A Man's Search for Meaning

Topics: Alfred Adler, Psychology, Human Pages: 2 (744 words) Published: May 14, 2013
A Man’s Search for Meaning is about enduring years of the Nazi concentration camps. The holocaust was one of the darkest chapters of human history taught him that the man’s primary motivational force is the search for meaning. Dr. Frankl’s discovery led to the development of the revolutionary approach to psychotherapy known as logotherapy, which is the own version of modern existential analysis. The book shows understanding why and how people can survive and cling to life given such apparently frail or simple reasons as love for one’s children, talent to be used, or even just simple memories. It redefines human achievement, the will to meaning and logotherapy, and sources of meaning.

Frankl recollected on the thoughts that gave him the will to live. The mental images of his wife provided the only light in the dark days of the concentration camp, and there is a beautiful scene when he is thinking of her with such intensity that when a bird hops onto a mound in front of him, it appears to be her living embodiment. He talked about the men who had given up, that could be recognized by the smoking of their last cigarettes, which could’ve been traded for a scrap of food. These men decided life held nothing more for them, which Frankl thinks is a terrible mistake. I realized that I have to find the courage to ask what life expects of me, day by day. The task isn’t to survive, but to find the guiding truth specific to me and my situation that can only be revealed during the worst times of my life.

During his experience at the Holocaust, he provided the basis for the development of a new school of psychotherapy, Logotherapy that follows Freud’s psychoanalysis and Adler’s Individual Psychology. Psychoanalysis requires a person’s introspection and self-centredness to reveal the basis of their neurosis. The logotherapy tries to take the person out of himself or herself and see their life in a broader perspective and sees the prime motivating force in human beings to be...
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