existential positive psychology (PP 2.0). All submissions need to be related to some aspects of PP 2.0. Submissions may be based on empirical research, case studies, literature review, or theoretical analysis.

PRIZES

As judged by a panel of adjudicators consisting of Piers Worth, Ph.D., Roger Tweed, Ph.D., and Paul T. P. Wong, Ph.D., the winners will receive the following scholarships, in addition to waived conference registration:

  • First Prize: CAD $1,000
  • Second Prize: CAD $800
  • Third Prize: CAD $500

As well, three honourable mentions will receive waived conference registration. All six winners will have the opportunity to present their submission at the conference and have their submission published in our journal or proceedings.

Winners must become Student Members of the INPM in order to receive the prize at the conference. Click here for membership registration.

Winners will be notified before June 26th, 2021.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR THE HONEY FAMILY FOUNDATION STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP CONTEST

All graduate students are invited to submit their papers to drpaulwong@gmail.com and Cc timothy.tfm.yu@gmail.comno later than 11:59 PM on May 30, 2021:

  1. The email subject line should be “Meaning Conference 2021 Scholarship | Author Name(s)”
  2. The attached file(s) should be .docx or .doc (or .rtf for those without Microsoft Word)
  3. Text should be single-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-pt font
  4. The paper should be 1,000 words with a 200-word abstract
  5. The submission should be authored by either (a) one graduate student OR (b) one graduate student as the first author and a supervisor as the second author.

Meaning Conference 2018 Testimonials

It was truly a pleasure finally meeting you both… The presentation was well done and informative – kudos to both of you! … Thank you so much for your time and for allowing me the opportunity to experience firsthand your wisdom and kindness.
Don Laird, M.S., NCC, LPC
Psychotherapist & Owner, Pittsburgh Psychotherapy Associates

Thank you SO MUCH for allowing me to participate in this wonderful weekend-long journey into meaning. I learned so much and plan on continuing to develop my coaching niche around the concepts and models you taught this weekend. With profound gratitude!
Karen Henry, M.A.
Owner, Henry Healing

Thank you for the great learning and sharing during this weekend.
Zheni Nasi, B.A.
Recent Graduate, York University

It was fantastic … there was still so much rich content. … I so appreciate the holistic approach you and Lilian bring, acknowledging, encompassing, and embracing both tragedies and triumph. And what I am also grateful for, what possibly some of the other participants don’t know, is that this is not mere theory, but values that both you and Lilian live out. I am a witness and beneficiary of your kindness and gracious hope.
Dean Davey, Ph.D. Candidate
Vice President for Student Development, Pacific Life Bible College

Thanks again for hosting such a great weekend to explore MiL and MT at your Summer Institute. You are both very inspirational to us on many levels.
Scott McCready
Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Mobile Health Network

Thank you for a terrific and re-affirming conference!
Ronald Seletsky, M.Ed., LSW, LMHC
Associate Director of Mental Health Services, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Tewksbury Hospital

REGISTER TODAY!

Refund Policy

Refund requests will be accepted until June 30, 2021 at 11:59 PM (EST). After this time, NO refunds will be offered, although tickets may be transferred to another attendee as arranged by the person who purchased the tickets. Typically, refund or transfer requests will be responded to in 1-5 business days.

Tickets will be refunded in full minus a $50 processing fee. If multiple tickets from one order are refunded, the processing fee applies once. If multiple tickets from multiple orders are refunded, the processing fee applies per order.

All refunds will be processed online.

If the ticket purchase includes the option of CE Credits, this will also be included in the refund.

References

References

Wong, P. T. P. (2021a). Transcend the pandemic: How to redesign the future of work [Symposium]. Society of Counselling Psychology annual convention [online convention]. http://www.drpaulwong.com/transcend-the-pandemic-how-to-redesign-the-future-of-work

Wong, P. T. P. (2021b). Existential Positive Psychology (PP 2.0) and global wellbeing: Why it is Necessary During the Age of COVID-19. IJEPP, 10(1), 1–16.