Viktor Frankl Psychotherapy Viktor Frankl's Term Paper

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Frankl proposes that "he who can cling to no end point, to no time in the future, to no point of support, is in danger of allowing himself to collapse inwardly." [15]

However that point might alter as the person grows. It happens and should happen in the process of living because no one can cling to just one meaning all his life. Meaning when realized alters and take on another shape and that forms the crux of Logotherapy. The role of the therapist in this regard is only to facilitate the process. he/she cannot give a person meaning to a life that is lived by the patient. The therapist must help resolve any past issues which are retarding the personal growth of the individual. He should try to untie the spiritual or philosophical 'knots' that have developed to help the patient become healthier.

What is needed here is to meet the patient squarely. We must not dodge the discussion, but enter into it sincerely. We must attack these questions on their own terms, with the weapons of the mind. Our patient has a right to demand that the ideas he advances be treated on the philosophical level. In dealing with his arguments we must honestly enter into these problems and renounce the temptation to go outside them, to argue from premises drawn from biology or perhaps sociology. A philosophical question cannot be dealt with by turning the discussion toward the pathological roots from which the question stemmed, or by hinting at the morbid consequences of philosophical pondering. This is only evasion, being a retreat from the plane upon which the question is posed -- the plane of the mind. [16]

Frankl stresses the need for philosophical worldview because that helps a person develop a whole philosophy around a single action. Every thought is connected with a wider worldview which can be understood in philosophical terms. A person who is tired of life's challenges and problems might contemplate suicide. The question why suffer from problems, why not commit suicide indicates his willingness to give life another chance. The therapist's job is to create and develop a philosophy to help the patient see that he is not yet willing to give up life. The tiny thread that a patient is holding on to can be developed into a full-fledged philosophy of life-which reflects the patient's meaning of life. However this meaning of life should not be a borrowed meaning. It must be something that the patient holds dear.

According, to logotherapy, the striving to find a meaning in one's life is the primary motivational force in man. That is why I speak of a will to meaning in contrast to the pleasure principle (or, as we could also term it, the will to pleasure) on which Freudian psychoanalysis is centered, as well as in contrast to the will to power stressed by Adlerian psychology. [17]

Logotherapy assists patients in developing a systematic meaningful story from which to draw answers to their numerous queries. The patient who wants to know why he should not commit suicide if there are so many problems can be helped to see that his question contains a glimmer of hope. He should then be able to answer the question for himself. There is definitely hidden in his question a dim yet persistent hope that life will get better or things will change. Any single hope is important because logotherapy can help weave a whole philosophy around it. "What matters... is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment." [18]


Frankl, oral communication, 1971.

Frankl, the Will to Meaning (Cleveland, O.: New American Library, 1969), p. 21.

V. Frankl, "Self-transcendence as a Human Phenomenon," Journal of Humanistic Psychology (1966) 6:97-107.

Frankl V.E. (1976). Man's Search for Meaning. New York: Pocket Books. 78.

Frankl, Psychotherapy and Existentialism: Selected Papers on Logotherapy. New York: Simon & Schuster, Clarion Books 1967. 57

Ibid., 17.

Frankl V.E. (1975). The Unconscious God: Psychotherapy and Theology. New York: Simon & Schuster. P. 85

Frankl, Psychotherapy and Existentialism, 104-05.

Viktor E. Frankl, the Unheard Cry for Meaning-Psychotherapy and Humanism (New York, N.Y.: Pocket Books, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1978).41.

Frankl V.E. (1976). Man's Search for Meaning. 178-179

Frankl, the Unconscious God, 120, 121.

Frankl, Psychotherapy and Existentialism, 57.

Frankl, the Unconscious God, 123-4.…[continue]

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