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Threats to Meaning – Human Quest for Meaning (1 of 5)

Geoff Thompson introduces the 2nd edition of Human Quest for Meaning, edited by Dr. Paul Wong. Dr. Wong’s work is largely influenced by Austrian psychiatrist, Viktor Frankl. Dr. Wong’s work has been to introduce a psychological, research-based version of Dr. Frankl’s main theory of finding meaning (Dr. Frankl is most famous for the bestseller, Man’s Search for Meaning). In his book, Dr. Wong devotes a chapter to ‘threats to meaning’ such as a car accident, near-death experiences, the loss of a loved one, life-threatening illness, etc. These events can shake up one’s world. Aging can also be a threat to meaning so it’s no surprise that at the addiction treatment center where Geoff Thompson is a director, the average age of clients is mid- to late-thirties when clients realize that they are getting older and that something (such as their addiction) has to change. ‘Hitting bottom’ is a common experience for people with addictions and it’s a time where they are forced to make a change in life. Hitting bottom can also be a time when life no longer makes sense so, in other words, is a threat to a meaningful existence.

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