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«A Message from the Conference Chair A warm welcome to the Meaning Conference 2010! It has been ten years since our first International Meaning ...»

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Ⓟ Nancy L. Ras, PhD Professor in the Leadership Program at St Mary’s College of California Lt. Tom Maloney (Ret), MA, Professor at St. Mary’s College of California Consultant Leadership for the Future: Shared Meanings and Purposes Preparing organizations to be psychologically healthy and supportive environments requires engagement with new paradigms of leadership. Before we can hope to influence the wellbeing of the future workplace, examination of taken-for-granted paradigms of understanding of leadership need be revisited and deconstructed. The industrial-age, positional authority paradigms of leadership are of quickly becoming antiquated in view of the new organizational structures and environments developing in the twenty-first century, and Thursday, August 5, 2010 particularly in light of our understandings of the psychological needs of employees for meaning and congruence in the organizational context.

In this session, we will consider how positive organizational behavior (Ashkenasy and Daus, 2002; Cameron et al, 2003) and positive psychology (Henry, 2004; Seligman, 2002; Seligman and Dean, 2003) ontologically redirect organizational leadership from hierarchical control of individuals, to an influence relationship dynamic among individuals. Utilizing both disciplines, we offer an expansion of past conceptualizations of leadership in a multidimensional fashion and in so doing move toward a more inclusive and relational view of leadership that serves organizational purposes by effecting alignment between meaning, purpose, and outcome attainment thus supporting the needs and wellbeing of both individuals and organizations.

An interactive session, we will encapsulate his paradigmatic shift for the participants through an immersion exercise, as well as through discussion, to offer theoretical and applied engagement with future- looking leadership toward psychological wellbeing in organizations. This paradigmatic shift at both the individual and group levels of analysis offers a compelling new leadership discourse for the future.

Educational Objectives:

Participants in this session will be asked to consider key differences between industrial and postindustrial organizations, including how positive organizational behavior and positive psychology can facilitate the creation of a paradigmatic alignment between the well-being of employees in the generative organizational environment of the 21st century, and will be exposed to tools to facilitate this quest.

Ⓟ Ryan M. Niemiec, PsyD Education Director for Values In Action Institute on Character Character strengths in practice: The latest interventions The VIA Classification of 24 character strengths and 6 virtues (Peterson & Seligman, 2004) has played a central role in the field of positive psychology. Over 100 scholarly articles have reviewed, critiqued, praised, analyzed, and discussed the VIA Classification and VIA Survey. Studies suggest some character strengths more than others are strongly linked with life satisfaction, engagement, meaning, pleasure, physical health, academic achievement, effectiveness in teaching, posttraumatic growth, etc. Despite this wide acclaim and interest from educators, coaches, researchers, business executives, and psychologists, the application of the character strengths is less widely known.

Participants will learn about a 3-step approach to working with character strengths, resource priming of character strengths, and a number of general and Thursday, August 5, 2010 specific, research-based interventions that practitioners can use to enhance character strengths.

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In her keynote address, Dr. Diana Whitney, who is best known for her work with Appreciative Inquiry will explore leadership at the intersection of three vibrantly emerging fields: Positive Psychology, the Strengths Movement and Appreciative Inquiry. She will provide an overview of the research and ideas in her newest book Appreciative Leadership: Focus on What Works to Drive Winning Performance and Build a Thriving Organization (McGraw Hill, July 2010).

She will present the Five Core Strategies of Appreciative Leadership: The Wisdom of Inquiry; The Genius of Inclusion; The Art of Illumination; The Courage of Inspiration; and The Path of Integrity, illustrated with practical examples and stories from her experience as a leading consultant and executive advisor. Join her for a rich and enlivening consideration of how the strength based, relational strategies of Appreciative Leadership can be used to create a high engagement work environment.

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The rebel in the West is often typified as an individualistic character who goes against the larger cultural norms. Sometimes the rebel is portrayed as a villain, but the rebel also is often a heroic figure. This heroic rebel, as Camus states, “is someone who says no,” who is willing to take the risk of being extricated from his or her group by taking a stand. In the East, social harmony is a concept reflecting the cultural norm to not stand out, to not say no, and to not go against one’s culture. In Chinese history, social harmony was important in that it served to bring people together to provide greater protection from the many external forces which repeatedly invaded China. Yet, social harmony was also a beautiful and spiritual ideal about how individuals function harmoniously with each other. Although seemingly opposite ideals, social harmony and the rebel can be understood as representations of one paradoxical existential given: the need to be a-part-of (i.e., in relationship, or possibly harmony, with others) and apart-from (i.e., the need for individuation, to be an individual). In the West, the social or collective needs are often ignored while in the East the individualistic needs are often neglected. By bringing these two concepts into dialogue it can be illustrated how these can fit together meeting the individual and social needs.

This resolution, of integrating different aspects of the paradox, has implications for psychotherapy as well as organizational culture.

ⓅMaria R. Smith, MA PhD Candidate University of the Rockies Finding Meaning and Significance during Times of Struggle The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life. Victor Frankl saw three possible sources for meaning: in work (doing something significant), in love (caring for another person), and in courage during difficult times. It is during times of suffering we can find significance in our relationships with family, friends, and coworkers. It is also when we can discover ourselves.

Fostering resilience both on a personal and organizational level happens when one recognizes meaningfulness. When all is well, we do not pay much attention to the inner soul. Alternatively, we start to pay attention when stressors elevate;

then, we look to calm and bring peace to the soul.

Nurturing the soul involves centering oneself with faith and spirituality, whatever it may be. It is learning how to tap into the mind-body connection, and how to achieve inner growth. Additionally, it involves using one’s creativity, which Thursday, August 5, 2010 can turn life from being ordinary into extraordinary. Creativity provides a sense of well-being and purpose.

One ascertains meaning and significance when dealing with grief, trauma, or chronic illness. As Frankl states, “You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you.” Whatever the difficulty, one has the choice in attitude. Attitude shapes an individual’s mental, emotional, and physical health. Positive emotions, resiliency, strength, and character develop depending on how we respond in engagement with others.

This paper will discuss aspects of finding meaning and significance in times of struggle by exploring spirituality, nurturing the soul, using creativity, positive attitude/emotions, and developing resiliency through nurturing and authentic engagement. Thus, groundwork can begin in exploring ways to endure more positive and fruitful interpersonal relationships in organizational settings.

ⓅTherese An Beaudry, MA

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This presentation builds on the workplace as a community. Imperative to creating a cohesive and collaborative work environment is to understand how you respond to experience. This response can influence a positive difference between yourself and others; or, a deconstructive difference again for you and/or others in the workplace community. Unconscious intelligence is vitally significant to your reasoning and response. In the unconscious mind, you already know how to respond before you are consciously aware of the response. Furthermore, unconscious intelligence gives an ethical and moral, accurate, and simultaneous response to every experience. Many people are aware of this; but do not apply their unconscious intelligence in practical, day-to-day experience because they think unconscious intelligence is a coincidence, a fluke, an oddity of sorts.

The influence of our response to experience defines the quality of our life and relationships in community (personal, social, cultural, and global). Yet, responding from unconscious intelligence is often underdeveloped and even overlooked. There are several modes of relating to difficult or unwanted situations; though it seems we do not take the time to understand and practice the disciplines that allow an alternative vantage point. This presentation invites you to learn the resources of your unconscious as vitally important to how you fashion the world of your response. You will also learn how practices of yoga, imagination, and meditation give access to the language of your unconscious.

The discovery of your vitally important unconscious intelligence will defuse the crisic moments of experience and allow the language of your response to speak in a voice of solidarity with heart and mind.

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It is well recognised that late adolescence and early 20’s can be a time of great pressure. It is the time for making hard choices that shape the course of life: values, education, career, location, mate, etc. What is less well recognised is that failure to adequately support the young person during these periods may result in anxiety, panic attacks, depression, or even psychosis.

When anxiety builds to a sufficient severity, the individual will often begin to selfmedicate with drugs or alcohol. Under these conditions the individual may experience persistent intrusive thoughts which may lead to psychotic episodes unless psychotherapeutic interventions are available....which they rarely are.

A psychotic episode will often result in hospitalisation. The reality of a pscyhiatric ward on the undifferentiated identity of the young person can be devastating.

The confusion and distress that may have caused the condition are compounded. The young person is surrounded by an environment of illness.

This confirms what they have been dreading, that there is something wrong with THEM.

This speaker will expand on her belief that society has a responsibility to help young people navigate the turbulent waters of becoming adult in our complex world, and will narrate from her experience the dramatic benefits of Existential Psychotherapy.

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Frankl said, “Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.” In today’s economic climate, the search for meaning in life and in work may be an unattainable luxury. Many workplaces have been forced to implement layoffs and cut budgets to maintain economic viability. These efforts may negatively impact employee morale by increasing workloads without Thursday, August 5, 2010 matched institutional support. This can be particularly true for individuals involved in the helping professions. Research has shown that therapists and other helping professionals are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of compassion fatigue and burnout (Mahoney, 1997). These conditions can negatively impact one’s ability to conduct effective and ethical psychotherapy. By increasing meaning, support, and self-care within the work place, employees develop a greater degree of compassion satisfaction (Killian, 2008). This acts as a protective factor against the harmful effects of compassion fatigue and burnout, which can decrease one’s ability to engage with clients. Compassion satisfaction can be defined as the positive sequelae which can result from helping professionals feeling capable of connecting empathically and conducting their therapeutic work effectively. (Stamm, 2002).

This talk will describe the concepts of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue as they are demonstrated in a compassion fatigue prevention program run at the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton. This program uses the Compassion Satisfaction/Fatigue Self-Test for Helpers, adapted by the Traumatology Institute in Toronto, Ontario.

ⓅKawasaki Hiromi, RN, MPH, PhD Professor, Division of Nursing Science, Graduate School of Health Sciences, Hiroshima University Higawa Yukie Hiroshima University Nishiyama Mika Hiroshima Bunkyo Women’s University Morihiro Fujita, Pete D’Angelo Doi Clinic, Hiroshima Support for Japanese students adapting from the “education” to the "work" environment Background In Japan over 30% of post-graduates moving into the workplace quit their jobs within a few months. The process of adaptation for young Japanese people is an area that was not seen by employers to be important and little if no provision was made to support the individual during this transitional period. A strong, long-term working relationship with a company is a cornerstone of Japanese cultural values and impacts not only on the individual but also on the family.

Purpose The purpose of this research was to clarify the emotional impact on the individual and suggest a framework for psychological support.

Procedure Thursday, August 5, 2010 Participants consisted of 72 people, newly recruited by a food sales company in 2008 and 2009. CES-D, fatigue and the marker of health care were used as the evaluation tools. Health guidance was carried out by community health nurses who reported their findings.

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