Introduction To Psychology - Notes: Frankl & Module 19

Introduction To Psychology - Notes: Frankl & Module 19...

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Introduction to Psychology Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning N.B., You're responsible for reading Part II ("Logotherapy in a Nutshell") and the Postscript ("The Case for a Tragic Optimism"), but not part I. Summary of PART I: A description of Frankl's many experiences in GERMAN CONCENTRATION CAMPS during WWII, which had a great impact on his later thinking. Much suffering & meaninglessness -- led Frankl to wonder about MEANINGS and their psychological importance, esp. in relation to dealing with suffering in life. Normally, people have a collection of meanings that lend sense & purpose to their lives: health, approval of one's peers, material wealth, good love-life, family relations, comfort, happiness, etc. But what about when none of these usual meanings are present, such as in a concentration camp? Instead, there are suffering, poor health, brutality, deprivation, lack of material comfort, the closeness of death, etc. In Frankl's experience, many people simply GIVE-UP ON LIFE under these conditions, and choose suicide, in one form or another. However, other people do not. Frankl's question, then, was -- what is the difference between these two? What drives some people to continue fighting for life, while other people simply die? Frankl's answer is: Survivors had some MEANING or PURPOSE -- some HOPE in the future to propel them forward. "He who has a WHY to live for can bear almost any HOW." -- Nietzsche ----------------------------------------------
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PART II: LOGOTHERAPY: a form of psychotherapy oriented around finding meaning in one's existence. -- a basic premise of Logotherapy is that many (but not all) forms of psychopathology (i.e., mental illness) are rooted in a basic lack of meaning in life. -- PSYCHOANALYSIS holds that psychotherapy is about uncovering and dealing with the PAST -- a kind of ARCHEOLOGY. -- LOGOTHERAPY, in contrast, holds that psychotherapy is about achieving an orientation toward the FUTURE, especially toward meanings to be fulfilled in the future -- a kind of TELEOLOGY. For Frankl, the point is not simply to come to an abstract meaning of one's life, but a CONCRETE PURPOSE that one actually lives out -- hence an emphasis on RESPONSIBILITY. For Frankl, the most basic motive force in people is a "WILL TO MEANING," which is more basic than a "will to pleasure," or a "will to power." For instance, people will suffer and even die for their values. However, this "will to meaning" can be frustrated. This is called "EXISTENTIAL FRUSTRATION." -- existential frustration is a part of everyone's experience, in one way or another, so it isn't pathological in itself. -- however, an intense and enduring pattern of existential frustration can lead to "NOOGENIC NEUROSES" -- forms of mental illness rooted in a basic lack of meaning in one's life. Generally, Frankl conceives of being human in terms of "NOODYNAMICS" --
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This note was uploaded on 04/27/2008 for the course PSYC 1101 taught by Professor Dodson during the Fall '07 term at University of West Georgia.

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Introduction To Psychology - Notes: Frankl & Module 19...

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