The present book is based on the work of Dr. Viktor Emil Frankl (1905-1997), an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist and the founder of the Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy, also known as Logotherapy and Existential Analysis. Central to the tenets of this orientation to psychotherapeutic practice is the recognition that the basic motivation in human life is the will to meaning. Frankl's Logotherapy rests on a three-dimensional, holistic view of the human person, including the dimensions of body, mind and spirit. The heuristic value of his anthropological views have profound philosophical and clinical implications. Frankl asserted that human beings have a free will, they have a will to meaning and that meaning is available to every person in every situation.
Extensive literature covers the foundations and applications of Viktor Frankl's Logotherapy. Randomised controlled studies and other research have proven its efficacy in the alleviation of symptoms related to a sense of meaninglessness and helping individuals live with a greater sense of purpose in their lives. Unique to this book is a conceptualization of the discernment of meaning as a competence which could be systematically taught and learned by individuals and groups wishing to acquire further knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies in this area.
Attentive Meaning Sensitivity is a competence to search for and find meaning in our everyday lives. It is manifested in the ability to scan our reality for meaning potentials and search for them in the areas where they may be found. Attentive Meaning Sensitivity can be present when a person (1) is willing to learn new things about themselves; (2) appreciates themselves as one of a kind and irreplaceable in the order of creation; (3) considers various possibilities available in each situation; (4) takes ownership for their actions and their consequences; (5) is able to observe themselves from the outside from various perspectives; and (6) reaches beyond the self toward goals implementing action steps or tasks. The above mentioned activities are concrete external manifestations of a person who has developed a capacity for Attentive Meaning Sensitivity. This competence is not an all or nothing ability. It can be experienced, exercised and practiced and thus developed. It is a capacity based on three fundamental principles: (1) the freedom of will; the (2) will to meaning and (3) meaning in life in every situation. This book provides a systematic review of the fundamental principles of Viktor Frankl's Logotherapy and Existential Analysis and presents six stepping stones through which the competence of Attentive Meaning Sensitivity can be learned and lived: (1) Self-Discovery; (2) Uniqueness; (3) Choices; (4) Responsibility and Response-ability; (5) Self-distancing; and (6) Self-transcendence. We relied on three sources for writing this resource guide: (1) knowledge, (2) lived experience and (3) practical applications of Viktor E. Frankl's Logotherapy in clinical practice. Both of us are registered psychotherapists with specialization in Logotherapy and Existential Analysis. Throughout the book we provide factual information and lived experience with examples from the life of Viktor Frankl as well as case examples adapted from our own life.
About the Authors:
Maria Marshall, Registered Psychotherapist in Ontario, Canada, began her studies in psychology at the University of Budapest, Hungary. She moved to Canada and completed her Bachelor's Degree with first class honours in psychology in Calgary, Alberta. She continued her studies at Hardin-Simmons University, Texas, where she completed her Master's Degree in Counselling and Human Development. She returned to Canada where she earned her PhD Degree in Counselling Psychology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
Subsequently, she trained with Elisabeth Lukas, a former student of Viktor Frankl in Vienna, Austria. She worked as a counselling psychologist in Alberta, British Columbia and Nova Scotia. She taught psychology at the University of Portsmouth, England.
Her research interests are evidence based meaning-centered interventions and their applications in clinical practice and everyday living. She is author of several books and peer review articles.
She offers courses on Logotherapy and Existential Analysis
Edward Marshall, Registered Psychotherapist in Ontario, Canada, worked as a family doctor and completed a PhD in Neurosciences in Spain.
Subsequently, he studied psychotherapy within a Clinical Psychiatry program at the University of Leeds in England. He worked in hospitals and community mental health centers. He trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, and humanistic-existential psychotherapy.
Since he moved to Canada, he worked as psychotherapist and offered courses on Viktor Frankl's Logotherapy. In addition, he provides executive coaching services.
His research interests are studying models of the freedom of will and consent in relationships. He is author of several books and peer review articles.
Edward is Associate Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation. He offers bilingual courses on Logotherapy and Existential Analysis and Existential Coaching.