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Viktor Frankl

"It doesn’t really matter what we expected from life, but what life expected from us."

VIKTOR FRANKL

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The Basic Tenets Of Logotherapy
  • Freedom Of Will: Human beings can freely choose their response to the outward circumstance.
  • Will To Meaning: Human beings are completely free to achieve their goals and purposes in life, with the search for meaning being the primary motive, even forsaking pleasure for pain in the process.
  • Meaning In Life: Meaning is an objective reality, and is not an illusion or a personal perception. Humans have the responsibility to be at their best possible selves by extracting meaning from every moment.

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Logotherapy originated in the 1930s as a counter-response to the prevalent theories of the time, and examines the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of individuals. .

Its premise is that the strongest motivational force of an individual is to find a meaning in life and it was devised by Prof Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist and neurologist.

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Logotherapy looks at all the three dimensions of an individual:

  • Psychological: Using paradoxical intention and de-reflection techniques to handle phobias, anxiety and compulsive disorders
  • Physiological: Coping with suffering and physical pain or loss.
  • Spiritual: Answer to people with an existential vacuum, manifested in boredom, emptiness and depression.

It is an effective therapy for PTSD, acute stress, alcohol and drug treatment, anxiety, depression and group behaviour/dynamics.

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Humans normally function on primal reactions like negative self-talk, emotional outbursts and irrational actions based on outside events and circumstances. The lost ‘spiritual’ dimension of meaning is brought forward by Logotherapy.

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  • De-reflection: Individuals distance themselves from the negative aspects, obstacles and problems, and shift their focus onto something positive.
  • Paradoxical Intention: Eradication or reduction in fear using humor, ridicule, and imagination.
  • Socratic Dialogue: Often used in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), this technique breaks down the thoughts, going into the root cause, and the primal fear, pointing towards solutions already present.

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Viktor Frankl: the founder of logotherapy

From 1940 to 1942, Victor Frankl was a director of the Neurological Department of the Rothschild Hospital, and from 1946 to 1970 he was the director of Vienna Polyclinic of Neurology.

As the only member of his family to survive the Nazi concentration camps, he developed a theory that individuals can endure hardship and suffering through searching for meaning and purpose.

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What Is Logotherapy?

Logotherapy is a therapeutic approach that helps people find personal meaning in life. It’s a form of psychotherapy that is focused on the future and on our ability to endure hardship and suffering through a search for purpose.

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Viktor Frankl

"In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning."

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