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Topic: Viktor Frankl professes to have been influenced by both existentialism and psychoanalysis, but not Marxism - Essay Example

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Topic: Viktor Frankl professes to have been influenced by both existentialism and psychoanalysis, but not Marxism

The connections of religious ideas to the school of logotherapy made this concept much more in touch with the spirituality of humans, rather than the biological. Thus, the search of the meaning of living and getting healed by this search was the strong position of the school of logotherapy (Sapp 145) It was in Frankl’s reflections during the time that he was held in concentration camps that he was able to observe which prisoners would be expected to survive longer. Those who had many reasons to keep on living were more likely to work harder in staying alive, compared to those who do not have any clear and solid visions of the future (Frankl 109). He was thus able to conclude that contrary to most psychoanalytic and philosophical ideas of putting more emphasis on the self, it is the struggling and striving for the worthwhile goal that gives meaning and stability to a person (Frankl 109). This is very much in contrast with Freud, Sartre, and even Marx’s ideas as to what would keep a person and the society stable. Comparing Frankl’s ideas with Freud, the latter has beliefs of being selfless, and that the tensions that arise from everyday living gives a person’s life stability. This idea was actually in contrast with the Freudian school of psychoanalysis, wherein there is more focus on attaining needs that were not met, or indulging in pleasure to get healed (Taylor 54). Freud also believes that psychoanalysis is something scientific, not spiritual in nature, and that it has its own language by which the results can be interpreted into what a person must do in order to become stable. His ideas were mostly devoid of any of a human being’s irrational ideas like abstraction and subjectivism, and these were not deemed important. This made Freudian psychoanalysis seem like it puts more focus on a person’s biological make up more than his or her values and belief (Sapp 76). Such views are highly contrastive to Frankl, whose focus on humanistic values made his ideas much more related in looking into the soul or spirit of a person. His ideas gave rise to the term humanistic-existential psychotherapy (Sapp 45). The additional contrast is also attributed to the differences in their styles of psychoanalysis. Freud uses an introspective method of healing his patients, finding out how things came to be, while Frankl uses retrospective methods, which focuses more on why things came to being (Frankl 104). With regards to Sartre’s existentialism, Frankl’s ideas are pretty much comparable, but some ideas are polar opposites. Common existential ideas have a connection with man’s search for meaning, viewing the human being as an entity capable of expressing awareness, having meaning, values and goals, as well as accepting that death is a natural part of life, among others (Sapp 145). While both Frankl and Sartre present the characteristics of human beings such as the ones described above, for Sartre, man is a separate entity, and his choices are his to own, and no other entity could control his choices (Taylor 85). But for Frankl, he believes that man is not entirely an autonomous and separate system, but rather an open system that searches meaning from a higher entity as well as from outside his own ...Show more


Schools of Thought that Influenced Viktor Frankl Viktor Frankl is one of the most well-known existential psychologists, as well as one of the most active and influential in the 20th century. He called his own psychoanalytic method “logotherapy”, based on the Greek works logos, which is denoted as “meaning” (Frankl 104)…
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Topic: Viktor Frankl professes to have been influenced by both existentialism and psychoanalysis, but not Marxism essay example
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