Logotherapy

Logotherapy is based on Viktor Frankl’s approach to counselling. "Logo" in Greek means "Meaning". It is therefore "Meaning-Centered Therapy". Frankl was a psychiatrist who survived the Holocaust. He used his approach to help people before, during and after the war. He helped people see that they can transcend any circumstance because they have a spirit (neshama)-that is pure and cannot be touched. In his famous book, "Man’s Search for Meaning", Frankl states "The Nazi’s could try and take away my every bit of dignity, however they cannot take away my enjoyment of a beautiful sunset at the end of a harsh day’s work." Viktor Frankl was in touch with his spirit.

Frankl would use the power of imagery to visualize and imagine future scenes of his life after the camps. For example, he would imagine a warmly lit room filled with an audience listening to him teach the theory of Logotherapy. These kinds of imagery kept him and others going. They had an "anchor to hold on to" and get them through the most difficult situations. Each one of us can get in touch with these powers of imagery and self-transcendence if we connect to our spirit and the "untouchable" (Tzelem Elokim) Divine spark within. Frankl believed that in every person’s unique situation, there is meaning and purpose that lies within it.

Fundamental principles of Logotherapy include such concepts as "everything has a reason" and "everything has a purpose" even fear, anger, and depression. It is our task to uncover this purpose and gain and add more meaning to our lives. Frankl speaks of "the meaning of moment". This moment will never return, and we can discover how to make each moment meaningful.

Logotherapy facilitates and helps the person discover their own meaning to their individual circumstances. In his book, Frankl tells of his experience before the war. He was invited to come and teach his Logotherapy in America. This would have meant his escaping the war but he would have left his parents behind in Vienna at the mercy of the war. He asked G-d for a sign. Soon after that, he returned home to see his father crying at the head of the table with a piece of rubble in his hands

"Daddy, what happened?" asked Viktor.

His father told him how their synagogue had been burnt down. He had taken the piece of rubble as a remembrance. On this piece of rubble, were the words "Honor your father and mother"! Frankl took this as a sign to stay behind and look after his parents. His approach might have remained as a theory. But because Frankl, stayed behind he was forced to "live his theory". He never looked back at his choice with regret, but instead he chose to focus on the fact that in the Torah there are only two commandments to which the reward is a long life and one of them is "honoring your parents". Frankly lived to a ripe old age.

If this type of therapy appeals to you, please contact The Place and ask for an appointment with Shira Bauer.