Logotherapist & Existential Analyst

Rev. Dr. Scott Peddie


Logotherapy In Therapeutic Communities?

Posted on February 13, 2018 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (3222)

I was recently watching a short documentary on the artist and writer, Mary Barnes.  The firm focussed on her time at Kinglsley Hall, a therapeutic community set up by the pioneering Psychiatrist, R.D. Laing. Mary was diagnosed with schizophrenia and resided at Kingsley Hall for some time and developed a particularly fruitful relationship with Psychoanalyst, Dr. Joseph Berke.

One of the speakers on the film said something that struck me as rather significant.  He said, and I'm parpahrasing here, that Barnes had undergone two journeys of tranformation - one via psychotherapy, and the other through her developing spirituality. 

For a Logotherapist, spirituality is an integral part of wellbeing and not some seperate part of a person's reality.  Logotherapy acknowledges the three fold nature of human existence as soma (body), psyche (mind) and noos (spirit).  The latter is particularly important given that spirituality is broadly defined as those facets of our nature that are uniquely human and include, but are by no means exclusive to: faith, the ability to love, show empathy and to be creative. The overarching concept is that finding meaning in any given circumstance allows us to develop positively and to move beyond the constraints of psyche and soma.

I often wonder how a Logotherapeutic approach would have worked in the context of therapeutic communities; in my opinion, the holisitc nature of Logotherapy and Existential Analysis lends itself well to functioning constructively in such an environment.

What is Logotherapy?

Posted on January 24, 2018 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (5)

Pre-eminent Logotherapist, Dr. Elisabeth Lukas, author of the quite brilliant 'The Therapist & the Soul: From Fate to Freedom', writes the following in the 'About this Book' section (from the first German edition):

'Life today is regarded by many people as empty and questionable. One no longer finds meaning in work, in the family, in the future. However, a life without meaning is, in spite of technical progress, a life without human dignity. Logotherapy - Viktor Frankl's brilliantly inspired new orientation in psychotherapy - has therefore taken up the task of returning to a focus on meaning and human dignity in the psychological understanding of being and self.'

I think this is a rather good overview of what Logotherapy is about and how it relates to modern day life and individual/societial expectation..

Logotherapy Techniques: Dereflection

Posted on September 11, 2017 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (7)

Dereflection is 

'a technique of logotherapeutic psychology that is directed to taking a person's mind off a certain goal through a positive redirection to another goal, with emphasis on assets and abilities rather than the problems at hand. Dereflection often results in accomplishment of the original goal'. Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 9th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.

Dereflection encourages self-transcendence and a shift away from a pre-occupation with self, or specific attutitudes, thoughts and behaviours. Or, as Dr. Alex Pattakos, in his Huffington Post article 'Living with Meaning: Shift Your Focus Of Attention' wrote: The principle of dereflection, Dr. Frankl would say, helps us to ignore those aspects of our life and work that should be ignored. It also helps to turn us away from being self-absorbed with our problems and directs us toward the true meanings that beg to be discovered by us. In effect, dereflection encourages us to perceive something new in a situation so that we may let go of our old perceptions and ways of doing'. (You can read the full article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alex-pattakos/living-with-meaning-shift_b_163224.html).