Joel Vos

MA, MSc, PhD, CPsychol

NSPC Roles
Research Supervisor,


About: Dr Joel Vos PhD MSc CPsychol MA FHEA is a psychologist and philosopher, author, researcher, and lecturer. I work as lecturer and supervisor at the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling. I also work as senior researcher at Metanoia where I conduct research on the experiences and effects of existential, transactional-analysis and other humanistic psychotherapies. I chair the IMEC International Meaning Events & Community, such as the annual international meaning conferences in London, where we have accepted many NSPC students to present their research and to give workshops. I have published 7 books and over 130 articles, and have supervised approx. 100 students over the years (mainly doctorate). My research has received several scientific awards and approx. £2million in grants.  

Availability: Master, Primary and Secondary Research Supervisor

Topics: My research focuses at evaluating and developing the scientific foundations of existential psychotherapy, meaning-oriented therapies, transactional analysis, and other humanistic therapies. I have conducted much research on health psychology, such as COVID-19, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. In the last years, my focus has increasingly gone to societal and political topics, such as the role of social justice in psychotherapy, the psychological impact of Brexit, capitalism, immigrants and refugees, political activism, and social movements.

Methodology: systematic literature reviews, meta-analysis, quantitative research, questionnaire development, phenomenological analysis, thematic analyses, other qualitative methods. I have developed and applied Systematic Pragmatic Phenomenological Analysis as a more systematic, step-by-step and pragmatic alternative to other phenomenological analytical methods.  

Research from previous supervisees: previous supervisees have for example developed a questionnaire to measure relational depth in the therapeutic relationship, examined the effects and experiences of an existential psychotherapy trial, explored the subjective experiences of pain, explored helpful and unhelpful aspects in therapy, looked at post traumatic growth after a cancer diagnosis, etc.

Key publications:

Vos, J., Craig, M., & Cooper, M. (2015). Existential therapies: A meta-analysis of their effects on psychological outcomes. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology83(1), 115.

Vos, J., & Vitali, D. (2018). The effects of psychological meaning-centered therapies on quality of life and psychological stress: A metaanalysis. Palliative & supportive care16(5), 608-632.

Vos, J. (2015). Meaning and existential givens in the lives of cancer patients: A philosophical perspective on psycho-oncology. Palliative & supportive care13(4), 885.

Vos, J. (2017). Meaning in life: An evidence-based handbook for practitioners. Macmillan International Higher Education.

Vos, J., Cooper, M., Correia, E., & Craig, M. (2015). Existential Therapies: A Review Of Their Scientific Foundations and Efficacy. Existential Analysis: Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis26(1).

van Bruggen, V., Vos, J., Westerhof, G., Bohlmeijer, E., & Glas, G. (2015). Systematic review of existential anxiety instruments. Journal of humanistic psychology55(2), 173-201

Vos, J. (2016). Working with meaning in life in mental health care: A systematic literature review of the practices and effectiveness of meaning-centred therapies. In Clinical perspectives on meaning (pp. 59-87). Springer, Cham.

Vos, J. (2016). Working with meaning in life in chronic or life-threatening disease: A review of its relevance and the effectiveness of meaning-centred therapies. In Clinical Perspectives on Meaning (pp. 171-200). Springer, Cham.

Vos, J. (2018). Death in existential psychotherapies: A critical review. Curing the Dread of Death: Theory, Research and Practice, 145.

Vos, J. (2019). A review of research on existential‐phenomenological therapies. The Wiley world handbook of existential therapy, 592-614.

Vos, J. (2020). The Economics of Meaning in Life: From Capitalist Life Syndrome to Meaning-Oriented Economy. University Professors Press.

Vos, J., van Deurzen, E., & Tantam, D. (2020). The forgotten Brexistential crisis. PSYCHOLOGIST33, 10-10.

Vos, J., Roberts, R., & Davies, J. (2019). Mental Health in Crisis. SAGE Publications Limited.

Vos, J. (2016). Fifty pictures of living a meaningful life. Independent Publishing

Vos, J. (2020). The Psychology of Covid-19: Building Resilience for Future Pandemics. SAGE.

Vos, J. (2020). Systematic Pragmatic Phenomenological Analysis (SPPA): A step-by-step guidance. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. [in print]


The most up-to-date list of my more than 130 publications is on A selection can be found here:  My personal website is I chair the IMEC International Meaning Events & Community, such as the annual international meaning conferences in London, and the weekly support groups MentalHealth4All; this could be found here:

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