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Man's serach for meaning



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  • 1. Susan Pateros Nick Kosanovich
  • 2. THE DOOLEY GROUP • Leadership Learning Forum • Friday, February 21, 2014 • Susan Pateros and Nick Kosanovich
  • 3. CHILDHOOD Viktor Frankl was born in 1905 in Vienna into a family of Jewish civil servants. At the time of his birth, Vienna was the cultural, artistic, and medical nexus of AustriaHungary.
  • 4. Viktor was the second child of Gabriel and Elsa Frankl. His father was a Director in the Ministry of Social Service. From a young age, he told his parents that he wanted to be a doctor and he never wavered from that dream.
  • 5. ADOLESCENCE AND YOUNG ADULTHOOD As a 16 year old, Frankl gave his first public lecture entitled “On the Meaning of Life.” A year later, he began a correspondence with Sigmund Freud, who was 65 at the time and had created the practice of psychoanalysis at the end of the 19th century.
  • 6. Viktor studied medicine at the University of Vienna. In 1930, while a medical student, he organized and conducted a free counseling program for high school students. The success of the program was proved in 1931 when no Viennese high school student committed suicide for the first time in years. From 1933 to 1937, Frankl completed his residency in neurology and psychiatry at the Steinhof Psychiatric Hospital in Vienna. After the Nazi takeover of Austria in 1938, Frankl was prohibited from treating “Aryan” patients because of his Jewish identity. In 1940, he became the head of the Neurological Department of Rothschild Hospital, which was the only hospital in Vienna still allowed to admit Jewish patients.
  • 7. In 1941, Viktor married Tilly Grosser.
  • 8. 1942-1945 IMPRISONMENT CONCENTRATION CAMPS 1942 THERESIENSTADT Viktor and Tilly, along with Viktor‟s parents, are sent to Theresienstadt. Viktor‟s sister Stella had escaped to Australia. Viktor‟s brother and sister-in-law were trying to escape via Italy. After six months in Theresienstadt, Viktor‟s father dies.
  • 9. 1944 AUSCHWITZ Viktor is transported to Auschwitz. He is unaware of the whereabouts of his mother, wife, brother and sister-in-law.
  • 10. 1945 KAUFERING AND TURKHEIM In his last camp, Viktor contracts typhus. To fight off a fatal collapse, he reconstructs on slips of paper the book manuscript that he had to surrender upon his arrival at Auschwitz.
  • 11. “Has all this suffering, this dying around us, a meaning? For, if not, then ultimately there is no meaning to survival…” -Viktor Frankl Man’s Search for Meaning On April 27, 1945, the Kaufering camp was liberated by U.S. troops. In August Frankl returned to Vienna, where he learned within a span of a few days about the death of his wife in the Bergen-Belsen camp from either illness or starvation, and the murders at Auschwitz of his mother, brother, and sister-in-law.
  • 12. Within a year of returning to Vienna, in the span of nine days, Frankl wrote Ein Psycholog erlebt das Konzentrationslager (A Psychologist Experiences the Concentration Camp). It was published in Germany in 1946. The first part of the book chronicles Viktor Frankl‟s experiences in the concentration camps as illustrative of the principles he sets forth in the second part of the book, which introduces Logotherapy. Logotherapy becomes known as the Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy. Its basic tenet is that man‟s search for meaning is the primary motivation in his life. Logotherapy therefore regards its assignment as that of assisting the patient to find meaning in his life. Meaning can be achieved in three ways: by creating a work or doing a deed; by experiencing something or encountering someone; or by the attitude one takes toward unavoidable suffering. The English translation was first published in 1959 as Man’s Search for Meaning.
  • 13. Viktor remained in Vienna after the war and became director of the Vienna Neurological Policlinic, a post he held for 25 years. • 1947-married Eleonore Schwindt and in December of that year their daughter Gabriele was born. • 1948-obtained his PhD • 1955-promoted to Professor at University of Vienna and begins guest professorships at overseas universities • 1961-guest Professor at Harvard University • 1966-published The Will to Meaning in English • 1972-guest Professor at Duquesne University • 1988-gave a widely noted public address in Vienna on the Memorial Day commemorating the 50th year after the invasion by Hitler‟s troops
  • 14. • 1992-the Viktor Frankl Institute is founded in Vienna • 1997-the English translation of Frankl‟s autobiography is published; Frankl‟s last book Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning is published; Frankl dies on September 2
  • 15. EPILOGUE Viktor Frankl received 29 honorary doctorates from universities all over the world. He wrote over 30 books and became the first non-American to be awarded the American Psychiatric Association‟s prestigious Oskar Pfister Prize. The Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy publishes semi-annually The International Forum for Logotherapy, the world‟s leading peer-reviewed scholarly journal on Logotherapy. The Institute also sponsors the biennial World Congress on Viktor Frankl‟s Logotherapy.
  • 16. VIDEO OF VIKTOR FRANKL • • 5:18 minutes start point
  • 17. SUCCESS • “Don't aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it.“ • Nick
  • 18. INSPIRATION •“… when all else has been taken away, man still has his last freedom -- the freedom to "choose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances.”
  • 19. ALWAYS THINK POSITIVE • There is the idea that a man can overcome his circumstances through his attitude • Have a „why‟ to live and there is almost always a „how‟ to live • Choose laughter and a sense of humor more than anything else • It can help us rise above any situation • Take the high road • Viktor made “friends” with the guards that helped his survival • Could have openly showed his hatred • Susan
  • 20. WE HAVE IT GOOD • Someone always has it worse than us • Need to be more grateful for what we have • Survive the bottom and will rise to the top • Nick
  • 21. LIFE OUT OF OUR CONTROL • We cannot always direct exactly where our lives go • Sometimes we are thrown on a path that doesn‟t allow us to choose exactly what we want to do • In these circumstances, approach them with the best attitude possible and you will come out a stronger person, heading in a direction that you are happier with • Susan
  • 22. QUESTION/CONCERNS • Any points you disagreed with? • Anything you didn‟t like?