LOGOTHERAPY, DO YOU KNOW?

02.24.2011
 

Easier to stay alive during those dire circumstances, while those who saw no way out and who were not fixed on a future goal or who did not cling to any dream or hope, these on the contrary fell ill faster or committed suicide.


Frankl stayed alive these years being a prisoner thanks to his perseverance in his technique that became even more alive when he observed the behavior of his companions and his own; Frankl was the victim of numerous illnesses due to extreme starvation, was a counselor, doctor and manual worker in the field, while writing on improvised pieces of paper notes that would serve as material for his books.


Logotherapy focuses largely on the future and for it the search for meaning is the main driving force of the human being, this search refers primarily to a sense by which to stay alive, this sense that second Frankl that translates among others things through the individual's function of being in the here and now, that is, what he actually does to feel complete and useful in society, for this Frankl speaks of concrete facts that the subject can perform, such as a craft or any action creative made “by the hands” of the individual.


This concept reminds me of the story of a famous French pianist who suddenly had problems being on stage, in fact the problem of this experienced pianist who performed for decades in large theaters was not the fear of the audience but 'the audience ' for which he had been performing, he saw no more sense in playing for such, so he decided to change his bourgeois audience and elegant auditoriums to play in public hospitals in France for serious and low-income patients who had never been to a concert but who they enjoyed his music and listened to it with their hearts, unlike the starched audience before that going to one of his shows was like buying another luxury item. For this pianist his meaning of life at that moment was this, volunteering at a hospital offering his music.


It is interesting to note in your case that he did not merely hear and obey this 'call' but also recognized that this change is what now gives him meaning for his existence, through the exercise of this function for humanity.
Just as Frankl places meaning as a central issue and driving force for life, the lack of this meaning causes from a latent feeling of dissatisfaction to the individual's total apathy, making him feel incapable and paralyzed, having difficulties in see their own potentials and alternatives. Logotherapy seeks not only to understand but above all to give meaning to suffering, so that there is a new perception about it and that the patient achieves a psychic relief and frees himself from what used to consume him.


This proposes to offer the patient/client empowerment and autonomy so that they take responsibility and finally take the reins of their own choices in life with awareness and in full congruence with their desires and goals and not those of others. This model of thinking also proposes that both positive and negative experiences in the subject's life have a meaning and that this is fundamental for the personal growth of each being, these experiences are like the union points of a great web that unite and they form the individual, following the idea that human beings are in permanent transformation and that their imposition in models that are not compatible with their own self ends up by withering the productive energy and personal talents that each one has. 
Viktor Frankl was the living example of his own theory, where so often in situations of horror and humiliation he was able to emerge dignified and strengthened, Frankl lived to be 90 years old and throughout his life he wrote 39 books published in 38 languages and was honored with 21 awards, one of them given by PUC Porto Alegre in Brazil.


With such humility, he dedicated part of his career as a doctor working in social outpatient clinics; after his release and about to launch the book In Search of Sense, he wanted to publish it anonymously, as he said he was averse to any kind of exhibitionism regarding his experiences in the countryside, but at the insistence of friends who convinced him, this so he had decided to let his name be published at least on the title page of the book.

"Always and everywhere, people are faced with the decision to transform their situation of mere suffering into an inner production of values." 
Viktor Emil Frankl

Author: Andreia Barreto de Miranda