The Search For Purpose and Meaning


Equivalent parts biographical and theoretical, this paper provides a discussion of the main historical events and contributions of Viktor Frankl. Frankl’s intellectual development began with a brief immersion in Freud and Alder’s teachings in the early 1920s. He began to formalize the tenets of his theory and therapy, logotherapy, while assisting unemployed Viennese in the Great Depression. Logotherapy maintains that a human’s principal motivation is not to search for power or gratification, but to discover the purpose of existence. Various existential ideas are discussed including the notions of a noölogical dimension and existential frustration. The paper concludes that logotherapy has many applications in the modern medical, psychological, and business sectors.
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