Viktor E Frankl’s Concept of Logo Therapy

Here we will examine Frankl’s concept of Logotherapy. We will also know its usefulness in encountering sufferings. As a result, finding relief will be our motto.

Tags: Meaning, Logotherapy, Freud psychoanalysis, Existence, Mental health, mind, Sunday neurosis, noo (mind) dynamics, self-actualization, self-transcendence, Essence of existence, meaning of suffering, meaning of love.

VICTOR FRANKL

Viktor Frankl spent most of his lifetime in prison and concentration camps. He has very closely examined the sufferings. His quest for finding the meaning of life has really been boon to many desperate people. Frankl believed that the lack of hope in a person is equal to evil. He has given a very beautiful quote in his book called Man’s search for meaning.

He who has a ‘why’ to live for can bear almost any how

Reference- Frankl, Viktor, et al. Man’s Search for Meaning. 1st ed., Beacon Press, 2006

The word “Logo” is derived from Greek dictionary that signifies meaning.

“Meaning” is

  • Defense mechanism
  • Reaction formulations
  • Sublimations or creating something

Logotherapy is an act of helping an individual identify or recognize the real meaning of life. It is a method of healing by examining meaning of life and reducing life-related sufferings.
For example, a non-swimmer is free of the ‘fear- of- drowning’ just by knowing and examining the depths of water.

Comparing to the therapies of Freud psychoanalysis, logotherapy is less introspective and less retrospective.

We need logotherapist to understand and release following problems- 

  1. Existential Frustration.

The existential frustration is the burden of facing existential realities and unable to comply with its conditions.
For example- the realities of marriage can become existential frustration when man or woman are unable to abide by its law.

  1. Tension of future

Mental health is based upon the futuristic goals of humans. “What a man is and what he will become” is challenging for most. In case, one is unable to find meaning in his present activities. Then, tension increases which results in loss of interest in life.

The role of logotherapy is to achieve a state of equilibrium or homeostasis or tensionless state. The process of noo dynamics (In Greek Noos means mind) help to achieve a state of tensionless in humans. In this process, two poles are separately understood, i.e., ‘tension’ and ‘object of being’. Both have relations to each other, but on finding its separate existence, the tension-less state is achieved.

For example, if marriage becomes a problem for a woman. Then, to find out the cause, firstly, the elements in marriage which has turn into a problem would be examined. It may be a bondage, responsibilities, food preparation, maintaining family, etc. Once the problem is found, the next stage would be to learn about nature or underlying character of that woman. Logotherapist need to find out the reason behind that woman facing such kinds of problems in marriage. It could be her disinterestedness in cooking, or her non-likeliness to live in bondage. Once the meaning is understood, the next important step of eliminating or reducing of the problems takes place.  

  1. The existential vacuum

The existential vacuum arises for the following reason –

  1. Man lost animal instinct.
  2. Following conformist idea (doing what others do)
  3. Accepting totalitarianism (doing what other people wish him to do)

Apart from this, the main existential problem arises because of facing boredom in life. Distress may be reconciled once a stressful situation is erased. But, boredom in life makes a person vulnerable of facing existential vacuum for a long term.

The Sunday neurosis is other such thing where research has revealed that people generally commit suicide on Sundays because they don’t have anything else to do that day. As a result of facing prolonged existential vacuum, one may face depression, addiction, and aggression.

Logotherapist handles this problem by broadening the client vision so that they could perceive their future goals and become serious for it. The recognizing of one’s passion helps in a long way to get rid of existential vacuum.

We could find relief in the existential problems by understanding the true meaning of existence. This is stated here to give a deeper analysis of the subject-

The essence of existence

 *Logotherapists tries to make patients completely aware of his responsibility of life.

*Logotherapists make him see what he is not able to.

*Logotherapists widens and broadens a person’s perspectives.

* Logotherapist focuses on self-transcendence of human existence.

Self-actualization is side-effect of self-transcendence for following reasons-

  • Self-actualization creates and self-transcendence puts a smooth end on the process of creation.
  • It enhances experience.
  • It altered our attitude towards unavoidable sufferings of life.

Meaning of suffering

It is important to understand true meaning of sufferings. Without deeper acknowledgement of the role of sufferings, the survival becomes unimportant.  

Meaning of love

It is important to understand that love is not an epiphenomenon or resultants of existing variants like emotional understanding, friendship, sex, family pressure, etc. The actual meaning of love is to follow mental hygiene that is to maintain happiness and well-being.

Cite source (MLA 8th edition) 

Prasad, Madhvi. “Viktor E Frankl’s Concept of Logo Therapy.” Philotreat, 29 May 2021, www.philotreat.in/viktor-frankl.