International Journal of Existential Positive Psychology

Spiritual-Existential Wellbeing (SEW): The Faith-Hope-Love Model of Mental Health & Total Wellbeing

Paul T. P. Wong, Ph.D.

Trent University


This paper proposes a paradigm shift as a better alternative to solving the present global mental health crisis. This new model moves beyond the medical model and reframes mental health in terms of how to live well or how to enjoy a high level of existential wellbeing through overcoming suffering and meeting one’s basic spiritual needs for meaning, love, and faith. This new model can also be described as the pain-brain-culture way of healing and flourishing because the processes involved in solving the problem of pain and existential suffering encompasses making full use of our brain, life experiences, and the cultural ideals of faith, hope, and love. More specifically, this Faith-Hope-Love model can be summarized as the ABC principles of achieving spiritual-existential wellbeing (SEW) through (a) awareness of our need for change, (b) belief in achieving a better future with divine providence, and (c) commitment to making daily steps of improvement in striving towards a meaningful life goal.

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