Welcoming challenges

To continue my notes from the logotherapy podcast interview…

M: Tell us more about the work that you do in Israel.

B: I see private clients and I co-facilitate an English speaking logo training program in Israel to a group of nine people together with Dr. Teria Shantall, modeled after the program she initiated at the University of South Africa. What is very special about this group is that they are all religious Jews and they share the same deep sense of identification with the Jewish-based principles of logotherapy as I do.

When Frankl says that “meaning” means that we are questioned by life, this is what life is about. This is how we grow. All of life is a series of questions and answers. The students in our training group are no exception. For the duration of the course their questions have stimulated my thought tremendously. I’ve learned so much from them. The process of exploration has expanded my understanding and generated new meaning.

I even appreciate their challenging questions because they have helped me to have keener insight and formulate meaning. At the beginning some of them were wary of logotherapy. They felt that if was just a matter of techniques it would be safe. But if it is a whole philosophy of life, they asked themselves “Can I trust this?” They came to feel they could most definitely trust it.

My clients have also been a great inspiration to me. One person was afraid to meet certain people on the street because she didn’t know how to handle herself. She called them her “monsters.” When she got to a better, more authentic place within, she no longer felt this way. She realized that maybe they saw her as a “monster.” She had never entertained this idea before. Her experience taught me that whatever serves as a good response for one of the parties in a relationship will be good for all involved.

I celebrate with my clients and I feel their anguish with them. I try to be as open and as honest and as “me” as I can be. I listen for the meaning that comes to me and get in touch with my own feelings. I take in their feelings and even get teary-eyed sometimes. But I also take a distance and by taking a distance I can allow something else to come in, a positive energy that will bring them out of their darkness.

End of interview question. Back to the blog. I invite you to challenge me. I want to create a collective mind, a think-tank where we can all come out enriched by one another. Don’t think of commenting as the usual blog comments. Think of it as you taking responsibility for helping all of us get to greater meaning by sharing your thoughts and reflecting on my thoughts.

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