“Logos” is the Greek word for meaning, and logotherapy involves helping a patient find personal meaning in life.
Viktor Frankl based his theory and therapy on three core properties:
- Each person has a healthy core.
- One’s primary focus is to enlighten others to their own internal resources and provide them tools to use their inner core.
- Life offers purpose and meaning but does not promise fulfillment or happiness.
Logotherapy proposes that humans have a will to meaning, which means that meaning is our primary motivation for living and acting and allows us to endure pain and suffering. In all circumstances, individuals have the freedom to access that will to find meaning. This is based on his experiences of pain and suffering and choosing his attitude in a situation that he could not change. We need to learn to respond to the demands of daily life in ways that match the values of society or our own conscience.
These assumptions link with newer therapies e.g. Dialectical Behavior Therapy, as well as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.