email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
Maximizing Effectiveness in Dynamic Psychotherapy Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy101 Healing StoriesA Clinician's Guide to Legal Issues in PsychotherapyA Map of the MindA Primer for Beginning PsychotherapyACT With LoveActive Treatment of DepressionAffect Regulation, Mentalization, and the Development of SelfAlready FreeBad TherapyBecoming an Effective PsychotherapistBecoming MyselfBefore ForgivingBeing a Brain-Wise TherapistBetrayed as BoysBeyond Evidence-Based PsychotherapyBeyond MadnessBeyond PostmodernismBinge No MoreBiofeedback for the BrainBipolar DisorderBody PsychotherapyBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBrain Change TherapyBrain Science and Psychological DisordersBrain-Based Therapy with AdultsBrain-Based Therapy with Children and AdolescentsBrief Adolescent Therapy Homework PlannerBrief Child Therapy Homework PlannerBrief Therapy Homework PlannerBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBuilding on BionCare of the PsycheCase Studies in DepressionCaught in the NetChild and Adolescent Treatment for Social Work PracticeChoosing an Online TherapistChronic DepressionClinical Dilemmas in PsychotherapyClinical Handbook of Psychological DisordersClinical Intuition in PsychotherapyClinical Pearls of WisdomCo-Creating ChangeCognitive Therapy for Challenging ProblemsCompassionConfessions of a Former ChildConfidential RelationshipsConfidentiality and Mental HealthConfidingContemplative Psychotherapy EssentialsControlConversations About Psychology and Sexual OrientationCoping with BPDCouch FictionCounseling in GenderlandCounseling with Choice TheoryCouple SkillsCrazy for YouCreating a Life of Meaning and CompassionCreating HysteriaCritical Issues in PsychotherapyCrucial Choices, Crucial ChangesDeafness In MindDecoding the Ethics CodeDeconstructing PsychotherapyDeep Brain StimulationDemystifying TherapyDepression 101Depression in ContextDialogues on DifferenceDissociative ChildrenDo-It-Yourself Eye Movement Techniques for Emotional HealingDoing CBTE-TherapyEarly WarningEncountering the Sacred in PsychotherapyEnergy Psychology InteractiveErrant SelvesEssays on Philosophical CounselingEssentials of Wais-III AssessmentEthically Challenged ProfessionsEthics and Values in PsychotherapyEthics in Plain EnglishEthics in Psychotherapy and CounselingExistential PsychotherapyExpectationExploring the Self through PhotographyExpressing EmotionFacing Human SufferingFairbairn's Object Relations Theory in the Clinical SettingFamily TherapyFavorite Counseling and Therapy Homework AssignmentsFear of IntimacyFlourishingFolie a DeuxForms of Intersubjectivity in Infant Reasearch and Adult TreatmentFoundations of Ethical Practice, Research, and Teaching in PsychologyFreud and the Question of PseudoscienceFrom Morality to Mental HealthFundamentals of Psychoanalytic TechniqueGenes on the CouchGod & TherapyHalf Empty, Half FullHandbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for TherapistsHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual ClientsHandbook of Evidence-Based Therapies for Children and AdolescentsHealing the Heart and Mind with MindfulnessHeinz KohutHelping Children Cope With Disasters and TerrorismHigh RiskHistory of PsychotherapyHow and Why Are Some Therapists Better Than Others?How Clients Make Therapy WorkHow People ChangeHow Psychotherapists DevelopHow to Fail As a TherapistHow to Go to TherapyHypnosis for Inner Conflict ResolutionHypnosis for Smoking CessationI Never Promised You a Rose GardenIf Only I Had KnownIn Others' EyesIn SessionIn Therapy We TrustIn Treatment: Season 1Incorporating Spirituality in Counseling and PsychotherapyInside the SessionInside TherapyIs Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Issues in Philosophical CounselingIt's Not as Bad as It SeemsItís Your HourLearning ACTLearning from Our MistakesLearning Supportive PsychotherapyLetters to a Young TherapistLife CoachingLogotherapy and Existential AnalysisLove's ExecutionerMadness and DemocracyMaking the Big LeapMan's Search for MeaningMetaphoria: Metaphor and Guided Metaphor for Psychotherapy and HealingMind GamesMindfulnessMindfulness and AcceptanceMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for DepressionMindworks: An Introduction to NLPMockingbird YearsMoments of EngagementMomma and the