'Because everybody deserves a meaningful life'

Dr Joel Vos PhD MSc MA CPsychol FHEA

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Existential therapist

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IMEC Publications


NEW!! The existential competences framework: Development and preliminary validation

International Journal of Psychotherapy (European Association of Psychotherapy), 2021, 25(1):9-53.

Want to know which competencies a student or therapist in existential therapies should develop? Want to know which competences to include at your training institute? Want to know which therapists to fund by health insurances? Read this article!

This study aims to develop a competences framework for Existential Therapies, integrating perspectives from key authors, practitioners, and systematic empirical research. This framework may help to validate, justify, and improve training and practices. This competence framework of Existential Therapies may be used in the training and supervision of existential therapists, and by professional bodies and health authorities to identify and monitor critical competences.

More info


NEW!!! Cardiovascular disease and meaning in life: A systematic literature review and conceptual model

Palliative and Supportive Care, 7 May 2021

Want to prevent high blood pressure, heart attacks or strokes? Start with living a meaningful life! Read more in this article.

This study included a systematic literature review and a conceptual model on the role of meaning in life for psychological stress, mental health, and CVD risks. The literature review included 113 studies on meaning and CVD. The literature showed that a central clinical concern for patients is their question how to live a meaningful life despite CVD. Meaning-centered concerns seem to lead to lower motivation to make lifestyle changes, more psychological stress, lower quality-of-life, worse physical well-being, and increased CVD risk. The ability to live a meaningful life after CVD events is related with lower stress, better mental health, and several biomarkers. It may be hypothesized CVD patients may benefit from psychological therapies focused on meaning.

More info


The Psychology of COVID-19: Building Resilience for Future Pandemics

2021. SAGE Swift: London.

Read the book that has influenced the health policies of several governments!

The Psychology of Covid-19 explores how the coronavirus pandemic is giving rise to a new order in our personal lives, societies, and politics. Rooted in systematic research on Covid-19 and previous pandemics, this book describes how people perceive and respond to Covid-19, and how it has impacted a broad range of domains, including lifestyle, politics, science, mental health, media, and meaning in life. Building on this, the book then sets out how we can improve our psychological and social resilience, to safeguard ourselves against the psychological effects of future pandemics.

More infoGoogle Ebook / Amazon


Systematic Pragmatic Phenomenological Analysis: Step‐wise guidance for mixed methods research

Counselling & Psychotherapy Research. December 2020.
Want to apply an easy and systematic method in your research project? Use SPPA!
Structural Pragmatic Phenomenological Analysis (SPPA) is a pragmatic‐phenomenological methodology integrating qualitative and quantitative research, offering a systematic, sensitive and specific guidance to developing a reflexive understanding of individual experiences and meanings. Applications of SPPA have previously been published, but no systematic overview and guidance. This article offers an overview and a step‐by‐step guidance of SPPA.

Link



The psychology of COVID-19: Building Resilience for Future Pandemics

Video by Dr Joel Vos PhD MSc MA CPsychol FHEA joelvos.com The Psychology of Covid-19 explores how the coronavirus pandemic is giving rise to a new order in our personal lives, societies, and politics. Rooted in systematic research on Covid-19 and previous pandemics, this presentation describes how people perceive and respond to Covid-19, and how it has impacted a broad range of domains, including lifestyle, politics, science, mental health, media, and meaning in life. Building on this, the presentation then sets out how we can improve our psychological and social resilience, to safeguard ourselves against the psychological effects of future pandemics. More details can be found in the book ‘The psychology of COVID-19’ by Joel Vos, published with SAGE




  • Testimonial

    Dr. Vos integrates traditional approaches with the more recent evidence-based approaches of psychotherapy. An important contribution.

    Prof Paul Wong

  • Testimonial

    The ‘go-to’ guide for counsellors, psychotherapists, and researchers in this field for many years to come. A remarkable achievement.

    Prof Mick Cooper

  • Testimonial

    Fired up for change. The evidence is so compelling that I find myself asking, ‘What can we do about this and when will we start?

    BPS The Psychologist Review

  • Testimonial

    Joel Vos is a radical psychologist for our time.

    Dr Neil Faulkner

  • Testimonial

    Joel Vos is a brilliant scholar with an astonishing sweep of knowledge across economics, history, philosophy, psychology, and culture.

    Prof Carol Ryff

  • Testimonial

    Vos makes clear that values, lived experiences, responsibility and compassion are at the heart of living meaningfully in a democratic society

    Prof Henry Giroux

  • Testimonial

    Progressives in universities should insist that their departments hire at least one person who promotes this book and further develops Vos’ ideas.

    Prof Michael Lerner






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