Meaning Centered Psychotherapy: The State of the Art

Author(s): Guida da Ponte*, Jorge Espírito Santo, Humberto Santos, Zita Gameiro, Joana Gomes, Sílvia Ouakinin

Journal Name: Current Psychiatry Reviews
Continued as Current Psychiatry Research and Reviews

Volume 14 , Issue 3 , 2018

Graphical Abstract:


Background: Meaning Centered Psychotherapy (MCP) was developed by Breitbart and collaborators for patients with advanced cancer and suffering from an existential distress in the face of death. It was first settled in a group format (MCGP) and subsequently has been adapted to an individualized format (IMCP). To this point, MCP is adapted to cancer caregivers (MCP-C), cancer survivors (MCGP-CS), bereaved parents (MC-GT) and palliative care (MCP-PC). The goal of this article is to review the framework of MCP and its subsequent adaptations.

Method: A nonsystematic review of a PubMed search of articles written in English, during 2000 and 2018.

Results: In 2010, Breitbart et al. published the first results of MCGP presenting it as an effective intervention to improve spiritual well-being, quality of life (QoL) and to reduce hopelessness and desire for hastened death in advanced cancer patients. Subsequent studies established the benefits of IMCP and MCGP for the same outcomes. They also confirmed the potential of MCP-C to mitigate caregiver burden, it´s efficacy improving personal meaning, psychological well-being and mental adjustment, and MC-GT as a means to help parents recognize meaningful experiences as they cope with grief. In the adaptation of MCP-PC, evidence suggests the feasibility, acceptability, and the potential for improving coping in the face of end of life issues.

Conclusion: MCP has proven effectiveness in improving QoL, reducing hopelessness, and desire for hastened death. The subsequent adaptations had positive outcomes, showing that meaning is important in the face of any kind of suffering that imposes limitations on life.

Keywords: Meaning-centered psychotherapy, sense of meaning, end of life issues, distress, coping with advanced cancer, cancer.

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Article Details

Year: 2018
Page: [152 - 159]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/1573400514666180821103230

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