Meaning of LifeMotivational Interviewing: Preparing People For ChangeMulticulturalism and the Therapeutic ProcessMultifamily Groups in the Treatment of Severe Psychiatric DisordersNarrative PracticeOn the CouchOne Nation Under TherapyOur Inner WorldOur Last Great IllusionOutsider ArtOutsider Art and Art TherapyOvercoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and BehaviorsOverexposedPathways to SpiritualityPersonality and PsychotherapyPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical Counselling and the UnconsciousPhilosophical Issues in Counseling and PsychotherapyPhilosophical PracticePhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy's Role in Counseling and PsychotherapyPillar of SaltPlan BPlato, Not Prozac!Polarities of ExperiencesPower GamesPractical Psychoanalysis for Therapists and PatientsPrinciples and Practice of Sex TherapyProcess-Based CBTPsychologists Defying the CrowdPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychosis in the FamilyPsychotherapyPsychotherapyPsychotherapy and ConfidentialityPsychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy East and WestPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsPsychotherapy for Personality DisordersPsychotherapy Is Worth ItPsychotherapy Isn't What You ThinkPsychotherapy with Adolescent Girls and Young WomenPsychotherapy with Children and AdolescentsPsychotherapy without the SelfPsychotherapy, American Culture, and Social PolicyRapid Cognitive TherapyRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRationality and the Pursuit of HappinessRebuilding Shattered LivesReclaiming Our ChildrenRecovery OptionsRelationalityRent Two Films and Let's Talk in the MorningSaving the Modern SoulScience and Pseudoscience in Clinical PsychologySecond-order Change in PsychotherapySelf-Compassion in PsychotherapySelf-Determination Theory in the ClinicSelf-Disclosure in Psychotherapy and RecoverySerious ShoppingSex, Therapy, and KidsSexual Orientation and Psychodynamic PsychotherapySigns of SafetySoul Murder RevisitedStaring at the SunStraight to JesusStrangers to OurselvesSubjective Experience and the Logic of the OtherTaking America Off DrugsTales of PsychotherapyTales of UnknowingTalk is Not EnoughTalking Cures and Placebo EffectsTelling SecretsThe Behavioral Medicine Treatment PlannerThe Body in PsychotherapyThe Brief Couples Therapy Homework Planner with DiskThe Case Formulation Approach to Cognitive-Behavior TherapyThe Challenge for Psychoanalysis and PsychotherapyThe Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe Clinical Child Documentation SourcebookThe Clinical Documentation SourcebookThe Complete Adult Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe Couch and the TreeThe Couples Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe Crucible of ExperienceThe Cure of SoulsThe Death of PsychotherapyThe Education of Mrs. BemisThe Ethical Treatment of DepressionThe Ethics of PsychoanalysisThe Gay and Lesbian Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe Gift of TherapyThe Great Psychotherapy Debate: The Evidence for What Makes Psychotherapy Work The Healing JourneyThe Heart & Soul of ChangeThe Heroic ClientThe Husbands and Wives ClubThe Love CureThe Making of a TherapistThe Mindful TherapistThe Mirror Crack'dThe Mummy at the Dining Room TableThe Neuroscience of PsychotherapyThe Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Healing the Social BrainThe New Rational TherapyThe Older Adult Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe Other Side of DesireThe Pastoral Counseling Treatment PlannerThe Philosopher's Autobiography The Pornographer's GriefThe Portable CoachThe Portable Ethicist for Mental Health Professionals The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Problem of EvilThe Problem with Cognitive Behavioural TherapyThe Psychodynamics of Gender and Gender RoleThe Psychotherapy Documentation PrimerThe Psychotherapy Documentation PrimerThe Psychotherapy of HopeThe Real World Guide to Psychotherapy PracticeThe Schopenhauer CureThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Talking CureThe Therapeutic "Aha!"The Therapist's Guide to PsychopharmacologyThe Therapist's Guide to Psychopharmacology, Revised EditionThe Therapist's Ultimate Solution BookThe Trauma of Everyday LifeThe Trouble with IllnessThe UnsayableThe Way of the JournalTheory and Practice of