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  • Writer's pictureIrene R Healey

What Viktor Frankl’s Work Can Show Us In Difficult Times

One of the most valued books I have read is Viktor Frankl’s, Man ‘s Search For Meaning and I recommend to those who have not read it. Viktor Frankl was a psychotherapist before he was sent to Auschwitz and then Dachau. He survived and wrote Man ‘s Search For Meaning based on his experience and question on how some people managed to survive and maintain hope in the worst of conditions. Frankl reacted against his contemporary psychological theories on what motivated people's behavior. Frankl rejected Freud’s ‘will to have pleasure’ and Adler’s ‘will to have power" as motivators. Frankl wrote;

‘Man’s search for meaning is the primary motivation in his life.'

Frankl argued that literature, art, religion and all the other cultural phenomena that place meaning at their core are things-unto-themselves, and furthermore are the very basis for how we find purpose. He believed that there was much that humanity can live without, but if we’re devoid of a sense of purpose and meaning then we ensure our eventual demise.

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