Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
Obtained concepts from reading:
Viktor Frankl’s book focuses on the theme of logenic neuroses in these particular parts. The readings presented here focus mostly on logotherapy and the concept of logenic neuroses as a means to discover man’s search for meaning. The concepts obtained were chiefly in relation to the effects of logenic neuroses and how this can have a positive and soothing effect for those persons who are suffering from depression and other problematic psychological troubles.
Demerits of the reading:
Although the reading is interesting and sheds new light on logenic neuroses, Frankl is rather heavy handed in the dsecription of the process itself.
In pages 97-109 of the book, Frankl talks about logenics or the concept of logotheraphy which basically focuses on the meaning of existence among human beings. He comes up with a number of examples such as Sunday afternoons where the human often questions what is going to happen next in life and this creates a sense of false security and at the same time, hopelessness.
Frankl also cites a poll which was taken in France and out of which 89 per cent of those surveyed professed a need for some sort of meaning in their lives. He then goes on to explain how Logenic neuroses can cut deep to the heart of the matter when the patient is under psycotheraphy, perhaps not in the exact sense but this is described as a manner to elicit information and to soothe the patient who is suffering from a lack of identity. Other themes discussed by Frankl in the reading include the meaning of life and the concept of existential frustration which demonstrates how logotherapy can be used as a source for good.
The merits of the reading is that it shows new aspects of logenic therapy and how this innovative technique can be used to cure those suffering from depression and psychological problems.
In pages 110-123 Frankl focuses on the meaning of suffering and how this can have an effect on man’s existential search for meaning. The author cites an example of constant suffering being endured by an elderly man who lost his wife two years ago and cannot get over the grief associated with this loss. Frankl recommended logotherapy to get to the root of the problem as this method would help the man to come to terms with his terrible grief and also this would mean moving forward and accepting suffering as a form of catharsis.
Frankl also recalls some of his own experiences in the concentration camp and affirms that these allowed him to look at other life experiences with a more positive outlook. Having suffered terribly, both physically and psychologically, Frankl could also be in a position to emphathize better with those who came to him with grave psychological problems such as the mother who was attempting suicide since she could not come to terms with the death of her crippled child. Frankl again proposes logotheraphy as a solution to change the woman’s outlook towards life since she appeared to have lost the meaning to it and could not go on.
In this part of the book he applies that positivity to cure others who are suffering from grave depression. This is definitely a positive part of the book.
Frankl V (2000), Man’s Search for Meaning Beacon Press