Brief Report

A Case of Tragic Optimism: Volunteer Counsellors' Experience of Meaning

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 22, issue 2, 2012 , pages: 273–277
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2012.10820530
Author(s): Henry D. MasonTshwane University of Technology,, Juan A. NelUniversity of South Africa,


This study applied concepts from logotherapy to construct the meaning that volunteer crisis counsellors experienced by working with victims of crime. Data were collected from seven participants who delivered services at community-driven crisis centre using a qualitative approach. The data were analysed thematically. The findings suggest that the volunteers discovered meaning from reaching out to victims of crime. Adopting an attitude of tragic optimism could serve as the impetus to search for and realise logotherapeutic values notwithstanding high crime victimisation rates.

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