Psychology: The Meaning of Life for Paul

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It seems reasonable to state that according to a Psychoanalytic frame of reference, all the unconscious aspects that arise from the past have a significant impact on a current state of mind (Counseling Directory, n.d.). Jack considered his mother’s love as the only positive thing within the scope of his family’s relationships. In this regard, the mentioned love should have become an aspired aim that Jack seeks throughout his whole life. He should have shifted this experience from the past to nowadays and bear in mind thoughts that loving someone to the extent of “dependence” is a vital aspect to be happy. So as was with his mother and her “protective wing.” Nevertheless, it is apparent that Jack tends to do the opposite thing – he is afraid to depend on people and get into the trap of love. He percepts this as an unacceptable issue; still, he tries to express his inner feelings and open up.

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The abovementioned facts and suggestions contain a visible contradiction. It is the contrast between the importance and acceptance of the mother’s love and the fear of being dependent on a similar kind of love. At this point, there is a necessity to define the reason for such a state of affairs. It might be suggested that his father’s attitude led to the depicted contradiction. Jack tends to unfollow everything related to his past as he associates this with his inner rise and rebellion against the father’s installations. It may be assumed that the desire to feel such an extent of love was converted into its rejection by the raging wish to abandon all the awful experiences. Even the only light thing is considered now as an integrated element of the dark times; thus, it should become unacceptable. This unacceptance is projected on the relationships that he has with women today – he disrespects and is being cold to them.

All that Jack got from his father was nothing but pain, sorrow, and fear. The combination of these three aspects contributed to Jack’s perception of life all his way. He considered the father as someone bigger, stronger, and more influential than him. What is more, the activities that had to be encouraged to be involved in – starting from school and ending with sports – were simply forced. At the unconscious level, Jack always realized that these activities are important and can be pleasant, but his inner disagreement and protest were rising year by year. As a result, this internal condition burst after the absence of paternal control took place.

As mentioned above, the father was a man who embodied all the restrictions of the world. It does not even matter that the father – to an exact extent – aimed to give the son some appropriate lessons (school, sports). According to the Psychoanalytic frame of reference, such an important memory cannot be erased and affects a person’s choices throughout the whole life at the unconscious level (Corey, 2017). The crucial point here is that during the early stages of life, the individual pays more attention and bears in mind emotions, feelings – the way how these lessons were delivered but not what was delivered. Psychoanalytic counseling concepts imply that a person forms his or her installations, founding the most significant matters from the past. And if these matters were negative, the person definitely will not follow them and avoid their repetition. This case is directly related to Jack’s situation today, and he should understand in an in-depth manner, the discussed facts to be able to open up.

At the initial stages of the conversation, indeed, the primary point will be to make sure that our goals align. To identify if it is so, I will encourage them to express to Alice and Javier their thoughts about this visit, but if they are speaking to each other, without me. After their positions are clear to all of us, I will say that my mission is to help them to find common ground on which we will resolve the issue. If Alice and Javier have come to find a way to deal with the problem by identifying benefits for each other from changing the exact aspects of their routine, the process of counseling will be fast and coherent. The main point here is to encourage both parties to express their feelings and figure out that they are not enemies but partners looking for a compromise.

However, it is more likely that the goals of the two parties are different. Javier does not want to change anything, and Alice is fed up to be restricted. It should be stated that cultural differences will have a notable impact on the setting of goals as there are different approaches to family installations. In this case, the critical moment is to define the mentioned common ground and values for both of them. First of all, it will be the happiness of their children who will not be positively affected by continuous parents’ contradictions. On this ground, the necessity of a compromise will be apparent, and the couple will be ready to negotiate and find it.

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Alice tends to dedicate herself to the family’s interests to the greatest extent. This is an essential thing in the framework of happiness within the family. However, if one member feels unhappy, restricted, and his or her aspirations are suppressed, the whole relationship foundation is in danger. It is important to take into account all of the members’ visions and aspirations; still, Alice does not tend to express herself to the necessary extent, and it is her basic mistake. From Javier’s perspective, his primary mistake is the restriction of the wife’s interests, neglecting the opportunity to work on a compromise. He can save his authoritarian role but reduce – at least – the limitations he puts on Alice’s life.

