Caring and Meaning in Psychotherapy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The caring motivation is a fundamental, encompassing, and pivotal human motivation (Mayseless, 2016). In this chapter, its centrality and significance in human life and in life meaning and self-fulfillment are highlighted, and it is suggested that it represents a spiritual core in human nature. Both logotherapy (meaning centered psychotherapy) and positive psychotherapy, that underscore the importance of addressing the full potential of human life, discuss the importance of meaning in life and the importance of caring. However, both do not fully acknowledge the breadth of the caring motivation (i.e., with kin, strangers, and nonhuman entities), and both do not fully address the strong and inherent connection between caring and meaning in life. Several implications to psychotherapeutic interventions are discussed. These include the need of therapists to acknowledge and understand the centrality of caring and its connection to meaning in their own life and to examine the extent to which they are truly authentic in their caring relations with their clients. The implications also relate to the importance of cultivating the clients’ capacity to care with its ensuing sense of meaning in psychotherapy and to do it in a judicious and authentic manner.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClinical Perspectives on Meaning: Positive and Existential Psychotherapy
EditorsPninit Russo-Netzer, Stefan E. Schulenberg, Alexander Batthyany
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-41397-6
StatePublished - 31 Dec 2016


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