Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

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Where to start with this life-changing book? Frankl was the founder of what became known as the Third Viennese school of Psychotherapy (after Freud’s psychoanalysis and Adler’s individual psychology) and many regard his work as representing the most important developments in the field of psychotherapy since Freud, Adler and Jung.

Frankl survived Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps during World War 2, and during that time he witnessed the full spectrum of human behaviour. From this emerged his school of thought that focuses on the future and its purpose by understanding the meaning of past experiences, including pain, humiliation, and even torture. He posits that the last of the human freedoms over which an individual has control is the ability to choose how they grant meaning to and therefore derive power from any circumstance.

If Freud explained behaviour and thoughts in terms of gender and sex; if Adler explained human behaviour as being broadly motivated by 50 shades of power, then Frankl offered a means to bypass a fatalistic acceptance of determinism, and instead find personal freedom and happiness through the exercise of choice and an understanding of one's unique purpose. If Frankl’s story and his philosophy resonate with you then be prepared for your life to change…..for the better of course.