WHAT IS LOGOTHERAPY?
There comes a time in our life, when we feel the need to find an answer to the burning question: What is the meaning and purpose of my life? If you have asked yourself that question, you should consider learning and practicing the principles of logotherapy.
Logotherapy, literally a “therapy focused on the meaning (logos) of life” is a psychotherapeutic and philosophic method which consists in helping us find the true meaning(s) of our existence and to realize it in our daily life. It is a therapy of choice for those who suffer from anxiety or a noogenic depression and those who are going through an existential crisis in their life and facing a sense of meaninglessness or lack of purpose.. Most important, it can enrich our lives by helping us all discern some new meanings and purposes in the deep recesses of our personality.
Logotherapy – or existential analysis – was initiated by Professor Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) who taught neurology and psychiatry at the University of Vienna, Austria. His best known book Man Search for Meaning has been translated in twenty two languages and over eleven million copies have been sold. In the first part of the book, the author recounts his experience in the Nazi concentration camps of World War II and in the second part, he gives us a summary of the basic principles of logotherapy which he developed during his incarceration in the camps.
Library of Congress designated it as one the ten most influential books of the twentieth century.
PHILOSOPHICAL PREMISES OF LOGOTHERAPY
While Sigmund Freud asserted that we are all motivated by a will to pleasure and Alfred Adler a will to power, Viktor Frankl maintains that our primary motivation is a will to meaning, a desire to find the meaning of everything which happens to us. It behooves us, therefore, to discover this meaning(s) which is none else than a manifestation of our personal vocation.
Logotherapy affirms that we are all endowed with freedom of the will and that we must assume our responsibility for all our decisions.
Logotherapy teaches us that happiness cannot be pursued directly; it is the consequence of our noetic achievements. It manifests itself as a sublime feeling of exaltation we experience when we have achieved a meaningful goal in our life.
“Each of us has a purpose in this world that only we, uniquely, can fulfill.”