A Coaching Model By Kristin Oberweger, Life Coach, AUSTRIA
LOGOS: Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy
In my coaching model, I follow the mindset of Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy (. Frankl’s concepts and his understanding of mankind can be seen as my “backbone” – the purpose why I believe that every client is capable to find resources inside him/herself to solve problems. Besides, I think we do definitely need more people with a feeling or a knowledge of meaning in their life – as this is the main prophylaxis for lapsing into depression and neuroses as a result of unfulfilled expectations regarding happiness or success.
To give you an impression of Viktor E. Frankl, please have a look at the video:
“The will to meaning” Viktor E. Frankl (University Vienna)
In this video, Viktor E. Frankl explains the importance of supporting clients/humans to (re)find their will to meaning.
Still, nowadays Viktor E. Frankl’s thesis provides the basis for well-known researchers and philosophers:
Frankl’s main contribution to the world of psychotherapy was what he called “logotherapy”, which treats psychological problems by helping people find meaning in their lives. Rather than just seeking happiness, he proposed, we can seek a sense of purpose that life offers us. (Daniel Goleman in the introduction of “Yes to life” by Viktor E.Frankl 1988, 2020)
While fulfilling meaning in this world (Frankl’s credo was: the best to realize for me, my family, my beloved, and the world in this concrete situation) will make a human satisfied and leave him rich in a meaningful sense at the end of his/her life.
Therefore I decided to find the most important expressions Frankl uses in his concept. Overall NOUS and LOGOS are the leading ones:
Nous (UK: /naʊs/, US: /nuːs/), sometimes equated to intellect or intelligence, is a term from classical philosophy for the faculty of the human mind necessary for understanding what is true or real. English words such as “understanding” are sometimes used, but three commonly used philosophical terms come directly from classical languages: νοῦς or νόος (from Ancient Greek), intellēctus, and intellegentia (from Latin). To describe the activity of this faculty, the word intellection is sometimes used in philosophical contexts, as well as the Greek words noēsis and noeîn (νόησις, νοεῖν). This activity is understood in a similar way (at least in some contexts) to the modern concept of intuition.
LOGOS the Notion of Logotherapy
Logos The notion of Logotherapy was created with the Greek word logos (“meaning”). Frankl’s concept is based on the premise that the primary motivational force of an individual is to find a meaning in life. The following list of tenets represents basic principles of logotherapy:
- Life has meaning under all circumstances, even the most miserable ones.
- Our main motivation for living is our will to find meaning in life.
- We have freedom to find meaning in what we do, and what we experience, or at least in the stance we take when faced with a situation of unchangeable suffering.
My Approach to “LOGOS It’s All About Meaning”
One half of the circle stands for NOUS – The human-looking into the world with all senses, cognitive behaviour, instincts and intuition – searching for meaning in life (with the so-called “will to meaning”)
On the opposite half of the circle we see LOGOS – all kinds of meaning outside of the human – ad personam et ad situationem – so individually foundable for every person in a specific situation.
Both circle halves tend to draw together IF the human/client is willing and open to looking outside into the world. Whenever both halves find together or even on the way to an overarching goal/meaning in life the human will be on a very satisfying and will experience him or herself in a very meaningful way.
Helping clients align themselves to meaning in their life can support all transformations in coaching. As well as vice versa coaching helps to detect obstacles to the way of self-transcendence and some kind of “ego detachment”.
Viktor Frankl’s concept also tells us that humans who are aligned to meaning have more power to overcome obstacles and strokes of fate – as they know WHY they are following their path.
As epiphenomenon happiness, satisfaction and success may be fulfilled – with Frankl you never intend to work directly in the coaching process to reach e.g. satisfaction. But with alignment to meaning satisfaction will be a highly welcomed “side product”.
AND the real meaning NEVER overwhelms or under challenges – this is a valuable guideline for finding a good balance.
Happiness is like a butterfly, the more you try to catch it, the more it flies away. If you focus on other things, it will come and sit on your shoulder. Viktor E. Frankl
In a nutshell my Coaching Model “LOGOS it’s all about meaning” stands for my mindset as a coach to believe in the power and healing of meaning for humans.
Providing a trustful setting, where clients can feel the promise that there IS some meaning out there for everyone under all circumstances, helps the client to open up for self-detachment and further transformation.
Also my Power Tool “DIScovering vs. Covering” helps my clients to find the courage to flake off old beliefs, biases or habits.
He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how. ― Friedrich Nietzsche
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Viktor E. Frankl: “The unheard cry for meaning Psychotherapy & Humanism” 1978
Viktor E. Frankl: “Yes To life despite of everything” 1988, 2020
Elisabeth Lukas: “Lehrbuch der Logotherapie” 2014