Logotherapy: Meaning of Life and Frankl Essay

Submitted By seanjon
Words: 1787
Pages: 8

Viktor Frankl was an Austrian man born in 1905. He was the father of Logotherapy which is referred to as the Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy. Frankl followed in the footsteps of other famous psychologists including Sigmund Freud. He pioneered the thought that a person can move forward in one’s life after a traumatic or rough experience by finding new meaning in life. Though many of his ideas were derived from Freud’s and Adlers previous thoughts, he also took an new approach to helping people. Thus the beginning of Logotherapy.
He was first published in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis when he was in high school. He then went to secondary school and began working on his degree in psychiatry and Neurology in medical school. Frankl went to the same school in Viennese as Sigmund Freud. At first Frankl was extremely interested in Freudian psychoanalysis but soon started to disagree with his therapy methods. Frankl thought that Freuds views were to narrow and did not agree with Freud’s idea’s that sexual impulses could explain the majority of human behavior (Hoffman, 1995). After studying Freudian psychoanalysis, he became interested and focused on environmental and societal factor to explain human behavior, which was Alfred Adler’s psychology view (Frankl, Viktor Frankl recollections: An autobiography , 1997). While studying the teachings of Freud and Adler he began forming his own very different therapy known was logotherapy, which is defined as healing through meaning. After graduation he was promoted in the hospital in Vienna to the head of suicide and depression prevention, where he treated over 3,000 women. During this time, he formed his own private practice where he began to utilize logotherapy (Frankl, Viktor Frankl recollections: An autobiography, 1997). He then could ask his clients questions about how they were feeling and what was keeping them alive and moving forward in such a low time in their lives. He then noticed because of the question that he was asking people seem to be suffering from lack of meaning in their lives than the loss of employment (Hoffman, 1995). In 1937 Frankl started to write articles about what he called logotherapy.
Then in 1938, Frankl had to give up his private practice and was forced to relocate. He was transferred to the Rothschild hospital where he could only treat Jewish patients; due to the Nazi control (Hoffman, 1995). The Nazi euthanasia program forced extermination on many clients who were suffering from brain injuries and psychological illnesses, and Frankl was forced to watch these executions. To try and save the mentally ill personnel he began to falsify documents to help avoid euthanasia. He would change their diagnosis so that they would not be transferred for the euthanasia program and could stay with their families. While at the hospital he would get about a dozen of men and women who attempted to commit suicide. Where he tried to help them find meaning and life and to continue the fight.
He was then married in 1941 to Tilly Grosser, and a year later Frankl’s and his family were arrested and brought to concentration camps. While in the concentration camps Frankl knew that he could not change his situation but could help those around him and himself by counseling in his barracks. During his imprisonment Frankl dug ditches, volunteered at the typhus ward, and also set up a suicide prevention program (Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, 1959). After the long hard days of the prisoners being beaten, starved, Frankl would help the prisoners understand that their experiences were helping them develop strengths for the future (Ivey, Ivey, & Zalaquett, 2010). When Frankl was in Auschwitz he first wrote “The Doctor and the Soul” and it was then discovered and then the book was destroyed. In April of 1945 Frankl’s camp was liberated. Frankl and his sister were the only two who survive during their stay throughout the various concentration