Viktor Frankl and the Development of Logotherapy

1827 Words8 Pages
Viktor Emil Frankl was born on March, 26th 1905, at Czeringassa 7, in Leopoldstadt, in Vienna Austria, where Sigmund Freud and Alfred Alder also grew up (Klingberg, 2014). He was the middle child out of three children. His older brother, Walter was two and a half years older, and his younger sister, Stella, was four years younger. His mother was Elsa Frankl, was a polish woman from Prague with a gentle manner. His father, Gabriel Frankl, had been a hard working man who was the Director of Social Affairs (Redsand, 2006). By the time Frankl was four years old he knew he wanted to be a doctor and he pursued that interest while into high school. He took classes focused on psychology and philosophy. He began corresponding with Freud when he was…show more content…
He then developed what he called paradoxical intention. Paradoxical intention is a method which encourages one to image themselves pushing into their fear rather than running from it, such as a patient suffering from insomnia (Pg.112, Frankl, 2006). Instead of focusing on falling asleep the patient would be asked to focus very hard on staying awake. The success of the paradoxical intention is called dereflection, which is when the patient is focused back on the task. He met his wife, Tilly Grossner, a nurse at the hospital, and they were married in 1941, and she was pregnant shortly after. In 1942 he was granted a visa to the United States, which would get him safely away from the concentration camps; however the visa was only good for him. He went to his father who had a block of marble from the ruins of a burned down synagogue. The marble had an etching of part of one of the Ten Commandments, which Viktor inquired about. The marble represented the commandment “Honor thy father and mother that thy days may be long upon the land.” (Pg.11, Frankl, 2006). Upon hearing this Viktor decided to stay with his family. The Nazis had forced Tilly to have an abortion as Jews weren’t allowed to have children (Redsand, 2006). Frankl began working on a book titled “The Doctor and the Soul” and sewed it into his jacket to keep it hidden. The manuscript was the basic fundamentals of his logotheory. In July of the same year later his family was deported to the
Get Access