International Journal of Existential Positive Psychology

Living With Cancer: A Case for PP 2.0

Paul T. P. Wong, Ph.D.

Trent University


Cancer is a dreaded disease. A cancer prognosis could change one’s life in many ways. This keynote was a personal account of how I developed and tested existential positive psychology (or PP 2.0) as a resilient way to cope with cancer and suffering. After discussing the inadequacies of positive psychology (PP 1.0) as usual in coping with the horrors of human existence, and the need for PP 2.0, I proposed 12 basic rules of resilience based on time-tested wisdoms and psychological research. These principles are as follows: (1) Courage to face reality; (2) Faith in self, others and God; (3) Knowing yourself and your purpose in life; (4) Self-transcendence; (5) An appreciative attitude; (6) Compassion; (7) A growth mindset; (8) A dialectic view of life; (9) The dual-system model of coping; (10) A double vision; (11) Effective coping; and (12) Acceptance and surrendering.

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