Techniques and methods
In my professional work, I use the methods and approaches of logotherapy and existential analysis, which I complement with existential-phenomenological psychotherapy resources and techniques of Indian indigenous psychology, especially Advaita Vedānta (a school of Hindu philosophy), and early Buddhism.
Both logotherapy and existential analysis are existential and humanistic psychotherapy approaches to dealing with human suffering. After Freud's psychoanalysis and Adler's individual psychology, they are regarded as the third Viennese school of psychotherapy, which was founded in the 1930s by the psychiatrist and philosopher Viktor E. Frankl (image on the right) and further developed by his many associates and students (Elisabeth S. Lukas, Joseph B. Fabry, James C. Crumbaugh and others).
Logotherapy literally means “therapy through finding meaning” (in Greek: logos – meaning, therapeuein – healing). The main feature of this psychotherapeutic approach is focusing on one’s personal responsibility and the three interrelated pillars: freedom of will, will to meaning and meaning of life. Through their relationship with the psychotherapist and during the course of a directed psychotherapeutic treatment, the client learns to identify and strengthen their ability to make free and responsible decisions, improve their sensitivity to discovering meaning in any moment of their life, develop a defiant attitude of the human spirit to cope with issues that are causing them to suffer, as well as summon the courage to transform them into a fulfilling moment of existence.
Both logotherapy and existential analysis are based on a clearly defined image of man as a unique and inimitable creature of three dimensions which complement and complete each other in one whole, namely 1) physical or biophysical, 2) mental or psychic, and 3) spiritual or noetic. Logotherapy defines the will to meaning as the main motivational force of human existence, which directs the person to discovering meaning in any concrete situation of their existence. By using a clearly defined theory of meaning and values, logotherapy provides a dynamic map of possibilities for achieving meaning by acting according to the three structures of reality, namely creative, experiential and attitudinal values.
Logotherapy and existential analysis primarily rely on discussing meaning, changing the client’s attitudes, suggestive exercise of will and the following specific logotherapeutic methods: dereflection (diverting the client’s attention away from the self and towards something that is important to them to provide a sense of relief), paradoxical intention (exposing the client to their fears with the aim of desensitising them) and Socratic dialogue (paying close attention to the client’s words to help them derive meaning from their experiences). They can be effectively used in individual, partner, family and group psychotherapeutic treatment.