International Journal of Existential Positive Psychology

Creating Healing Communities in a Toxic Society: Viktor Frankl and Jordan Peterson

Bruce Alexander, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus, Simon Fraser University

Abstract

Existential therapy can be a wonderful gift to addicted people and will help some to improve their lives in tangible ways. However, no combination of existential treatment, other psychological and medical treatments, personal courage, harm reduction, and recovery groups can stem the rising tide of addiction in Canada or in the world. As Victor Frankl and many others have shown, the psychological environment of late modernity is too toxic for most people to handle without an intolerably high risk of psychological disasters. Nothing short of epochal social change will restore us to a reasonable level of psychological health. To face that daunting truth, as Frankl did, opens the way towards a new level of psychological realism. Perhaps realism is the greatest gift we have to offer at this point.

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