Meaning Centered Counseling and Therapy   [Archived Catalog]
2019-2020 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook

PSY 3070 - Meaning Centered Counseling and Therapy

This course provides an introduction to logotherapy and meaning therapy (MT). With meaning as its central organizing construct, MT is an integrative, person-centered, positively oriented therapy. It is a very flexible and comprehensive approach, because it can be tailor-made to meet individual needs and is capable of integrating diverse therapeutic modalities, such as CBT and existential-phenomenological therapy. Building on the philosophical foundation of logotherapy, this course will introduce the four major meaning-centered intervention strategies: 1) PURE (Purpose, Understanding, Responsibility, and Enjoyment), 2) ABCDE (Acceptance, Belief, Commitment, Discovery, and Evaluation), 3) Dual-systems (integrating approach and avoidance systems), and 4) Double-vision (seeing both the immediate situation and the big picture).  In addition, the course will demonstrate the use of such meaning-centered interventions skills as attribution retraining, re-appraisal, value-clarification (identifying core values, beliefs & ultimate concerns), reflecting on self-identify (the real self vs. the ideal self), guided life review, and practicing the meaning mindset. The meaning mindset is a particularly powerful tool, because it can enhance clients' motivation for meaningful living simply by their learning to see the meaning potential for significance in every situation, no matter how trivial.  In sum, it teaches students how to make the best of people's meaning-seeking and meaning-making capacities to facilitate healing and flourishing. It enhances well-being, resilience, and personal growth thorough the path of meaning. This course will teach students how to identify the challenges and opportunities of addressing clients' deeper issues of meaning, whatever their presenting problems.  One final caveat: any therapist can make good use of the meaning therapy intervention tools, but to be fully effective, the therapist needs to embrace (1) the philosophical assumption of logotherapy that life has inherent meaning, and (2) the assumption of humanistic psychology that to be fully human, people need to develop their growth potential. Though open to all students, this course also satisfies the Clinical Interventions III/IV requirement in the Clinical Psychology degree program, with Clinical Interventions I & II as prerequisites. 3 credit(s)