Significant work indeed after Freud and Adler. The book shows by example of personal experience of the author, and that of many other, how the influence of one's thought power can make you live or die and the rightful thinking that can make one stand against all odds. The meaning for life is not defined by someone but to be found by each one of us and that the meaning exists whatever the living state of affairs be, is the message of the book. There probably has never been a worst place to live other than in concentration camps, as described in the book and the ordeal of living through it. The book also deals with the dimension of spiritual thinking a little (probably the 8 volumes of the theory proposed by Viktor Frankl has more info). A must read for students of psychology.
I had to read this book for a class, but it turned out to be a very interesting and good book to read.
Man's Search for Meaning
I found Frankl referenced by Daniel Pink in his book, A Whole New Mind.
For me (very new to psychotherapy schools), Man's Search for Meaning is a very good introduction to logotherapy. The book begins with Frankl's experiences in WWII Nazi concentration camps; later chapters explain logotherapy -- man's search for meaning. I found the book to be fresh, insightful and I gained enough of an understanding of logotherapy to know I'd like to learn more. Frankl's work is especially relevant in our time.
Other books in my library collect dust. This one doesn't. Every time I read it, I see a little deeper into our frail weaknesses and our incredible well of strength. Frankl's account of the concentration camp is singular in its impact on how I see our world and our place in it -- ultimately, a place of hope and meaning, and a place where we are in control of that meaning. The best seven dollars I've ever spent. If you haven't bought it already, click "add to cart" now!
Perhaps the most valuable book of the 20th Century
Excluding scientific achievements and their documentation, no other short book presents the gifts of the twentieth century as perfectly as Frankl's work.
Man's Search for Meaning, or ISM for the modern substitution of "An Individual's" for "Man's," gives the extreme twisted side of human organization with its autobiography of a holocaust survivor, but balances it with the strongest statement possible not against the horror, but against determinism: humans always have the freedom to choose their response. Furthermore, the text is written with the direct, yet respectful words, for the twisted, but not fixed, timber of human life exemplified in the intelligent style of Freud, Jung, and Adler - a mid-century style not commonly written anymore, a style that assumes that a reader not only has worked to develop a humane education, but is also willing to work to improve it.
The main thrust of Frankl is that humans strive to make meaning of their lives first and foremost. This updates Freud's statements that humans seek pleasure primarily or Adler's statements that people seek power. The job of a psychoanalyst (a quaint word today) is to use logotherapy (a set of approaches initiated by Frankl) to help patients solve their problems, internally and externally, by finding their meaning. Obviously Frankl fits within the resolving existentialism tide of the twentieth century. He complements the texts of Isaiah Berlin which also focus on the meaning of freedom within the constraints of humans as they are and the societies in which they live.
If only considered responses to Frankl by stoics such as Seneca and Aurelius were possible. A dialogue across time - which a reader can form - places many of the travails of history as being those of humans within history resolving their search for meaning, a seeking also inherent within most readers. This segues into seeing history not just through the lens of great events and powers, but through the experiences of everyone, not just elites.
Now in its 60th year -- the landmark bestseller by the great Viennese psychiatrist remembered for his tremendous impact on humanity
Internationally renowned psychiatrist Viktor E. Frankl endured years of unspeakable horror in Nazi death camps. During, and partly because of, his suffering, Dr. Frankl developed a revolutionary approach to psychotherapy known as logotherapy. At the core of his theory is the belief that man's primary motivational force is his search for meaning.
Cited in Dr. Frankl's New York Times obituary in 1997 as "an enduring work of survival literature," Man's Search for Meaning is more than the story of Viktor E. Frankl's triumph: It is a remarkable blend of science and humanism and "a compelling introduction to the most significant psychological movement of our day" (Gordon W. Allport).