Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) grew up in Vienna and was one of the first individuals to develop modern-day Existential Therapy. During the Second World War, Frankl, his wife, and most of his family were sent to concentration camps. Here, Frankl would see the horrors of the evil that surrounded him and yet would be able to maintain a sense of hope and dignity. His ability to do this convinced him that one can choose one’s attitude at any moment in time and that how we bring meaning into our lives is a function of the kinds of choices we make, even when there is dread around us. While in the concentration camps, Frankl was able to write down his theory on small scraps of paper and after the war ended, wrote Man’s Search for Meaning and The Doctor and the Soul which told of the horrors he experienced and highlighted some of the basic ideas to his theory. His approach, called Logotherapy, became known as the third wave of Viennese psychology, and followed Freud’s psychoanalytic approach and the Individual Psychology approach of Alfred Adler.
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