Meaning and the Good Life in Counselling Psychology

  • Author / Creator
    Tippe, Joshua M.
  • Existential, postmodern, and positive psychologists tell stories about meaning and human flourishing beset with philosophical difficulties. Canadian counselling psychologists would benefit from a story of meaning and flourishing which views both as shaped and constrained by human nature, rather than being reducible to subjective preferences or cultural constructions. A Franklian-Aristotelian synthesis of the human good illuminates the centrality of virtue for living and fulfilling potential meanings in life. Specifically, given our nature as ultrasocial reasoning primates, a flourishing human life involves having rich relationships with others and pursuing aims that require us to embody moral virtue(s). This theory does not a priori reject meaning and goodness as having larger metaphysical aspects, offering common ground for psychologists holding a variety of beliefs to explore and discuss the good human life. In an age where common ground is scarce, such a story is desperately needed in psychology. My core argument is that synthesizing the thoughts of Aristotle and Viktor Frankl will help psychologists articulate a realist story about the natural foundations of human meaning and flourishing that is consistent with the core values of counselling psychology, converges with research from multiple disciplines, and has practical applications for understanding our work with clients.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2022
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Education
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Library 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.