Logotherapy By Viktor Frankl: Find The Meaning Of Life

Last Update on March 31, 2021 : Published on March 31, 2021
Quick Takeaway:

1. Logotherapy pushes the patients to discover their life’s purposes and motivates them to break the chain of the past.
2. Coined by Victor Frankl to help people ‘finding the reasons’ to live.
3. Patients facing existential crises have largely benefitted from Logotherapy.

Understanding the value of life and finding our own reasons to live is similar to watching the sunrise with a beautiful array of colors. But when the dark night comes, we often quest for the meaning of life. In this scenario,

Logotherapy has proved to be an ice breaker by therapists around the world where patients look forward to the meaning of life despite the miseries and suffering they are going through.

Understanding Logotherapy: Definition

Logotherapy was discovered and coined by neurologist Victor Frankl and called as ‘Third Viennese School Of Psychotherapy’ as a response to Freud’s psychoanalysis and Alder’s individual psychology.

what is logotherapy meaning

The logo is a Greek word that means ‘Meaning’ and Logotherapy applies to a man searching for meaning in his life.

Logotherapy is based on key ideas revolving around:

  • We discover the meaning of life rather than creating them.
  • We each have unique reasons for living which can be modified over the years.
  • Excessive attention to a desire can keep the desire from being fulfilled.
  • Humor is a positive method to reduce anxiety and break the negativity.

The basic characteristics of Logotherapy have a spiritual dimension; it clearly states that humans have the potential to experience the meaning of life under any and every circumstance. (Schulenberg, 2003)

About Victor Frankl

About Victor Frankl

Born in 1905, Victor E. Frankl was a professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of Vienna Medical School. His life took a major turn when he was deported to the Nazi concentration camp with his family. He concentrated on love, freedom, humor, and finding the courage to survive the toughest situations while spending 3 years in the camp.

His principle stated,

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedom to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

This principle gave him the inspiration to continue the rest of his life. Before he left the world in 1997, his book ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’ was published in 24 languages.

Techniques Of Logotherapy:

Logotherapy techniques can help a person going through depression, suffering, chronic pain, illness, phobias, health conditions, suicidal thoughts, and obsessions. The techniques include:

1. De-reflection

Based on the concept of self-transcendence, de-reflection lets the patients focus on the positive aspects of life rather than paying attention to the miseries. In this, the patient is asked to not to think about oneself or his own problems but focus on the surroundings. This helps the patient to zoom out from self-absorbed negative thoughts and find the goodness around.

2. Paradoxical Intention

This technique of Logotherapy is helpful in fighting phobias and anxiety. The person is asked to think about the thing which he fears most. Now, he is asked to face the fears purposefully and humor is injected to get over the problem. For example, if someone is fearful of rejection, they are put into a situation where they must embrace the word ‘No’ positively.

3. Socratic Dialogue

The meaning of life is seeked out within the conversation rather than a questionnaire put up in other therapies. Through this, the patient discovers his meaning of life in his own dialogues. The pattern of his talks are dotted out and the therapist makes them realize the value of life.

Logotherapy Case Studies To Understand The Impact (As Explained In ‘Ikigai’)

These case studies will make you understand how Frankl Logotherapy has worked for people. Moreover, psychologists around the world are successfully using therapy for the treatment of multiple medical conditions.

Also Read: 10 Rules of IKIGAI That Will Change Your Life For Better

Case Study 1: The Suicidal Mother

A mother whose 11 year old son died was admitted in Frankl’s hospital because of her suicidal tendencies. She was alive only because her other paralyzed son was keeping up with her. Frankl asked her about a hypothetical situation where she is lying on a deathbed, wealthy but childless. She said her life would have been a failure then.

She then realized that everything she did was in her power for her children and was content with her past. She was peaceful then and turned into a happy person with further techniques of Logotherapy.

Case Study 2: The Grief-Stricken Doctor

An elderly doctor was in a deep depression after his wife died two years earlier. Frank asked him what would have happened if he had been the one who died first. He said that his wife would have suffered tremendously and horrified by the same. Realizing that he paid the price to not let his wife mourn for him, he decided to tolerate the pain rather than his wife going through the same.

These case studies about Frankl Logotherapy shows that life has a meaning if you change the perspective of looking at it in a positive way. Every individual is unique when they have a will to find the meaning of life, explores the freedom, understand the moment they are living in and respect the entity of Body, Mind & Spirit.

Logotherapy Today

Frankl had argued that Logotherapy educated the people to take responsibility for themselves. Many psychologists today believe that people living with depression and anxiety must seek treatment to find the purpose of life and an expert therapist can help them to search the way.

An article published in journal ‘Psychotherapy’ combined the studies of authors that stated ‘On many levels, Logotherpay presents a higher degree of compatibility with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT.’

However, you may not be able to find people who are receiving exceptionally Logotherapy but it is being used by intertwining other therapies along. So, if you are willing to search for the purpose of life, ask us to connect you with an expert!

Once again, do not stop yourself from asking for help! WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU

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About The Author

Akanksha Soni
Akanksha Soni

Akanksha is an active lifestyle blogger and writer at Calmsage. She has learnt various lessons on happiness and methods to fight depression through 'Gurus' as well as own experiences. An ardent practitioner of Yoga and meditation, she keeps traveling, writes and interacts with people to feel alive.

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