International Journal of Existential Positive Psychology

Mindfulness and Meaningfulness with a Twist from an Integrity Model Perspective

Nedra R. Lander, Ph.D

University of Ottawa

Danielle Nahon, Ph.D

University of Ottawa


Life’s journey begins with conception and ends with death. It is within this “in-between” that meaning and mindfulness flourish or wither. The respected psychologist O. H. Mowrer (1907-1982) was one of the first to focus on today’s issues of values, morality, mindfulness, and meaningfulness with a different twist from an Integrity perspective (e.g., Mowrer, 1953, 1961, 1964a, 1966; Mowrer & Vattano, 1976). Expanding on Mowrer’s Integrity (Therapy) Group approach, Lander and Nahon have evolved the Integrity model (e.g. Lander, 1980, 1986; Lander & Nahon, 1992, 2005, 2015). A growing empirical and clinical literature based on nearly five decades of Integrity-based therapeutic work indicates that individuals have been receptive to a positive, wellness- and values-based Integrity model of existential psychotherapy (e.g. Lander & Nahon, 2000b, 2008, 2010a, 2010b; Nahon & Lander, 2008, 2014, 2015). Addressing the conference theme of A Positive Global Vision of Healing & Flourishing Through Meaning, this article presents the Integrity model’s understanding of mindfulness and meaningfulness in daily living. Framed around the case study of Matt, an alcoholic grappling with significant cognitive impairment and depression, this article provides a theoretical and clinical exploration of the Integrity model perspective of mindfulness. It offers a differing understanding of mindfulness and meaningfulness through a focus on honouring one’s values, providing a philosophical and existential path for finding a sense of greater meaning and purpose in one’s life.

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