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Man's Search for Meaning

             I had wanted simply to convey to the reader by way of a concrete .
             example that life holds a potential meaning under any condition, even .
             the most miserable ones. Viktor Frankl.
             In his book Man's Search for Meaning Viktor Frankl clearly illustrates his philosophies regarding life and his therapeutic doctrine of logotherapy. The first half of the book takes place in concentration camps throughout Europe, including the legendary Auschwitz. In his account of the camps, Frankl describes the nature of man when subjected to immense suffering. He gives large contrasts of prisoners giving in to the suffering and how they rise above it. The latter part of the book deals with Frankl's logotherapy, which gained him international fame, and how it can be applied to help troubled people. He used his observations in the concentration camps to conclude his theories. Frankl's book outlined his philosophies about man, particularly his search for meaning. .
             Logotherapy can be solely attributed to Viktor Frankl. It is a new approach to psychotherapy. "Logotherapy is different from psychotherapy, in the sense that psychotherapy is stating things that are disagreeable, whereas logotherapy is listening to things that are disagreeable" (p 120). His years of dealing with patients and his horrible experiences in the concentration camps have helped Frankl form many philosophies regarding man's search for meaning. His ideas deal with the value of life even at times of suffering and hopelessness and how everyone has to understand that. His technique of helping people is too help them find meaning to their live and thereby helping them find value to their lives (p 120). He believes that it is a search for meaning that keeps people proceeding with and in life. He argues with theories that state how man uses ideals and values as defense mechanisms. He says that he would not be willing to live just for his defense mechanisms nor would he be willing to die for his reaction formations (p 121).

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