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Thread: Viktor Frankl

  1. #1

    Viktor Frankl

    Viktor Frankl studied under Freud, but did he also mentor under anyone else? *I thought he also studied under another major theorist but I cannot seem to find a reference. *Anyone know?

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  3. Viktor Frankl

    I didn't know this until I went looking for the information in answer to your question, Janeanne, but it turns out that Viktor Frankl (like my other major influence, Carl Rogers) was strongly influenced by Alfred Adler. I have often thought of Adler as in many ways foreshadowing humanism, so it makes sense to me that Frankl and Rogers would be drawn to him.

    The primary book is Frankl, Viktor. Man's Search for Meaning. Washington Square Press, 1988 (ISBN 0671023373).

    There is a reasonably good biography by George Boeree at http://www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/frankl.html, with some great quotes by Frankl:

    Another significant moment came while on a predawn march to work on laying railroad tracks: Another prisoner wondered out loud about the fate of their wives. The young doctor began to think about his own wife, and realized that she was present within him.

    "The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved." (Frankl, 1963, p. 59)
    If you have ever lost anyone close to you, I think Frankl's words there will resonate.

    Some other quotes from Viktor Frankl:
    "There is also purpose in that life which is almost barren of both creation and enjoyment and which admits of but one possibility of high moral behavior: namely, in man's attitude to his existence, and existence restricted by external forces.... Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete." (Frankl, 1963, p. 106)
    "...meaning must be found and cannot be given." (1975, p. 112)
    "...meaning is something to discover rather than to invent." (1975, p. 113)

  4. Viktor Frankl

    Janeanne also found a great interview with Viktor Frankl in 1995, two years before his death, titled "Viktor Frankl at Ninety: An Interview".

    It's quite long, but well worth reading.

    I hope you don't mind me posting that here on your behalf, Janeanne -- thanks for pointing that one out to me!

  5. Viktor Frankl

    There is a LOT of information about Viktor Frankl on the net.

    Here are some more Frankl quotes:
    You don’t create your mission in life. You detect it.
    Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality.
    What is to give light must endure the burning.
    Live as if you were living a second time, and as though you had acted wrongly the first time.
    And another website of note:
    http://www.meaning.ca/meaning_therap...or_frankl.html

  6. #5

    Viktor Frankl

    As an undergrad I had a brilliant professor with whom I took many of my undergrad and grad courses. He wrote many of of his own textbooks one of which is the "Psychology of Rigorous Humanism". I distinctly remember when he presented Frankel's theory which strangely enough is not in any of his textbooks. I had always been drawn to humanistic psychology and was fascinated with Frankel's theory even though I hadn't read "Man's Search For Meaning". The professor was particularly impressed wtih me when I was able to connect Frankel to Adler even though he hadn't told us of the connection.....but at this later date I couldn't recall who I had connected Frankel to....clearly my memory is not as great as my critical thinking :)

    David, thank you for all the references and quotes.

    It's strange to me that you should comment:

    If you have ever lost anyone close to you, I think Frankl's words there will resonate.

    Because I have lost someone very very close to me....and the words of Victor Frankel do deeply resonate but I was interested in humanistic psychology long before that.

    I particularly appreciate the following quotes from Frankel:

    (although I haven't figured out how to use the quotes as you and momof5 do....not for lack of trying...I'll get it at some point ....hopefully) so here are the quotes

    Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete." (Frankl, 1963, p. 106)


    Quote:
    "...meaning must be found and cannot be given." (1975, p. 112)

    Quote:
    "...meaning is something to discover rather than to invent." (1975, p. 113)

    Quote:
    You don't create your mission in life. You detect it.

    Quote:
    Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality.

    Quote:
    What is to give light must endure the burning.

    Quote:
    Live as if you were living a second time, and as though you had acted wrongly the first time.

  7. #6

    Viktor Frankl

    David. Thanks for posting the interview on my behalf... I look forward to reading the online bio of Frankel.

  8. #7

    Viktor Frankl

    David thanks for providing so much information on Victor Fankel. I enjoyed reading the bio by Boeree. Again I'm amazed how much information you found in such a short period of time. I use google also but not nearly as effectively.

    You selected some of the most powerful quotes from the bio and other articles. I think you quoted a couple of these and then I've added a couple on consience.