Brief TherapyTherapy with ChildrenTherapy's DelusionsTheraScribe 3.0 for WindowsTheraScribe 4.0Thinking about ThinkingThinking for CliniciansThinking for CliniciansThoughts Without a ThinkerThriveToward a Psychology of AwakeningTracking Mental Health OutcomesTrauma, Truth and ReconciliationTreating Attachment DisordersTreatment for Chronic DepressionTreatment Plans and Interventions for Depression and Anxiety DisordersUnderstanding Child MolestersUnspeakable Truths and Happy EndingsWhat the Buddha FeltWhat Works for Whom?What Works for Whom? Second EditionWhen the Body SpeaksWhispers from the EastWise TherapyWittgenstein and PsychotherapyWorking MindsWoulda, Coulda, ShouldaWriting About PatientsYoga Skills for Therapists:Yoga Therapy
In these days of online ordering, we have learned to brace ourselves for small and unimpressive packages that substitute for life-sized website offerings that we thought we had ordered. Just the opposite occurred when Alexander Batthyány's edited collection on Logotherapy and Existential Analysis: Proceedings of the Viktor Frankl Institute Vienna arrived. This book is far, far more than I imagined and I heartily recommend it to a wide range of readers.
I had expected a modest magazine-sized journal, with updates about logotherapy, existential analysis, and references to Viktor Frankl's life and work (which are impressive in their own right). To my delight, a handsome hard-cover volume appeared, filled with nearly 500 pages of eclectic essays, book reviews, clinical studies, opinion papers, philosophical dialogues, and scientific tables. (Disclaimer: one book review related to R.D. Laing was written by me.)
The backmatter includes a 40-page list of institutes devoted to the study and/or practice of Frankl's unique brand of existential analysis and logotherapy. That alone was an eye-opener.
Not surprisingly, the Viktor Frankl Institute is headquartered in Vienna, birthplace of Frankl (and Freud, Adler, and many more luminaries mentioned in William M. Johnston's 1983 book about The Austrian Mind: An Intellectual and Social History, 1848-1938). The Vienna Institute—the flagship institute—publishes this unique volume.
Curiously, not a single institute is located in either New York City or even New York State, a city otherwise known for its devotion to psychiatry in general and for nurturing more mainstream strains of psychoanalysis in the past. Instead, Birmingham, Alabama and Abilene, Texas, Mishawaka, Indiana, University of Mississippi and Yale's Child Study Center have prominent places in this list. The reach of Frankl institutes worldwide (sans NYC) is striking.
Many readers may be familiar with Frankl's 1946 best-seller, Man's Search for Meaning, which was reprinted and updated many times over. The 1992 introduction, pertaining to the pursuit of happiness and written by Frankl himself, sounds uncannily contemporary. Some of us may know of his book about The Doctor and the Soul (1977), where he recommends an equally contemporary biopsychosocial-spiritual approach that combines soma, psyche, and nous (spirit). Those interested in the interface between psychology and religion may be more aware of Frankl's influence in those spheres, but I would venture a guess that few American mental health professionals are aware of his continuing influence worldwide—until they see Batthyány's book.
Frankl's candid retelling of his concentration camp experiences—where he treated feverish typhoid patients by day, knowing that they would die by nightfall—shows us how he put his message about the pursuit of meaning into practice, even in the most untenable circumstances. Frankl had already completed the draft of his manuscript on existential psychotherapy before he was interred in the Nazi camps and conscripted to serve as a physician. Rather than rehashing well-known points about Frankl's life and legacy, or presenting yet another hagiography, Batthyány's collection moves in different directions. There are many, many noteworthy essays in this book, and too little space to mention them all. I have no doubt that different readers will find something meaningful in the works of specific authors—but I was struck by the thoughtful review of Edward Shorter's History of Psychiatry and by psychiatrist S. Nassir Ghaemi's reflections on a field that was once a stepchild of both history and psychiatry.
