Frankl and Logotherapy

Frankl was known with the Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy. Frankl named his own findings under logotherapy. “Logo” means meaning in Latin and Frankl believed that patients can be cure by searching the meaning of their own life.

Sep 29, 2023 - 14:14
Sep 29, 2023 - 14:17
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Frankl and Logotherapy
Frankl and Logotherapy

Freud established the first Viennese School of Psychotherapy. It was explained under the content of sexual desires and by Oedipus Complex. He explained it with id, ego, and superego. After Freudian perspective, Adler established second Viennese School of Psychotherapy. Adler, emphasize on Individualism, and he explained it with Inferior Complex. Lastly, Frankl was known with the Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy. Frankl named his own findings under logotherapy. “Logo” means meaning in Latin and Frankl believed that patients can be cure by searching the meaning of their own life.

Viktor Frankl was Adler’s student in Vienna. When World War II began, he already started his studies on logotherapy. He was a Jewish psychiatrist, and he was sent to concentration camps. Frankl spent 3 years in Auschwitz-Birkenau, Tuerkheim and Dachau. During the time he was in concentration camps, Frankl witnessed the worst side of human beings, he experienced disease, malnutrition, and pain in firsthand, however, he says: Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.” These words are the milestone of his understanding in logotherapy. Logotherapy touches upon the meaning of life at the existential level and that life has meaning even when it seems the worst and insurmountable. People have free will to choose and change of their behaviors even during suffering.

Frankl has developed some techniques for logotherapy. Viktor Frankl explains how people can find meaning in life. According to Frankl, we can find meaning in three different ways: (1) by creating a work or doing an action; (2) by loving someone; (3) by our attitude towards inevitable suffering. Only then, Frankl says, can we reach our highest potential and recognize our true essence. Viktor Frankl applies his logotherapy perspective to success also. Frankl says “Don't aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say! —success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.” (Man’s Search for Meaning).

The things that we encounter might look unbearable and miserable time to time, however, there are lots of information that we can learn from Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy. Viktor Frankl, who once got off the train heading towards a concentration camp and was separated left and right by Nazi officers in the choice between life and death, developed a world-known and practiced therapy. He did not lose hope even in the most difficult times, and his aim of sharing his logotherapy studies after the war connected him even more to life. I believe that there are many areas where we can apply logotherapy to our lives. We must dedicate ourselves to a cause, love people, and remember that there is meaning in pain. Despite everything, we must say yes to life and maintain our hope.

 

References

Barnes, R. C. (2000). Viktor Frankl's logotherapy: Spirituality and meaning in the new millennium. TCA journal28(1), 24-31.

 

Frankl, V. E. (1967). Logotherapy and existentialism. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice4(3), 138.

 

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Meltem Pazar Odtü Kuzey Kıbrıs Kampüsünde 4.sınıf Psikoloji öğrencisiyim. Sosyal psikoloji, nöropsikoloji ve felsefe ilgi alanlarım arasında. Bu konular üzerine araştırma ve okuma yapmaktan keyif alıyorum. En sevdiğim hobim kitap okumak. Her daim yeni bilgiler edinmeyi ve öğrenmeyi seviyorum.