What is Logotherapy?

Introduction of Logotherapy

Meaning : n. an approach to psychotherapy that focuses on the “human predicament,” helping the client to overcome crises in meaning. The therapeutic process typically consists of examining three types of values:

  • (a) creative (e.g., work, achievement),
  • (b) experiential (e.g., art, science, philosophy, understanding, loving), and
  • (c) attitudinal (e.g., facing pain and suffering).

Each client is encouraged to arrive at his or her own solution, which should incorporate social responsibility and constructive relationships. Also called meaning-centered therapy.

Logotherapy is often referred to as the “third Viennese school of psychotherapy,” and it originated in the 1930s as a response to both Freud’s psychoanalysis and Adler’s emphasis on power within society. It is more than just “therapy.” It is a philosophy for the spiritually lost and an education for those who are confused.

Frankl viewed logotherapy as a way to enhance existing therapies by emphasizing the “meaning-dimension” or spiritual dimension of human beings. Three philosophical and psychological concepts make up Frankl’s logotherapy: freedom of will, will to meaning, and meaning of life (Batthyany, 2019).

Who Was Viktor Frankl?

Viktor E. Frankl was a professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of Vienna Medical School. The Austrian psychiatrist and neurologist was born March 26, 1905, and is best known for his psychological memoir Man’s Search for Meaning (2006) and as the father of logotherapy.



Basic concept of what logotherapy explains:

Speaking of today’s times, we all are facing tensions in the society and this can be an opportunity for facing reality together-the invitation to choose and enact meaning-filled behaviors that go beyond solipsism, greed, and prejudices, towards human flourishing. What is it you ultimately value with your choices should be the perspective for a healthy and positive lifestyle?

Psychologically, logotherapy uses the specific techniques of paradoxical intention and dereflection to deal with problems of anxiety, compulsive disorders, obsessions, and phobias

Our society is not only facing crisis moments—we seem to lack words to dialogue with each other towards something beyond the problems. Indeed, our current milieu is filled with grief and loss during the COVID-19 pandemic, anger and rage at injustices re-surfacing through Black Lives Matter movement, sadness and guilt of our inhospitality towards migrants and refugees, fear and punishment to quell political discord and civil unrest, anxiousness and nihilism about general state of the ecological world… and sadly, the list goes on-and-on.

Logotherapy is a psychotherapy towards putting meaning to your life and active-change. In his earlier work, Frankl (1959) noted in “Part II: Logotherapy in a Nutshell” that logotherapy focuses on the future, on the meanings to be fulfilled by the patient.  People are more concerned about other than their inner conflict as it’s a natural human tendency. Offering good deeds, help, openness to be there for people leads to meaningful life. It makes person valued in the society and in one’s own image of her/himself.

Humans have always been motivated by meaning, purposes in life, people external to us and nature.

The power of one act of kindness does so much to one’s and others life.

Contours of positive life:

The primary of objective of positive psychology is to derive that positive human health is not extant from medical considerations, which are not about wellness, but necessarily require a base in philosophical accounts of the good in life. To encourage and provoke people for a change of emphasis from string tendencies to consume human health as exclusively about the mind of the body toward and integrated and positive spiral of mind-body influence

Positive psychology helps to understand more about biology of positive health and the impacts of it on human life, implications for making scientific agenda to help people overcome day to life situation and have fruitful future.



Mindfulness and Well-being:

Mindfulness goes hand in hand with wellbeing- paying attention to our surrounding and being aware of the situation, more aware of our thoughts and feelings so that we are able to control our emotions and not be confused or overwhelmed.

Practicing healthy lifestyle like meditating, yoga, breathing, help our psychological and cognitive mechanisms to lead to mental and physical well-being. There is proved research about how and why mindfulness helps an individual to have more attention regulation, less distraction and decentering.

Based on my personal experience – I had being diagnosed with a medical condition, I started to adopt healthy lifestyle. I started meditating, yoga, exercises, heathy food, and I have seen that it created a positive shift in my life. I think engaging in mindfulness activity is a practical way to elicit psychological and physical well-being.

References

  • Batthyany, A. (2019). What is logotherapy/existential analysis? Logotherapy and existential analysis. Viktor Frankl Institut. Retrieved from https://www.viktorfrankl.org/logotherapy.html
  • Frankl, V. E. (2006). Man’s search for meaning. Beacon Press.
  •  Lewis, M. H. (2011). Defiant power: An overview of Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy and existential analysis. Retrieved June 19, 2020, from www.defiantpower.com
  • Frankl, V. E. (2014). The will to meaning: Foundations and applications of logotherapy (Expanded ed.). Plume
  • Fabry, J. B. (1995). Finding meaning in life: Logotherapy. Jason Aronson
  • Ryff, C., & Singer, B. (1998). The Contours of Positive Human Health. Psychological Inquiry, 9(1), 1-28. Retrieved May 11, 2021, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1449605
  • Psychological Inquiry 9, No. 1 (1998), pp. 1-28 (28 pages) Published By: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.




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