Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Viktor Frankl as a Basis for Coaching Practice

I am exploring resources for a paper I am writing as a final requirement in my work with International Coach Academy and I thought I'd like to share this one. The following is from the website of the Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy (link below). While I recognize there is a boundary between coaching and therapy, I think each can learn from the other. At any rate, I think many of Viktor Frankl's primary premises, or assumptions, are at the core of good coaching practice.

Assumptions of Logotherapy

The assumptions of Franklian Psychotherapy can neither be proved nor disproved with any certainty. This is also true with all psychotherapies. To see if these assumptions make sense in our lives we must assume that they are true. According to experiences of Logotherapist, these assumptions make sense. These assumptions include:

1. The human being is an entity consisting of body, mind, and spirit.

2. Life has meaning under all circumstances, even the most miserable.

3. People have a will to meaning.

4. People have freedom under all circumstances to activate the will to find meaning.

5. Life has a demand quality to which people must respond if decisions are to be meaningful.

6. The individual is unique.

The first assumption deals with the body (soma), mind (psyche), and spirit (noos). According to Frankl, the body and mind are what we have and the spirit is what we are.

Assumption two is “ultimate meaning”. This is difficult to grasp but it is something everyone experiences and it represents an order in a world with laws that go beyond human laws.

The third assumption is seen as our main motivation for living and acting. When we see meaning we are ready for any type of suffering. This is considered to be different than our will to achieve power and pleasure.

Assumption four is that we are free to activate our will to find meaning and this can be done under any circumstances. This deals with change of attitudes about unavoidable fate. Frankl was able to test the first four assumptions when he was confined in the concentration camps.

The fifth assumption, the meaning of the moment, is more practical in daily living than ultimate meaning. Unlike ultimate meaning this meaning can be found and fulfilled. This can be done by following the values of society or by following the voice of our conscience.

The sixth assumption deals with one’s sense of meaning. This is enhanced by the realization that we are irreplaceable. In essence, all humans are unique with an entity of body, mind and spirit. We all go through unique situations and are constantly looking to find meaning. We are free to do this at all times in response to certain demands.

No comments: