In our world, there is a growing unease, a sense of frustration and anxiety among individuals from all walks of life. There is a gnawing feeling that maybe there must be something more than "success," a promotion, the latest technology, a new car. The question that comes to mind is "is this all there is?" "Could there be something more?" "Does my life have meaning?"
Meaningful Living, (2nd expanded edition) by Elisabeth Lukas gives a thorough introduction to the theory and practice of logotherapy. Individual chapters detail the application of modulation of attitudes, paradoxical intention, dereflection, and the suggestive technique. Numerous case studies are used to illuminate the theory throughout. Elisabeth Lukas and Bianca Hirsch present a concise overview of logotherapy theory and praxis in the second part.
Excerpts from the book: There is an order in the universe despite chaos, destruction, and injustice. In this worldview, all of creation is full of meaning, and every life situation has its unique meaning, opportunities, and possibilities. (p. 164)
True human freedom is never freedom from but always freedom to something. Freedom goes beyond release from rules and guidelines by outer authority. Its corollary is the freedom to follow inner authority--self-chosen tasks, commitments, goals. Freedom is not doing as we please but pleasure in doing what we consider meaningful. (p. 19)
To cure and prevent worldwide meaninglessness is not merely a matter of psychotherapeutic methods or interpretation of symptoms. It is a matter of defining a new concept of human nature. (p.22)
Distress does not inevitably cause psychological collapse; it may contain the possibility of finding new meanings....To solve conflicts it is not always essential to dig up childhood traumas or to focus on an unhappy past. It may be more important to widen and strengthen the inner meaning orientation of individuals so they can grow from distress situations instead of being defeated by them. Distress does not inevitably cause psychological collapse; it may contain the possibility of finding new meanings. (p. 14)