Frankl And Logotherapy

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Dr. Viktor Frankl studied psychotherapy at the University of Vienna in the years prior to the Second World War (Beginning of Logotherapy). During World War II, Frankl became one of the victims of the “Holocaust”. He lost many family members, including his beloved wife, during the course of the war and was himself incarcerated in four different concentration camps. Using his academic experience and his concentration camp experience, he wrote Man’s Search for Meaning. In this book, Dr. Frankl made an important contribution to the field of psychology by developing an approach to psychotherapy known as “logotherapy.” Logotherapy emphasizes the importance of “meaning” in a person’s life, and it follows many of the teachings of existentialist philosophy. Dr. Frankl formulated the basis of this new approach while still a teenager and expands upon this theory while a prisoner of war (Beginning of Logotherapy). Man’s Search for Meaning is divided into two parts. The first part is concerned with Dr. Frankl’s experiences as a concentration camp prisoner. In this part of the book, Frankl describes and reflects clearly on his experiences. In this way, he shows the process through which he expands his theory of logotherapy and thereby gives us the basis of his thought process. As Dr. Frankl points out, life for the prisoners was filled with a variety of physical and mental tortures. For example, Dr. Frankl reports how the guards would beat prisoners “on the slightest provocation, sometimes for no reason at all” (Frankl, 1946, p.42). As if physical pain was not enough, Dr. Frankl relates to the readers how he and fellow prisoners suffered even more because of “the mental agony caused by the injustice, the unreasonableness of it all” (Frankl). Dr. Frankl states, “The most painful part of beatings is the insult which they imply” (Frankl). Another dehumanizing process

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