    Quotes from Boerre's biography:

    The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. (1963, p. 59)
    (
    T)here is also purpose in that life which is almost barren of both creation and enjoyment and which admits of but one possibility of high moral behavior: namely, in man's attitude to his existence, and existence restricted by external forces.... Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete. (1963, p. 106)
    He puts it in no uncertain terms: "... (B)eing human is being responsible -- existentially responsible, responsible for one's own existence." (1975, p. 26) Conscience is intuitive and highly personalized. It refers to a real person in a real situation, and cannot be reduced to simple "universal laws." It must be lived.
    He refers to conscience as a "pre-reflective ontological self-understanding" or "the wisdom of the heart," "more sensitive than reason can ever be sensible." (1975, p. 39) It is conscience that "sniffs out" that which gives our lives meaning
    Fundamentally I see his theory being based on meaning and love. I didn't realize that many viewed Frankel's work from a religious angle. I hadn't considered it religious. And Frankel himself does not want it viewed in religious terms.

    I see where Frankel connected his theory to Freud and Adler:

    He called his form of therapy logotherapy, from the Greek word logos, which can mean study, word, spirit, God, or meaning. It is this last sense Frankl focusses on, although the other meanings are never far off. Comparing himself with those other great Viennese psychiatrists, Freud and Adler, he suggested that Freud essentially postulated a will to pleasure as the root of all human motivation, and Adler a will to power. Logotherapy postulates a will to meaning.
    Frankel lived his own theory. He gave up going to the U.S. before the war in order to stay with his aging parents....by staying in Vienna he ended up in the concentration camps. It's easy to talk about living a meaningful life and a completely different story to actually live a meaningful life. I recently gave up a large steady income in order to pursue my study in counselling.....it is a great risk on my part. I have to admit there are doubts.....I actually consciously decided I wanted to something meaningful....I hope meaningful ends up being practical as well.

    Again thanks for the postings. I do appreciate Frankel's theory...

  9. Viktor Frankl

    Quote Originally Posted by Janeanne
    I see where Frankel connected his theory to Freud and Adler:

    He called his form of therapy logotherapy, from the Greek word logos, which can mean study, word, spirit, God, or meaning. It is this last sense Frankl focusses on, although the other meanings are never far off. Comparing himself with those other great Viennese psychiatrists, Freud and Adler, he suggested that Freud essentially postulated a will to pleasure as the root of all human motivation, and Adler a will to power. Logotherapy postulates a will to meaning.
    Yes, I saw that one too, although I wouldn't describe Adler's theory as a "will to power". Adler talked about "moving from felt inferiority (aka felt minus) to felt superiority (felt plus)" but he wasn't talking about power over other people - only power over one's own perceived limitations or handicaps. In fact, the concept of a superiority complex was introduced by Adler to describe someone who was unsuccessful in attempting to overcome felt inferiority, in which case the "superiority" was a defense against that unresolved "conflict".

    It's easy to talk about living a meaningful life and a completely different story to actually live a meaningful life. I recently gave up a large steady income in order to pursue my study in counselling.....it is a great risk on my part. I have to admit there are doubts.....I actually consciously decided I wanted to something meaningful....I hope meaningful ends up being practical as well.
    I think ultimately it does - I did the same thing about 1997 and certainly lost a significant amount of money in the first few years (as is typically the case in any self-employment venture) but the compensation was definitely in being able to feel as if I was making a more significant and meaningful contribution to other people...

  10. #9

    Viktor Frankl

    Quote Originally Posted by David
    I think ultimately it does - I did the same thing about 1997 and certainly lost a significant amount of money in the first few years (as is typically the case in any self-employment venture) but the compensation was definitely in being able to feel as if I was making a more significant and meaningful contribution to other people..
    It sounds like you do not at all regret your decision .....even with the loss of income. Initially a couple of years I had an imposed job change due to the loss of my husband and decided not to take an anlternative job offer....the income would have been very substantial but I didn't like the job at all. The program I have been accepted to is a Marriage and Family Therapy Program. There are several reasons I chose this program ....most of them practical. I meet fellow classmates/colleagues on May Monday May 24th....we also pick up texts etc then. My concern is that when I studied earlier I very much enjoyed the theoretical aspects most....although with the passage of time I'm not sure how stong that is at this point...I recall the same professor that I mentioned earlier telling us that out of the information we studied we would lose half of it every 10 years....well unless you were making use of it on a regualr basis. I'll just say it's been awhile :0) This program involves more direct counselling earlier than many other programs but I suspect it's not intensely theoretical. In fact during my interview they asked me if I was familiar with Sue Johnson's work...apparently in the program it is used quite extensively especially for marraiage counselling. I'm vaguely familiar with it ....but I haven't studied it and I do not know of anyone personally who has been a part of the therapy.

  11. Viktor Frankl

    David...trying..."the fancier way to put something in quotes didn't work...I'll try later...:)

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