What Is Logotherapy?
Updated January 27, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC
Logotherapy is a form of treatment in which a therapist helps clients find personal meaning. Viktor Frankl, the creatorof logotherapy, believed that humans are motivated by the needto find meaning in their lives. Frankl viewed the“will”to find meaning as strong enough to overcome even life’s most serious challenges.
The Basis Of Logotherapy
The concept of logotherapy is based on a series of beliefs about both humans and life itself. First and foremostisthe assertion that each person possesses a healthy inner core. Another premiseof logotherapy isthat sharing one’sinner qualities with othersallows those others to discover their own healthy inner cores. Finally, logotherapy maintains that while fulfillment and happiness are not guaranteed in life, meaning and a sense of purpose are availableregardless of circumstances.
A Closer Look At Viktor Frankl
Frankl had nearly finished his work on logotherapy when he was arrested by Nazi forces. After his arrest and imprisonment in a concentration camp, this work was lost. Frankl was separated from his wife and other members of his family. As he observed the behavior of those in the camp with him, from the Nazi soldiers to other prisoners, Frankl made some distinctions betweenthose who survived and those who didn't. Following the liberation of thelast concentration camp by American forces, Frankl wrote Man's Search for Meaning. Thisbook centered around the discoverieshe made during his time in the concentration camp. One of Frankl's most quoted assertions is that those that have a "why" can survive almost any "how."
Finding Meaning In Life Via Logotherapy
While logotherapy is all about finding meaning in life, there are a numberof ways one can go about this process. Not every method is helpful to every individual, and logotherapy makes room for the treatment of uniqueindividuals.
Working And Participating In Activities
Working and participating in activities is one way to find meaning. When people immerse themselves in their careers, businesses, families, worship, andother activities,they can find great value. How often have we heard someone say that doing something they love for a living gives them a “sense of purpose?”
When people have jobs, careers, or activities they care about, it gives them something to look forward to andplan their lives around, and it contributes to their growth as an individual. Doing something consistently can be an enlightening experience. It allows people to learn more about themselves and connect with like-minded individuals.
The idea that certain experiences in life can contribute to finding meaning is a dominant theme in many cultures. Each person is unique because we all havedifferent experiences and come from different origins. It's fair to say that the experiences we have shape who we are as individuals. This does not mean that people are helpless creatures whoare solely at the mercy of circumstance, but our experiences influence who we become.
Logotherapy is based on the beliefthat these various experiences help us find meaning in life. There have been countless cases in which people have reported feeling inspired as a result of something they experienced or witnessed. This is a testament to the impact that experiences have on the human psyche. Our experiences allow usto find meaning in life because they teach us about ourselves, others, and the world in which we live.
Finding Meaning in Adversity
According to logotherapy, the attitudes that people develop in the face of adversity is another way to find meaning in life.
When faced with adversity, people can either rise above it or crumble. A person who chooses to rise from adversity generally regardsthe experience as something to learn from, even if it was painful or trying. People with this outlook often see adversity as a growth opportunity. A person who adopts this outlook is likely to learn about life and themselves throughadversity.
Not everyone rises above adversity. Some people collapsewhen faced with challenges, struggles or tough times in life. The variables thatmaydetermine whether someone rises or fallsduring tough times are innumerable. In logotherapy, adversity is looked to an opportunity, and the therapist assists the client in reexamining adversity to find the meaning in it and the opportunity for growth.
Assumptions Of Logotherapy
As a form of treatment, logotherapy is rooted in a series of assumptions about life and the nature of human beings. These assumptions follow.
The Wholeness Of The Human Psyche
Logotherapy is firmly rooted in the assumption that each person has a psyche, meaning the totality of their mind.
Everything Has Meaning
Another assumption of logotherapy is that meaning exists in all circumstances. No matter how good or bad an experienceis, there is always something to be learned from it. Logotherapy maintains that finding the meaning in all experiences, both good and bad, can help people grow and discover a sense of purpose in their lives.
Each Person Is Free To Unearth Meaning
One of the logotherapy's main assumptions is that humans are motivated by the “will to meaning,” and every personcan discover their own unique purpose in life. This idea connects to the three ways in which the treatment focuses on helping people learn about themselves and the world around them.
Everyone Is Unique
The idea that each human being is unique is another core assumption of logotherapy. Each human being has their own experiences, thoughts, and ideas that contribute to who they are.
Logotherapy focuses on both the drive and ability of human beings to create meaning in their lives. Logotherapy has been used to help people who struggle with mental disorders including anxiety, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder. In many cases, logotherapy is blended with other forms of treatment to maximize its effectiveness.
If you would like to learn more about therapy or are interested in working with a therapist, then you're in luck. Here at BetterHelp, we have an amazing team of world-class professionals. We recognize that life throws challenges at everyone, but nobody deserves to feel as though they are alone.
You can get started with BetterHelpanytime from any place simply by clicking here.
In Support of Logotherapy
Frankl believed that a sense of meaninglessness was associated with the “neurotic triad” of aggression, depression, and addiction. In support of his theory, research studies have found logotherapy useful with drug and alcohol problems, depression, anxiety, psychoses, and the despair associated with incurable illnesses. Logotherapy is also used in areas including rehabilitation, work with developmental disabilities, and family and relationship counseling. Finally, specific logotherapy protocols have been developed for mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders.Therapists often use logotherapy in combination with other modalities.
The Benefits of Online Therapy
As discussed above, working with a licensed therapist to find meaning in your life can help with many issues and mental disorders. Butpsychological symptoms can sometimes make it challenging to attend in-person sessions. This is where online therapy comes in. You can access BetterHelp’s platform from the comfort and privacy of your own home. There’s no need to sit in traffic or take time out of your busy workday to drive to your appointment; you can speak with your licensed therapist from wherever you have an internet connection.BetterHelp’s licensed therapists have helpedclients find greater meaning in their lives when experiencing adversity. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp therapists from people experiencing similar problems.
“Cindy has gotten to the heart of my issues and the here and now. Only my first week with her but I do feel she will be able to help me through the adversity I'm going through”
“I was been hesitant to start therapy again, it can be really challenging work. But the process has been on my terms, and I really connected with my counselor Shauntee. I’ve felt listened to, understood and empowered along the way. I’ve seen so much progress in myself and I have confidence that I can handle the things I used to really struggle with. I’m so grateful I was matched with Shauntee and I look forward to every time we get to have our phone sessions. It’s been the first time in a long time that I’ve committed to making self care a priority.”
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