Then, it seems that this case might be resolved within the scope of Adlerian techniques. This approach involves the following stages: engagement, assessment, insight, and reorientation (Hooper, 2019). The crucial step for the therapy here will be insight – I should provide an interpretation of the couple’s issues and – most important – leave it up to them to decide whether my suggestions are correct. It will launch the process of communication between Javier and Alice, which seems to be the basis for finding a compromise between them because Javier is ready to listen and Alice – to express themself. That is why they have decided to visit a therapist. Here, it should be noted that Adlerian therapy implies that I should help the couple to figure out the “meaning and goals of a purposeful life” (Corey, 2017, p. 6). The approach suggested above aligns with the latter statement significantly as productive communication will be an important step towards the identification and implementation of these goals.

In the Person-Centered frame of reference, it is critical to establish partner relationships with Paul and negotiate the goals of the therapy (Brodley, 1999). It will be important to make Paul feel that he is being heard and taken care of. The expression of himself will lead to openness and readiness to accept his fate. After this, I will emphasize that everything a person feels in the face of a drastic situation becomes ten times acuter, and the understanding and feeling of life become to their fullest. Every contact with people, every emotion, and interaction with this world starts being genuinely valuable. This rationale will be the primary foundation for finding ways of living the rest of Paul’s life joyfully. Another notable point during the therapy will be language – an approach that I will choose to achieve our common goals. It will be crucial to avoid expressions that turn Paul into thinking about the finiteness of life. I should not use such words-indicators as death, end, final, etc.

Meanwhile, it will also be essential to provide Paul with the opportunity to deal with his concerns on his own. The Person-Centred frame of reference implies that a client has the necessary potential to overcome internal psychological issues with his or her efforts (Corey, 2017). Hence, in this regard, I will have to find a way to give Paul hints on possible solutions but not state them directly. For instance, I can appeal to Paul’s memories of his closest friends who are not giving up on him at this moment. This will contribute to the launch of the process of self-awareness, which will be a foundation of Paul’s acceptance of his destiny. He will appropriately and rationally reflect on the situation in which he is involved and find the best way to take it from his perspective. In this case, the primary aims of the Person-Centred frame of reference will be achieved. The therapist will be rather optional guidance than an absolute solution to all the problems.

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As mentioned above, the main possibility to figure out the meaning of life for Paul is to convince him that the emotions and feelings that he will get in the face of death will be acute like never before. However, it should be admitted that there will be many issues in this regard as well. These emotions and feelings will not be only positive; thus, pain and grief will also be felt acuter. Then, encouragement of Paul’s interaction with this world – which is vital – implies contact with ones who care about him. From this perspective, the ethical consideration is that these people will feel sorrow and pain – so as Paul – but also will be hurt after he is gone. What is more, I will have to appeal to several religious aspects as “he began to feel more and more anger—toward God.” I will have to find a balance between using religious prescriptions and the difficult situation in which Paul has been put.


Brodley, B. T. (1999). Reasons for responses expressing the therapist’s frame of reference in client-centered therapy. The Person-Centered Journal, 6 (l), 4–27. Web.

Corey, G. (2017). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy (10th ed.). Cengage Learning.

Counseling Directory. (n.d.). Psychoanalytic therapy. Web.

Hooper, E. (2019). The stages of Adlerian therapy. ThoughtCo. Web.

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"Psychology: The Meaning of Life for Paul." PsychologyWriting, 9 June 2022,


PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'Psychology: The Meaning of Life for Paul'. 9 June.


PsychologyWriting. 2022. "Psychology: The Meaning of Life for Paul." June 9, 2022.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Psychology: The Meaning of Life for Paul." June 9, 2022.


PsychologyWriting. "Psychology: The Meaning of Life for Paul." June 9, 2022.