Logotherapy was developed by Viktor Frankl and first published in 1938. It regards the search for meaning as the primary human motivation. Since people are capable of deciding, they are also responsible for their decisions. A human being is not a mere puppet of biological, hereditary and environmental forces, but is always free to take a stand toward inner conditions and outer circumstances.
It is the objective of therapy based on Logotherapy to find possibilities for concrete meaning in life situations. Logotherapy offers help at re-orientation and recovery by strengthening trust in the unconditional meaningfulness of life and the dignity of the person.
Logotherapy is focused on three concepts:
1. The freedom of will:
The freedom of will involves the issue of determinism. The will to take a stand, and therefore create meaning in one’s life, is distinct from the will to power or set conditions and the will to seek pleasure.
2. The will to meaning:
Frankl said “life holds a meaning for each and every individual”. “Even tragic and negative aspects of life can be turned into a human achievement through the attitude which man adopts toward his predicament.” By accepting that man is not free to set his conditions, but is free to take a stand, despair can be transformed into triumph irrespective of the conditions.
3. The meaning of life:
Having the freedom to take a stand is of no value if it is done arbitrarily. What good is it to be steadfast on an issue or position if there is no possibility of having any impact whatsoever? This freedom only has value if it is exercised responsibly. It only has meaning if, by having relevance to the inner feelings of the individual, it leads to fulfillment.