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Logotherapy is a term derived from “logos,” a Greek word that translates as “meaning.” Therapy is defined as treatment of a disorder, illness, or maladjustment. Developed by Viktor Frankl, the theory is founded on the belief that human nature is motivated by the search for a life purpose; logotherapy is the pursuit of that meaning for one’s life. Frankl's theories were heavily influenced by his personal experiences of suffering and loss in Nazi concentration camps.
There are three main components that are at the heart of the Franklian philosophy:
Logotherapy is based on the theory that all healing and wisdom is derived from our noetic dimension and therein lays the cure for all of our negative harmonies, relationships and emotions. It is from the noetic dimension that we must gather the information necessary to develop a resolution of spirit which can be used to facilitate necessary change in our life circumstances and inner conflicts. By recognizing that we are spirit, we release the fear of death and the thought of others inflicting harm or usurping our physical health. Each person is seen as an authentic and unique being. Our lives, beliefs, and behaviors are all expressions of our uniqueness.
Logotherapy teaches us to transcend our negative belief patterns that inhibit our internal growth. By releasing these chains that bind our mind and spirit, we are free to pursue our deepest desires and achieve a satisfaction of life and fulfillment of purpose. Logotherapy guides us to alternate our perceptions in order to view situations differently and to accept and embrace what is beyond our control. Through effective communication between the client and therapist, the meaning of being and life purpose are discussed, examined, and explored. This method of therapy is viewed as a way of life, not exclusively as a treatment for challenging issues.
The three main techniques of logotherapy are:
Logotherapy has been criticized for its similarities to religion. Frankl's therapeutic technique leads people to discover the meaning, or higher purpose in their lives. Critics have said this method is similar to the belief in God or a higher power and that the foundation of logotherapy is based in faith rather than in science. Frankl eventually stopped advocating for religion as part of logotherapy and maintained that his method facilitated change through deep spiritual, emotional, and physical awareness.
Last updated: 05-02-2014