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Man's search for meaning

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Student slideshow for Mr. Stennett's Human Development class, Fall 2014

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Man's search for meaning

  1. 1. Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl Chelsea Potter Developmental Psychology
  2. 2. Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) Successful neurologist and psychologist Holocaust survivor -deported to camp in 1942 -lost his wife & family  Writer of ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’
  3. 3. Man’s Search For Meaning • He found personal meaning in surviving the Holocaust • “We cannot avoid suffering, but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose” -Frankl • Devoted his life to telling his story and teaching his strategies for survival
  4. 4. Logotherapy Form of psychotherapy focused on helping patients find meaning in life in three ways: • Work and hobbies • Experiencing life and people (love) • Developing a positive attitude! His Holocaust experience confirmed his theories
  5. 5. Traumatic experiences • Not necessary for development, but potentially beneficial • Mentally stronger • Suffering brings understanding of life’s meaning • Higher level of maturity development • More adaptable
  6. 6. Mental Survival • Credits his survival to holding onto vision of the future • Observed who did & did not survive- the difference between the two was meaning and hope for the future (mental sense of control > physical strength). • People have the ability to develop emotionally, cognitively, and socially in order to adapt and survive (Evolutionary Developmental approach) • “He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how” –Frankl
  7. 7. The Existential Vacuum • Concept he developed while in concentration camps • Psychological condition of the feeling of meaninglessness • Boredom is the major symptom • We try filling our vacuums with satisfaction- overeating, promiscuity, drinking, passive entertainment, etc.
  8. 8. “Mass Neurotic Triad”
  9. 9. Finding Meaning Through Logotherapy (work, love, attitude) • Psychoanalyzed prisoners around him, taking notes, helping other prisoners • Thoughts and hope of his wife • Staying optimistic- turning his suffering into an ‘achievement’
  10. 10. • Frankl’s stimulus-concentration camp, isolation from loved ones • Response- logotherapy
  11. 11. Meaning in Suffering? • “Has all this suffering, all this dying around us, a meaning? For, if not, then ultimately there is no meaning for survival” • Frankl didn’t deny his feelings of suffering • He encourages us to acknowledge our feelings
  12. 12. Frankl’s Theory • “Meaning in life is the major motivational factor to live” • Learned through the Holocaust that pleasure wasn’t as important as meaning • His current situation was full of pain- focused on meaning of being there through helping others and staying optimistic about future
  13. 13. Freud’s Theory • Major driving force is pleasure and conscience • Strive to achieve pleasure and satisfaction within limits of values and morals • Society motivated
  14. 14. Frankl vs. Freud
  15. 15. Frankl’s Message • “Even in the most painful, dehumanizing situations, life can be given meaning, and so too can suffering” • His experience at a concentration camp taught him that our main motivation in life is neither pleasure (as Freud had thought) or power, but meaning. • “We cannot avoid suffering, but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose” -Frankl

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