Logotherapy states that a human’s principal motivation is not to search for gratification or power, but to discover the purpose of existence.
What to expect?
Logotherapy focuses on the future aspects of a client’s life, more specifically the meaning that one wishes to fulfill. This search for meaning in one’s life is understood as the primary motivational force. Frankl clarifies that this search for meaning does not have any relation to religion or spirituality, and is strictly related to finding purpose in one’s life or tasks.
How it works?
Logotherapy operates upon three basic principles: People can discover meaning through creative, experiential, and attitudinal values. Creative values includes achievement of tasks such as painting a picture or tending a flowerbed. Experiential values lie in encountering another human, such as a loved one, or by experiencing the world through a state of receptivity such as appreciating natural beauty. Attitudinal values communicate the potential to make meaningful choices in situations of suffering and adversity. Logotherapy contends that everything can be taken away from a person but the freedom to choose one’s attitude.
Treatment of Neurosis
According to Frankl there are two forms of neurotic pathogens, hyper-intention and hyper-reflection.The logotherapeutic technique used to provide assistance to clients with anticipatory anxiety was coined as paradoxical intention.
Paradoxical intention is an approach that guides a client to intend the thing they fear. This treatment has been found effective to break neurotic cycles brought on by anticipatory anxiety and hyperintention. For example, a client who has a fear of insomnia (anticipatory anxiety) will try hard (hyper-intend) to fall asleep, which incapacitates the client’s ability to fall asleep. A logotherapist would propose the paradoxical intention of trying not to sleep, which would be followed by sleep. The success of paradoxical intention is known as dereflection meaning attention and reflection has now been refocused to the proper object.
When it is used?
Today Logotherapy has varied applications in the modern medical, psychological, and business sectors. Studies reveal various benefits of using logotherapy in these environments. One such study opt to evaluate the effects of a logotherapy program for adolescents with terminal cancer. The study disclosed that logotherapy is effective in improving meaning in life and quality of life of late adolescents with terminal cancer. The study further revealed that logotherapy can be used a preventive measure to ensure adolescents experience minimal existential distress. Combat-related Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and alcoholism have been known for enfeebling areas of psychosocial functioning. One study employed the logotherapeutic treatments of paradoxical intention and dereflection on veterans suffering from PTSD.
Recently, businesses and business mangers have started to use logotherapy so that they can introduce meaning into the work environment. Employees are often frustrated with the quotidian and repetitious activities of work. However, logotherapy helps managers build a work team by enabling individuals to see how they add value through the tasks they perform. Thus, business mangers are utilizing this meaning driven therapy to improve productivity and develop an optimistic working environment.
Rigorous empirical research suggest that logotherapy or meaning therapy is efficacious in reducing depression and increasing well-being. As a psychotherapeutic technique, it also assists clients with impotence, insomnia, and anxiety.
Role of a Logotherapist:
The prime responsibility of a logotherapist is to awaken clients’ awareness of their own capacities and responsibility for meaning seeking. The main logotherapeutic techniques are are designed to realign the thought of the clients away from self-preoccupation with their problems toward pursuing their own pathways to a more desirable and fulfilling life.