Why do I go on living? Is there any meaning to life? Can a doctor help a patient to shape suffering into inner achievement?
Even in the degradation and misery of Dachau concentration camp Viktor Frankl retained the belief that the most important freedom of all is the freedom to determine one’s own spiritual well-being. He wrote the international bestseller Man’s Search for Meaning as a result of that experience while in The Doctor and the Soul Dr Frankl revolutionised psychotherapy with his theory of logotherapy. Viktor Frankl’s work has being described as “the most important contributions in the field of psychotherapy since the days of Freud, Adler and Jung.”
In The Doctor and the Soul Dr Frankl maintains that the individual’s most important need is to find meaning in life and the frustration of this need results in neurosis, suffering and despair. A doctor’s work lies in finding personal meaning in a patient’s life, no matter how dismal the circumstances of the life.
Dr Viktor Frankl was the leading figure of the Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy. He was born in Vienna in 1905 and on being freed from Dachau concentration camp found that his family had been almost entirely wiped out in the Holocaust. He went on to hold professorships at universities around the world, including Harvard University and the University of Vienna.
‘Viktor Frankl survived three years in the concentration camps of Dachau and Auschwitz. On the basis of his experiences there, he went on to found a new school of psychotherapy, Logotherapy.’ - Jonathan Sacks, The Times
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