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*Invented by concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl

Viktor Emil Frankl, MD, PhD (26 March 1905 2 September 1997)was an Austrian neurologist

and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. Frankl was the founder of logotherapy, which is a

form of existential analysis, the "Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy". His best-selling book,

Man's Search for Meaning (published under a different title in 1959: From Death-Camp to Existentialism, and originally published in 1946 as Trotzdem Ja Zum Leben Sagen: Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager), chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate which led him to discover the importance of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most

sordid ones, and thus a reason to continue living. Frankl became one of the key figures in existential

therapy and a prominent source of inspiration for humanistic psychologists.

Essential Features:

*Introspective & less retrospective. Looks to the present, future over the past.

*LT patient confronts and is reoriented toward the meaning of his life.

*For me this is to live a life of meaning.

*Life's mission-neurotic individual tries to escape it, at least partially

Full consciousnessawareness of one's life mission/calling is the cure for neurosis.

LogosClassical Greek word, (from Wikipedia)

LOGOS: Etymology and linguistic issues

In ordinary, non-technical Greek, logos had a semantic field extending beyond "word" to notions such as, on the one hand, language, talk, statement, speech, conversation, tale, story, prose, proposition, and principle; and on the other hand, thought, reason, account, consideration, esteem, due relation, proportion, and analogy.

Despite the conventional translation as "word," it is not used for a word in the grammatical sense; instead, the term lexis (λέξις) was used. However, both logos and lexis derive from the same verb legō (λέγω), meaning "to count, tell, say, speak".

The writing of Heraclitus was the first place where the word logos was given special attention in ancient Greek philosophy, although Heraclitus seems to use the word with a meaning not significantly different from the way it was used in ordinary Greek of his time. For Heraclitus logos provided the link between rational discourse and the world's rational structure.

"This LOGOS holds always but humans always prove unable to understand it, both before hearing it and when they have first heard it. For though all things come to be in accordance with this LOGOS, humans are like the inexperienced when they experience such words and deeds as I set out, distinguishing each in accordance with its nature and saying how it is. But other people fail to notice what they do when awake, just as they forget what they do while asleep."

Diels-Kranz, 22B1

For this reason it is necessary to follow what is common. But although the LOGOS is common, most people live as if they had their own private understanding.

Diels-Kranz, 22B2

Listening not to me but to the LOGOS it is wise to agree that all things are one.

Diels-Kranz, 22B50[17]

What logos means here is not certain: it may mean 'reason' or 'explanation' in the sense of an objective cosmic law; or it may signify nothing more than 'saying' or 'wisdom'.[18] Yet, an independent existence of a universal logos was clearly suggested by Heraclitus.


Primary Motivating Forces in Viennese Psychiatry

Freudian School Will to pleasure

Adlerian School It's will to power

Frankl's School Will to meaning.

Premise: Will to meaning within humans is fact, not faith or philosophical bias.

89% of French citizens polled after WWII said man needs "something" for the sake of which to live.

61% said they were willing to die for this "something."

Logotherapeutic Arguments

+ If will to meaning were just wishful thinking, self-expression would lose its power and persuasion

amongst humans.

+ Meaning of our existence not our invention but our voyage of discovery, "Calling, Destiny, Path".

See the wave metaphor in Up All Night, The Pink Palace.

+Logotherapy dares to enter the spiritual dimension of human existence. Spiritual distress is not a mental illness but can be treated w/medicine & logotherapy."One Heart" Key Premise.

+Hidden or hermeautic LOGOS to each of our existences.

-Existential frustration is the common cause of neurosis.

Neurosis is a class of functional mental disorders involving distress but neither delusions nor hallucinations, whereby behavior is not outside socially acceptable norms. It is also known as psychoneurosis or neurotic disorder, and thus those suffering from it are said to be neurotic. The term essentially describes an "invisible injury" and the resulting condition.

Neurosis was coined by the Scottish doctor William Cullen in 1769 to refer to "disorders of sense and motion" caused by a "general affection of the nervous system". For him, it described various nervous disorders and symptoms that could not be explained physiologically. It derives from the Greek word "νερον" (neuron, "nerve") with the suffix -osis (diseased or abnormal condition). The term was however most influentially defined by Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud over a century later. It has continued to be used in contemporary theoretical writing in psychology and philosophy.

There are many forms of neurosis: obsessivecompulsive disorder, anxiety neurosis, hysteria (in which anxiety may be discharged through a physical symptom), and a nearly endless variety of phobias as well as obsessions such as pyromania. According to C. George Boeree, professor

emeritus at Shippensburg University, effects of neurosis can involve:

anger, irritability, mental confusion, low sense of self-worth, etc., behavioral symptoms such as phobic avoidance, vigilance, impulsive and compulsive acts, lethargy, etc., cognitive problems such

as unpleasant or disturbing thoughts, repetition of thoughts and obsession, habitual fantasizing, negativity and cynicism, etc. Interpersonally, neurosis involves dependency, aggressiveness, perfectionism, schizoid isolation, socio-culturally inappropriate behaviors.


sadness or depression,

Key Differences between Frankl & Freud's Schools

Frankl: Man's concern is fulfilling meaning & actualizing values. Gnostic style knowledge (conocer (to know an objective fact) vs. saber (to understand) that there is meaning in one's lifeprimary survival mechanism. Man needs a challenge, a triumph before he can achieve equilibrium. Franklsurviving the Holocaust, figured out Logotherapy before harmony w/his call & Balance. Scilipotiharness the fiery dragon of extreme artistic temperament before he can walk the middle way.

Freud: Key Concern--Gratification and satisfaction of primal drives and instincts, adaptation into society. Freud postulated the existence of libido (an energy with which mental process and structures are invested), developed therapeutic techniques such as the use of free association (in which patients report their thoughts without reservation and in whichever order they spontaneously occur), discovered transference (the process by which patients displace on to their analysts feelings based on their experience of earlier figures in their lives) and established its central role in the analytic process, and proposed that dreams help to preserve sleep by representing as fulfilled wishes that would otherwise awake the dreamerety & environment.

Meaning of Life:

Existential Vacuumfeeling of meaninglessness. Existential homelessness. Widespread 20th & 21st century phenomenon.

*Sense of meaning differs from human to human, day to day, hour to hour.

+ What matters most is the specific chapter one is trying to perfect in the present.

*One should not search for an abstract, esoteric meaning of life, everyone must carry out a task, a concrete assignment that demands an "all-in" type effort in order to achieve full self- optimization/realization.

*Full responsibility of one's life, word, deeds is the essence of man's existence.

+Logo Therapy provides the most open, non-restrictive framework for the Logotherapist to impose value judgments on the patience.

Key Metaphor:

Logotherapist is a third eye specialistenabling us to see the world as it really is, free of blindness, obstructed visionmaya free. Goal of Logotherapy is to add depth & breadth to the field of vision so that the whole spectrum of meaning & values becomes conscious & visible to the patient.

*Truth or the Logos imposes itself & needs no intervention.

*Self-transcendence, or what the Hindoos would call getting beyond your little self to your Big interconnected self, is more important and powerful that self-actualized which is merely a side effect of self-Transcendence.

Three Different Ways of Finding Meaning:


Doing a Deed


Experience a Value



Interpretation recorded by Thomas Anthony Scilipoti, 2012.


Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl, Wikipedia.com