“Life, Death, Suffering, Love, and Work” are general topics that assist clients in discovering and uncovering a new awareness and recognition of meaning in the past and present moments, as well as meaningful opportunities and possibilities that are still available for future moments. Discovering meaning in these aspects of life will enhance their sense of integrity, their dignity and their belief in the worthiness of life and existence.
“Life, Death, Suffering, Love, and Work” can be explored with clients in counseling sessions, or as part of a “Logo-Legacy Project” or “Meaning-Legacy Project”—a compilation of logos (Meaning) as a legacy of our life. To create a memento of clients’ Meaningful Life, clinicians can write down or record the answers to questions; clients can also transcribe their answers, make a video as a documentary, or find other creative ways to keep track of their responses. If clients do not have living family members, clinicians can act as witnesses of their lives and acknowledge the meaningful contributions they have made, and that they will continue to make.
The Meaning of Life, Suffering, Death, Love, and Work topics were inspired by Viktor Frankl’s existential analysis themes. The Meaning of Spirit, Peace, and Laughter topics were inspired by Lexie Brockway Potamkin’s book series: What is Spirit, What is Peace, What is Laughter, What is Death, What is Love. Frankl believed that happiness cannot be pursued directly, and that when we try to directly pursue it, we are bound to fail; however, happiness ensues as a byproduct of discovering meaning or doing the next right thing.