Logotherapy provides a basic framework for good therapy.
What’s important is the fundamentals. Those don’t change. Within that framework I can take logotherapy in different directions by learning from this one and that or by making my own innovations. Value-oriented imagery, art and dance are various modalities that have been combined with logotherapy.
In contrast to innovations definitions are about getting the core framework clear. Structure reveals the heart, the goals and the major principles or assumptions that remain. That which defines demarcates and sets it apart from other theories.
What sets logotherapy apart? According to Maria Marshall in Prism of Meaning it is logotherapy’s meaning orientation. It starts with the essence of life and it is concerned with the whole and purpose of life.
What is the whole and purpose of life? Life is calling you to emerge. Even a religious person who has an extensive framework for general life tasks has to hear his very personal call. Maria Marshall’s statement that logotherapy starts with the essence of life is echoed in the words of Rebbe Nachman who calls “that which no one has commanded you to do” the “ikar ha’avoda” (essential/principal service). You are called to a specific, concrete mission. You have to find what it is and to do it.
That logotherapy addresses the whosoever is the necessary conclusion to this assertion that it is about the essence of life. That it is therapeutic without necessarily talking about God can be stated unequivocally as well. What may not be understood is this: Logotherapy provides the requisite framework for emergence. A person emerges as the unique human being that he or she is through responding to the tasks life sends, first felt as challenges or barriers and later as invitations to meaning. The act of responding connects the individual with an “other” outside his or her self – whether that other is another person, God or the innermost self that the person was until now estranged from.
You cannot answer the call and continue to stay in hiding!
Whether or not you are conscious of God hiding behind reality, you are confronted most immediately by reality. Logotherapy evokes our ability to seek the meaning held by every given moment, discern the question addressing us and subsequently answer it. This is its aim and its definition.
It is a therapy defined by the expectation that you think for yourself and take responsibility for your actions. You emerge within the context of your responsiveness in relationship to life.