How to Use Logotherapy

Logotherapy is a psychotherapeutic technique that uses meaning, especially exploration of the meaning of life, to help reorient patients who suffer from psychological or existential turmoil. Developed by a Viennese psychiatrist named Viktor Frankl, logotherapy is a practical, results-based method of treatment for various psychological problems.

Familiarize yourself with logotherapy's background. Logotherapy's creator, Dr. Viktor Frankl, wrote a short book called "Man's Search for Meaning" about his experience during the Holocaust. The book provides an excellent, experience-based introduction to the ideas and world view that underlie logotherapy and is a great way to begin to use logotherapy for treatment.

Set out your problems and your goals. Logotherapy is largely about understanding what gives your life meaning (the name itself means "treatment through meaning"). If you have trouble understanding what currently gives you meaning, try listing areas in which you would like to find meaning.

Use logotherapy's techniques and psychology. "Paradoxical intention" is one important logotherapy technique which instructs patients to try to embrace the things that scare them most. "Dereflection," on the other hand, involves simply putting aside, or pushing aside, feelings of inner turmoil and understanding that a therapist will take care of them as a part of your treatment.

Find a therapist and take courses. Logotherapy still enjoys a strong presence within mainstream psychology. A truly effective use of logotherapy requires that you work with a logotherapist or take courses at logotherapy centers such as the Viktor Frankl Logotherapy Institute in Berkeley, California, or at the Logotherapy Institut at Vienna University. Use either of these centers as resources to find qualified logotherapy specialists.

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