About logotherapy

Logotherapy was founded by Viktor E. Frankl (1905-1997), a world-renowned Viennese neurologist and psychiatrist.

It is also called the “third Viennese school of psychotherapy” (after Freud and Adler).

Logotherapy is a short-term therapy directed towards concrete actions.

The work of Viktor E. Frankl rests on two basic foundations:

I. foundation is meaning. At the heart of logotherapy is the realization that man, by his nature, is oriented toward meaning and values. A person must have goals in life that he tries to achieve, with which he grows and becomes more mature. It is, therefore, about each of us having to discover the strengths and capabilities we possess and use them meaningfully, even in adverse circumstances.

II. the foundation is the spiritual dimension which, according to Frankl, is the decisive human dimension. It stands in opposition to the somatic (body), the psychic (mind) dimension, it can shape things, it can adapt, it can distance itself. It allows us not to accept everything, not to allow ourselves everything, both from others and from ourselves.

The fate that befalls is represented by Frankl as the ground on which we move. How we do it, what attitude we choose towards it, depends on us. In this respect man is, as a spiritual being, free.

Explaining the logotherapeutic work, the writer and logotherapist Univ.-Prof.h.c. Dr. phil.habil. Elisabeth Lukas, criticizes “modern psychological workshops” that have turned into “psychotherapy without spirit” and therefore lost on humanity. She stands up for a “happy symbiosis of science and humanity” to justify the trust of the suffering man. Because “… it is the one who suffers who seeks comfort and on whom the goodness of psychotherapy is tested. And where help can no longer be provided, comfort should be given. Where there is no consolation, any psychotherapy loses its value.

Lukas explains the task of logotherapy is “to provide comfort and give the best possible advice”, and that it addresses “the suffering man to whom it wants to announce that suffering is not meaningless”. Lukas also states that many “psychotherapy schools try to reduce a person to several formulas, and logotherapy tries to apply all its formulas to the whole person.”

Due to such a reduction of man, modern psychology has lost its spiritual dimension and has become “psychology without compassion”. The modern psychologist, in fact, “knows his craft, but his compassion is unknown.” Compassion is unhealthy only when the patient feels it for himself and persists in it. Logotherapist should be there to help him get out of unhappy self-pity. For, “The true heroes of life are not the triumphant victors, but the defeated who find a ray of hope.”