Logotherapy is a school of psychology and a philosophy based on the idea that we are strongly motivated to live purposefully and meaningfully. According to Logotherapy, we find meaning in life by responding authentically and humanely (i.e. meaningfully) to life’s challenges.
A major cause of depression is self-absorption. By drawing on a person’s strengths, the tools and techniques of logotherapy help bring about a profound shift in awareness, from a ‘victim’ mentality to an optimistic attitude. Clients and students of logotherapy are in the habit of questioning themselves about what they really want and which kinds of choices will be most conducive to growth.
Centers of Logotherapy can be found around the world, including Frankl's hometown of Vienna and spreading out to Germany, Canada, the US, the UK, South Africa and Israel.
Logotherapy was created by Dr. Viktor Frankl (1905 – 1997), author of the bestseller Man’s Search for Meaning. Frankl was a psychiatrist and neurologist who lived in Vienna and treated suicidal patients both before and after WWII.
As a Jew, Frankl was incarcerated in four different concentration camps during the Holocaust. One day some fellow prisoners wanted to run into the electric fence in order to kill themselves. They felt there was nothing more they could expect from life. Frankl turned their statement around and said, “Do not ask what you expect from life; ask what life expects from you!”
Frankl understood that it is not suffering itself that causes despair. Rather, if you feel you have nothing to give and no one to love, you have nothing to live for!
Today, the evidence for this is overwhelming. Meaning and purpose greatly increases quality of life and even extends years of life. Only human beings are capable of contemplating their purpose. Logotherapy is the only meaning-based and values-based approach in existential psychology or psychology in general.
You can get involved with logotherapy by connecting with some of our logotherapists. Reach out today, and take the first step towards living a richer and more meaningful life.
Batya Yaniger is a Diplomate-level certified logotherapist through the Viktor Frankl Institute and a licensed social worker in Israel with a PsyD in psychology. She maintains a private practice in logotherapy and is a co-trainer in the English-language logotherapy training program in Israel. Visit her website by clicking here or visit her profile here on Psychology Everywhere.