Topics: Psychotherapy, Meaning of life, Alfred Adler Pages: 6 (2026 words) Published: December 9, 2010
Psychotherapy Research: Logotherapy
Jonathan Guillen
Langara College

This paper is intended to describe and provide examples of logotherapy and where it came from. Logotherapy was developed by Viktor Frankl and is used to help clients perceive their own life and try to find meaning for it. The process of logotherapy is based on the idea that our primary motivation to life is to find meaning. This Unique form of therapy uses the idea of meaning like no other therapy has. It has received generally positive criticism and is still in use today to help people deal with anxiety disorders.

The term “Logotherapy,” which is founded by Viktor Frankl, is derived from the Greek word, “logos”, which means “meaning”. The word “therapy” deals with the treatment for disorders. Frankl’s concept is based on the idea that our primary motivation in life is to find a meaning in life. Logotherapy was first published in 1938 Viktor Frankl and Logotherapy.

During his early teenage years, Frankl became interested in psychology and even though he was in high school he also attended college psychology classes. He became interested in Sigmund Freud’s work and sent an article to him, titled “Internationale Zeitschrift fur Psycholanalyse” to which he accepted. But by the time it was published, Frankle was now influenced by Adler’s work. At 17, Frankl lectured at his college and discussed a topic on the meaning of life. His two main points were that “life does not answer our questions about the meaning of life but rather puts those questions on us,” and “the ultimate meaning of life is beyond the grasp of our intellect, but is something we only can live by, without ever being able to define it cognitively” After Adler established his school of psychology around the same time the First World War ended, many people had the existential question of the meaning of life, which was of course what Frankl took advantage of. In 1930, new concepts and coined new terms, namely, Logotherapy. ‘With the rise of Hitler, Frankl was taken to a concentration camp. Although he was stripped of everything, during this time he managed to write his book Aerztliche Seelsorge, later published in English as “The Doctor and the Soul.”’ “The Doctor and the Soul” had Frankl’s theories. The 3 tenets of Logotherapy were tested in the camps in which he was in.    1. Life has meaning under all circumstances, even the most miserable ones.    2. Our main motivation for living is our will to find meaning in life.    3. We have freedom to find meaning in what we do, and what we experience, or a least in the stand we take when faced with a situation of unchangeable suffering. After his release, Frankl refined and strengthened the idea of Logotherapy. He worked at a hospital where he would practice his methods on patients Assumptions

There are several assumptions in Logotherapy, which like any other form of psychotherapy, cannot be proven or disproven with any absolution. The Logotherapy Institute states that “to see if these assumptions make sense in our lives, we must assume that they are true.” The following list is the assumptions of Logotherapy as listed on the Logotherapy Institute website. 1. “The human being is an entity consisting of body, mind, and spirit. 2. Life has meaning under all circumstances, even the most miserable. 3. People have a will to meaning.

4. People have freedom under all circumstances to activate the will to find meaning. 5. Life has a demand quality to which people must respond if decisions are to be meaningful. 6. The individual is unique.

“The first assumption deals with the body (soma), mind (psyche), and spirit (noos). According to Frankl, the body and mind are what we have and the spirit is what we are. Assumption two is “ultimate meaning”. This is difficult to grasp but it is something everyone experiences and it represents an order in a world with laws that go beyond human laws....
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