“Discovering Meaning in Life: Through Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy & Existential Analysis”
As Editor of Dr. Marie Dezelic’s Meaning-Centered Therapy Workbook, I am pleased to share my enthusiasm and support for this excellent and creative addition, not only to Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy and Existential Analysis, but to the general field of Existential Psychology and spiritually-centered psychotherapy. It is an honor to be included in Dr. Dezelic’s group of mentors, colleagues, and friends. We first met through the Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy where I was privileged to be one of Dr.Dezelic’s instructors for her Logotherapy Diplomate Credential. It was clear from the onset that this highlygifted and creative woman is both passionate about and committed to Viktor Frankl’s’ teachings and philosophy. Dr. Dezelic has continued to share Logotherapy and Existential Analysis and its meaning centered approach to psychotherapy with her patients and colleagues not only through her writings,counseling and many projects, but also through her way of being in the world.
Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy and Existential Analysis is based on three tenets: Life has meaning under all circumstances; the motivating force of life is the will to discover meaning; and we have the freedom of will not only to seek meaning but to embrace that meaning by living in its service. Frankl believed that we discover meaning through self-transcendence; that is, the giving of ourselves to others and the world. We do this in three possible ways: Through our creative gifts – such as our career and work, or by raising children; through our experience of the love for or from someone else, as well as our appreciation of nature and artistic expression; and most importantly, through our attitude in the face of unavoidable pain, guilt and death. When we cannot change a situation (such as the loss of a loved one, a diagnosis of cancer, the devastation of a terrorist attack) we can change our attitude and turn suffering into triumph overtragedy. Frankl called this attitude shift “Tragic Optimism.”