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Prisoners of Our Thoughts: Viktor Frankl's Principles for Discovering Meaning in Life and Work, Second Edition
Pattakos, Alex
Berrett-Koehler / Softcover / 2010-07-01 / 1605095249
Existential and Logotherapy / Self Help
reg price: $27.95 our price: 20.96 (may be subject to change)
216 pages
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World-renowned psychiatrist Viktor Frankl discussed how it is possible to find real meaning in a life that is filled with suffering and difficulty. Inspired by his words and philosophy, author Dr. Alex Pattakos consequently wrote Prisoners of Our Thoughts, wherein Dr. Frankl's therapeutic system is captured in seven core principles and applied to various life and work situations so that the reader can relate personally to the principles as well as learn when and how to use them. The seven principles are as follows:

1. Exercise the freedom to choose your attitude
2. Realize your will to meaning
3. Detect the meaning of life's moments:
4. Don't work against yourself
5. Look at yourself from a distance
6. Shift your focus of attention
7. Extend beyond yourself

The author expands and updates his work in this revised version. This new second edition will include: Personal stories of both people familiar with the book's principles and who have applied them in their lives and work, and people who illustrate the book's principle(s) even if they are not familiar with them [e.g., at-risk youth, family/marital relations, job loss, retirement, health-related (e.g., incurable disease), natural disaster, tragedies (auto accidents, suicide, drug overdose), incarcerated prisoners, soldiers, veterans, song-writers and musicians]; Business/organizational examples (updated since the hardcover and paperback editions were released); Inclusion of the results, both qualitative and quantitative, from a variety of "Meaning" surveys and social networking/new media experiences conducted by the author and by others that are deemed to be relevant and timely; Media experiences of the author (radio, Web radio, television, print) that are meaningful and worthwhile to share in order to reinforce the book's principles and key message; New practical exercises (e.g., Existential Digging), Meaning Moments, Meaning Questions, and For Further Reflection prompts in each chapter, based on the author's experience since the initial release of Prisoners of Our Thoughts; A new chapter, "The Meaning Difference" (i.e., empirical evidence, including survey data, compiled since initial released of hardcover edition; new applications of meaning-centered principles).


“This landmark book underscores how the search for meaning is intimately related to and positively influences health improvement at all levels. Reading Prisoners of Our Thoughts is an insightful prescription for promoting health and wellness!”

—Kenneth R. Pelletier, PhD, MD, Professor, University of Arizona and University of California, San Francisco Schools of Medicine; Chairman, American Health Association; and author of The Best Alternative Medicine.

About the Author:

Alex Pattakos, Ph.D., is a principal of The Innovation Group ( and the founder of the Center for Meaning, both based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. He has been a full-time professor of business and public administration (including serving as a graduate program head) and has served as an advisor to executives in both corporations and governments internationally on issues relating to innovation management, policy analysis, and organizational redesign. He is a former therapist and mental health administrator and has worked closely with several Presidential administrations on social policy matters and served as an adviser to the Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The World Future Society credits him as the inventor of the concept of the "Electronic Visiting Professor" for his pioneering work in on-line, distance learning.

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