Logotherapeutic Torah Dialogue:
an intimate dialogue with life (final version)
Logotherapy is the philosophy, psychotherapy and art of living created by Dr. Viktor Frankl – psychiatrist, neurologist and author of best seller Man’s Search for Meaning (a psychological account of the concentration camps from firsthand experience).
Dr. Frankl based his theory on three ontological truths: meaning of life, freedom of will and will to meaning. First we can trust that even in the worst of circumstances life has meaning. Secondly we are not determined by our circumstances and our instincts; we have freedom of choice. Thirdly our strongest motivation is to find a purpose to our lives. We feel our lives to be meaningful when we find something to live for.
Every theory of human growth & development is influenced by certain assumptions. Logotherapy’s meaning orientation and core principles have a real affinity with a Jewish perspective on man and on life. The future thrust presupposes what the person can be rather than who they are now, so that we can help them to become that.
Socratic dialogue, logotherapy’s central tool, is a collaborative search to clarify inner and outer resources and values and find our individual areas of freedom and responsibility which promote meaningful life choices.
Logotherapeutic Torah Dialogue is an innovation within Socratic dialogue. This empowering framework brings Torah into the inner world we are building. Self-awareness interwoven with understanding an idea in the text leads to discovery of who we are and who we want to be.
Life meanings reveal textual meanings. Derishot turn into midrash – life’s demands transformed into understandings of the work that needs to be done. The workshop is based on interactive discussion and writing exercises.
Meetings consist of three parts:
A) Outlining a major tool or principle of logotherapy (approx. 45 minutes)
B) Participant presentation of life issues (approx. 15 minutes)
C) In-depth textual analysis based on mutually agreed-upon texts. (approx. 2 hrs)
The goal is to gain rudimentary skills for self-enrichment by seeing life’s challenges for what they are – invitations to become our ideal self.