Likewise, Professor Christian Perring's review of The Healing Companion: Stories for Courage, Comfort and Strength offers a unique personal as well as professional take on an important topic. This chapter has more clinical applications, in that it revolves around stories about alcohol's effects on the individual and on the lives of others who come into contact with the alcohol over-user. A philosopher by training who chaired his college's department of philosophy of religion, Professor Perring himself has the courage to mention the moral aspect of substance abuse and to challenge the reductionist disease model that is currently in favor.
Dr. S.J. Costello, a philosopher and logotherapist and Director of the Viktor Frankl Institute of Ireland, adds an important essay, "Toward a Tri-Dimensional Model of Happiness: A Logo-Philosophical Perspective." Dmitri Leontiev's "Logotherapy Beyond Psychotherapy: Dealing with the Spiritual Dimension" is also noteworthy, especially since the author writes from the Department of Psychology at Moscow State University, Russia, a locale that was inhospitable to studies of the inner world while under the Soviet regime. The fact that many chapters in this book hail from unlikely locations makes the collection even more intriguing.
Given that "logos" means "the word" in Greek, it is fitting that several essays enhance our everyday English vocabularies. Quotes from James Hillman, a well-established Jungian analyst, inform us that "Doctor" derives from the Latinate docere; which means, "to teach." "Document" originally meant "the lesson". The verb, "to educate," derives from this same root. With this knowledge, psychiatry's concept of "psychoeducation" takes on new meaning.
We get a refresher course (or a first-time course) on the German terminology of Ludwig Binswanger. (Ludwig Binswanger was related to several illustrious psychiatrists and neurologists with the same surname but should be distinguished from Otto Binswanger, who identified "Binswanger's Disease," also known as subcortical vascular dementia, and whose name is linked to Alois Alzheimer, another pioneer of dementia research). A physician and psychiatrist by training, and a devotee of existential philosophy, Ludwig Binswanger spoke of the surrounding world (unwelt), the private inner world (eigewelt) and the public conversational world (mitwelt).Frankl added the spiritual/noetic world to that framework. Frankl's expression/equation DSM or D=S-M (despair equals suffering without meaning) provides an interesting play on words. Was it mere coincidence that Frankl's acronym equates the DSM (the psychiatric Bible of nosology) with the despair that results from suffering without meaning? An interesting topic to ponder.
In this book, we learn that the Dalai Lama claims that the "purpose of life is to be happy." In contrast, Frankl addresses a related issue in his preface to 1992 edition of Man's Search for Meaning. There, Frankl reminds us that "success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's dedication to a cause greater than oneself" (which can be another person). Considering that the "happiness industry" has taken on unprecedented proportions in 21st century American life, and that books about the problems it creates (Ruth Whippman, America the Anxious: How Our Pursuit of Happiness Is Creating a Nation of Nervous Wrecks, New York: St. Martin's Press, 2016) merit New York Times books reviews (Hanna Rosin, October 24, 2016), it is curious that an Austrian analyst known for World War II-era insights anticipated this preoccupation and articulated such a simple solution.
Not every chapter in this collection is so philosophical, and philosophical works are grouped in a separate section on philosophy. There is more than enough material to satisfy psychologists as well as philosophers. This comprehensive book includes chapters on parenting children with autism, the clinical care of end-stage cancer patients, comatose persons with brain death, male retirees, PTSD experiences of Guatemalan kidnap victims, as well as allusions to Freud, Kant, Ricoeur, Aristotle, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Fromm, Kabat-Zinn, and more. I strongly recommend this book for both academic collections and for interested individuals.
© 2016 Sharon Packer
Sharon Packer, MD is a psychiatrist who is in private practice in Soho (NYC) and Woodstock, NY. She is an Asst. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Her books includeDreams in Myth, Medicine and Movies (Praeger, 2002), Movies and the Modern Psyche (Praeger, 2007) and Superheroes and Superegos: The Minds behind the Masks (Praeger/ABC-Clio, 2010). In press or in production are Sinister Psychiatrists in Cinema (McFarland, 2012) and Evil in American Pop Culture (ABC-Clio, 2013, co-edited with J. Pennington, PhD.) She can be contacted at email@example.com .