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Viktor Frankl And The Development Of Logotherapy

2265 words - 9 pages

Viktor Emil Frankl was born on March, 26th 1905, at Czeringassa 7, in Leopoldstadt, in Vienna Austria, where Sigmund Freud and Alfred Alder also grew up (Klingberg, 2014). He was the middle child out of three children. His older brother, Walter was two and a half years older, and his younger sister, Stella, was four years younger. His mother was Elsa Frankl, was a polish woman from Prague with a gentle manner. His father, Gabriel Frankl, had been a hard working man who was the Director of Social Affairs (Redsand, 2006). By the time Frankl was four years old he knew he wanted to be a doctor and he pursued that interest while into high school. He took classes focused on psychology and philosophy. He began corresponding with Freud when he was 16, sending him letters about his own ideas and each time Freud would respond with a postcard with his thoughts (Redsand, 2006). He sent Freud a paper in 1924 about psychoanalysis on the mimic movements of affirmation and negation which Freud then published it in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis three years later (Frankl, 2006). Frankl graduated in 1925 and went on to study neurology and psychiatry at University of Vienna, the same school his father had attended years earlier, although he had to discontinue his education due to financial difficulties after five years of school (Frankl, 2006). During this year Frankl took more interested in Alders theory and had a psychoanalytic article titled, “Psychotherapy and Weltanschauung", published in Adlers International Journal of Individual Psychology (Pytell, 2003). Frankl graduated in 1930 and specialized in depression and suicide. While he was in school he set up a suicide prevention center for teenagers. He then used his term logotherapy for the first time during a public lecture (Redsand, 2006).
He developed logotherapy while working with suicidal people because he believed that they needed to find meaning in life to survive and have a will to live”. (Pg.30, Redsand, 2006). According to Frankl “striving to find a meaning in one’s life is the primary motivational force in man.”(Pg.87, Frankl, 2006). Logos is the Greek term for meaning, and theraoeia means therapy or treatment. (Pg.87, Frankl, 2006). He believed that there are three ways to find meaning in life. Through action or creation, like a musician who finds meaning through playing music, through an experience, such as love or climbing a mountain, or through suffering, when a person responds to a situation that leads them to suffer, like a teenager with alcoholic parents who chooses to strive for their own goals and live a happy life rather than dwell (Pg.99, Frankl, 2006). While he was in school he started to find issues with Freud’s psychoanalysis methods. He believed psychoanalysis shouldn’t be considered a science, and that humans have very complex behaviors. He then got more interested in Alfred Alder, who believed that social influences have a bigger impact than unconscious drives. He also...

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