I am Happy: The Hermeneutics of Happiness Through an Existential Heuristic

  • Author / Creator
    Neil Alan Soggie
  • At the heart of this thesis was one simple question, “What is the essence of my happiness?” This question was explored, with the guidance of the problem solving steps outlined in Heuristic research. I employed insights from my interests in classical psychology and existential phenomenology to further refine this process. The conclusion I arrived at was surprisingly simple; where the essence of my happiness is a combination of caring intentionality and living out a positive meaning. I discovered that it was a layered process of engaging the world and discovering meaning, while simultaneously being present in the moment, being spurred on by love in the positive meaning discovered. The result of this inquiry led me to describe the essence of my happiness through a formula that states, intentionality plus (a positive) meaning equals happiness (I+M = H). This theorem does not minimize the complex nature of happiness, but rather, provides a simple rubric when dealing with the complex paradoxes inherent with the phenomena of my happiness. In recognizing these paradoxes, I then explored the many ways that the Pauline notions of faith, hope, and love work to solve the classical barriers to experiencing happiness. This thesis concludes with some of my reflections upon ways this theorem may be applied to psychotherapy.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Psychotherapy and Spirituality
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Geoffrey Wilfong-Pritchard
    • Dr. Billy Strean