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Am J Psychother. 1998 Winter;52(1):72-87.

Therapeutic approaches to problems of meaninglessness.

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Illinois State University, Normal, USA.


Paradigmatically, meaningful action, and by extension meaningful living, inhere in immersed participation in activities from which one derives substantial instrumental, intrinsic, and/or spiritual value. The greater the departure from this paradigm (the existentialist's "absurd" being the extreme case), the more meaningless will one's existence seem. Employing this paradigm case as a point of departure, the job of the psychotherapist becomes that of (a) diagnosing obstacles to clients securing such value in their behavior, and (b) assisting them in the removal or diminution of these obstacles. The empirically most common of these obstacles, as well as some therapeutic approaches to addressing them, have been discussed in this article.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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