I’ve noticed a barrier to introducing the philosophy behind logotherapy. On one hand our orientation towards life determines how we relate to life. For the therapist our conception of a human being determines how we relate to a human being. This makes discussion of the philosophical underpinnings of logotherapy an essential task.
On the other hand when an explanation of meaning is incomplete or vague, it leads people down an awful philosophical tangent that takes them away from logophilosophy’s operational value. Logophilosophy is at the heart of what sets logotherapy apart. We cannot appreciate logotherapy’s practical benefits without first understanding its philosophy.
The way to resolve this is to explain logophilosophy in a way that is clear and succinct so that anyone can understand it. Any explanation of logophilosophy has to take people’s presuppositions into account and give an answer that leaves no room for cumbersome philosophical tangents. This post is the first part of an attempt to do this.
What you believe determines how you relate to life
1) If you believe life has unconditional meaning – you will expect to find meaning and you will trust meaning is there even when meaning is beyond your comprehension.
2) If you believe that we are not free from conditions but free to respond to our conditions – you will look for meaning in terms of what life is expecting of you and it will make sense to you that meaning is created through your response to reality. This will make you ask yourself what you can do with this reality using your unique strengths and resources
3) If you believe that the will to meaning is the deepest motivation in a person – you will find ways to elicit and evoke that meaning
That’s all fine and good. What if you don’t believe? (More to come…)