SEARCH FOR MEANING
“If you take man for what he really is we make him work, but if we take him as he should be, we make him capable of becoming what he can be.”
According to the legendary psychiatrist and Holocaust-survivor Viktor E. Frankl this should be the motto for psychotherapy in general. The challenge he places on the community is to walk in the realization of a person’s will and search for meaning and purpose in life.
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An English teacher after a long period of teaching low achievers; is shocked when a student suddenly comes along who submits original and high quality work. Even to the point of ongoing questioning of that student in regards to the authenticity of his or her submitted essay.
Over the years the echo of an high school teacher’s outburst to a student of “young man you would never amount to much in life,” fades further and further into the abyss as that young student applied himself to a life of academia, top vocations, fatherhood and family life.
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Are our sights set too low towards our fellow man whereby our expectations for them to achieving much in life is outrageously below where it should be? Have all the negative experiences and disappointments sucked any hope of expecting outright success in those whom society are quick to profile as “low achievers”, “unproductive”, “criminals” or even “disabled”?
Generally, people’s hope for someone in particular to achieving much in life weathers even the harshest of storms of doubt. However, the key is in the detail of how best to support that person from A to B to C and ultimately to the achieved outcome. This is where the work really begins. It requires commitment, energy, enthusiasm, vision, resources and a clear understanding of the logis-tics.
Faith in Families considers working from a strength base perspective when assisting families; as being paramount to instill hope and purpose in people’s lives. It identifies the need for communities-at-large to access quality mentors and mentoring programmes to give that extra support!
NOTE: Viktor Emil Frankl was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. His best-selling book, ‘Man’s Search for Mean-ing’ (published under a different title in 1959: ‘From Death-Camp to Exist-entialism’), chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate and describes his psychotherapeutic method of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most sordid ones, and thus a reason to continue living. Frankl was one of the key figures in existential therapy.