During my Christmas holidays I read the book “Man’s search for meaning” by psychiatrist Viktor E. Frankl. He survived the Second World War as a Jew being imprisoned in concentration camps. The statistical chances to survive his scenario were as low as 1 to 28. Before he was brought to his first concentration camp he designed “Logotherapy” and had the first sketches of his “theoretical child”. He carried the papers with him and begged that the guards would leave them to him when he entered the first concentration camp. Everything was taken away from him.
Yet he saw this time as a challenge to live the words of his theory in action and to find out more about the human psyche in this intense environment. After all he managed to write down his theory again at the end of his imprisonment and then he brought it into life after he was freed from the concentration camp.
Logotherapy derives from the Greek word logos and is translated to “meaning” in English. This therapy form aims at creating meaning in people’s lives.
Frankl repetitively quotes Nietzsche: “He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.”
One of Frankl’s claims is that most people nowadays do not actually need classical psychotherapy but are instead dealing with human difficulties and challenges in life. He does not deny that there are mental illnesses and that psychotherapy is absolutely necessary in society. Frankl says that we mostly need to find a different and healthier way of relating to life.
In our society today when having a problem we tend to take it personally and think something was wrong with us. Not only does this wrongly identify the problem but holds us back from working on our difficulties.
Frankl’s view of a naturally healthy human-being facing hurdles in life resonated strongly with me and resembles the ideas of life coaching. In life coaching the assumption is always that we work from the place of a healthy mind and move on from there. That allows the space for human difficulties to express themselves and to find means of overcoming them.
How this knowledge can help you
The next time you face a difficult situation in your life, I want to invite you to take another perspective. Instead of taking it personally try to see yourself as a healthy human-being facing a difficulty in life just like every other person out there does.
Doing it like this it will help you feel better about yourself and tackle your problem more effectively.
If you do have any questions or want to share something regarding this article please leave a comment or send me a message!