“Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy in Trauma Treatment: Healing Through Meaning”
It is both an honor and a privilege to be the Editor of Dr. Marie Dezelic and Dr. Gabriel Ghanoum’s newest publication entitled Trauma Treatment - Healing the Whole Person, a clinical manual that combines Viktor Frankl’s Meaning-Centered Therapy and the authors’ innovative Trauma Treatment Foundational Phase-Work (TTFP). Dezelic and Ghanoum’s treatment protocol stays true to Viktor Frankl’s teachings and philosophy; while at the same time, they share their own clinical knowledge and expertise based on extensive experience working with patients who are attempting to heal from past or present traumatic events. Once again, they have developed innovative, colorful and informative Figures and Conceptual Pictographs, as well as individual and group exercises. By presenting the information and exercises in both written and visual format, the authors give readers several ways to both comprehend and utilize the treatment options. As before, Dezelic and Ghanoum have designed a manual that is flexible enough to be appropriate for individual or group counseling, as well as self-exploration. This manual can be used in many diverse settings such as inpatient hospitals, outpatient facilities, and spiritual centers.
In Part 1 of the Manual, the basic tenets of Viktor Frankl’s Meaning-Centered Logotherapy and ExistentialAnalysis (LTEA) are detailed and explored. Rather than taking considerable time defining and explainingthe philosophy, theory of personality and psychotherapy principles of LTEA, I will simply mention what Iconsider the most important aspects of Frankl’s teachings. First and foremost, Viktor Frankl maintainedthat there is Ultimate Meaning in the Universe and that there is meaning to be discovered in each momentof life. Secondly, he believed that we have a will (or desire) to discover meaning in our lives, and lastly,he stated that we all possess the free will (freedom) to discover our own unique meaning and purpose.
In addition, Frankl suggested that there are three general ways we can discover meaning: First, through the use of our creative gifts, such as work, career, or raising children; second, through our love for and from others, and/or through our love for and appreciation of art, nature and beauty; and third, through our attitude in the face of unavoidable suffering, guilt and death. Frankl also states that, in addition to our soma (body) and psyche (thoughts, emotions), we have a nöetic or spiritual dimension. This spiritual dimension is incapable of getting sick and is, therefore, the healthy aspect of ourselves. Frankl is using the term “spiritual” in a secular way, and is not talking about a religious concept; rather, our Nöetic Dimension is that which makes us distinctly human. In our Healthy Human Spirit we find our Personal Conscience, our creativity, our sense of humor, our compassion, our ability to forgive a hurt, and our intuition. Finally, Frankl did not believe that our primary goal should be self-actualization; rather, he felt that it should be Self-Transcendence. Therefore, the question that Life is asking each of us to consider is this: What am I going to give to others and the world through my creative gifts, my experiences, and my attitude in the face of unavoidable pain, guilt or death? Happiness, suggested Frankl, is a byproduct of doing the next right thing. It is never Continue Reading...