Another technique is that of dereflection, whereby the therapist diverts the patients away from their problems towards something else meaningful in the world. Perhaps the most commonly known use of this is for sexual dysfunction, since the more one thinks about potency during the sexual act, the less likely one is able to achieve it. The following is a transcript from Frankl's advice to Anna, year old art student who displays severe symptoms of incipient schizophrenia.
She considers herself as being confused and asks for help. Frankl: Don't brood over yourself.
Don't inquire into the source of your trouble. Leave this to us doctors. We will steer and pilot you through the crisis. Well, isn't there a goal beckoning you — say, an artistic assignment?
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Frankl: Don't watch your inner turmoil, but turn your gaze to what is waiting for you. What counts is not what lurks in the depths, but what waits in the future, waits to be actualized by you….
Frankl: Don't focus on questions like this. Whatever the pathological process underlying your psychological affliction may be, we will cure you. Therefore, don't be concerned with the strange feelings haunting you. Ignore them until we make you get rid of them.
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Don't watch them. Don't fight them. Imagine, there are about a dozen great things, works which wait to be created by Anna, and there is no one who could achieve and accomplish it but Anna. No one could replace her in this assignment. They will be your creations, and if you don't create them, they will remain uncreated forever…. Patient: Doctor, I believe in what you say. It is a message which makes me happy. Finally, the logotherapist tries to enlarge the patient's discernment of meaning in at least three ways: creatively, experientially and attitudinally.
Frankl writes that "The logotherapist's role consists in widening and broadening the visual field of the patient so that the whole spectrum of meaning and values becomes conscious and visible to him". A major source of meaning is through the value of all that we create, achieve and accomplish. Frankl writes "Let us ask a mountain-climber who has beheld the alpine sunset and is so moved by the splendor of nature that he feels cold shudders running down his spine — let us ask him whether after such an experience his life can ever again seem wholly meaningless" Frankl, Frankl argued that we always have the freedom to find meaning through meaningful attitudes even in apparently meaningless situations.
For example, an elderly, depressed patient who could not overcome the loss of his wife was helped by the following conversation with Frankl:. Frankl asked "What would have happened if you had died first, and your wife would have had to survive you. Frankl continued, "You see such a suffering has been spared her; and it is you who have spared her this suffering; but now, you have to pay for it by surviving her and mourning her.
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Frankl, Victor Viktor Frankl. Meaning Only when the emotions work in terms of values can the individual feel pure joy Frankl , p. Individuality Frankl is careful to state that he does not have a one-size-fits all answer to the meaning of life. The case of the sweating doctor A young doctor had major hydrophobia. Frankl, Dereflection Another technique is that of dereflection, whereby the therapist diverts the patients away from their problems towards something else meaningful in the world. Patient: What is going on within me?
Patient : But this inner turmoil …. Patient: But what is the origin of my trouble? The more optimistic he was and grateful for all their efforts, the more time they spent with him. When he needed something, they were there—as opposed to his grouchy neighbor who would complain all day about how long it took to get a nurse in to help when he rang his buzzer. Jim and I also witnessed the occupational and physical therapists volunteer an extra hour of time at the end of their shifts. Nurses would change his bed sheets faster, and they would give him extra rice pudding to brighten his mood.
Doctors would check in at off hours and make sure he was keeping up his happy spirit. All of this increased his determination to heal, to walk, and to disprove the pessimistic outlook by the early doctors. What was going on with me simultaneously was a better understanding of how life still continues to ebb and flow around you, even though a crisis strikes. Jim was strangely cocooned inside the hospital. I, on the other hand, came in and out of his world. My personal development came in those moments.
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When I would have to face the world including my boss, who was obviously concerned, but who still had expectations. It came from the stakeholders that I had to serve in my role with whom I chose not to share any of this situation. Six weeks after being rushed to the hospital, Jim walked out of the hospital assisted by his forearm crutches, but he refused the wheelchair.
He would be there when we delivered our second child. Jim would never go back to play, and that took some getting used to. But what did happen was this: a life focused on learning how to give back to the world. Jim and I would start on our mission to give others the same psychological tools to walk out of a hospital after six weeks—or at the very least, better handle the massive shifts that life hands us.
We spend most of our time working with employers to help them make workplaces healthier and happier. It will be our legacy.
My favorite story in the book is about the morning nurse and the night nurse. This story is still highly resonant for me as well! As I watch him continue to be the best human he can be, I know this one moment in time would be part of what defined our future. About two weeks into his rehab hospital stay, Jim told me this story about one of his recovery nurses.
Despite all of the requests to stay in bed and use a bedpan, Jim would refuse. See, Jim still had a powerful desire to compete and win. When he had to make his way to the bathroom, he would call his nurse to come help him drag his feet across the room.
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What most of us would take for granted as a ten second effort, was torturously lengthy for Jim. But, he was determined to maintain dignity and believed it mattered to his healing. Since Jim would repetitively request the nurses to help him get from his bed to the bathroom, it was sometimes met with frustration. The process was long and painful and, eager to get back to work, nurses would have to wait patiently for Jim as he would take a rest about halfway to his goal. This completely gutted Jim. When I saw him later, his demotivation could be felt on his face, and throughout his sluggish body.
This comment would haunt Jim.
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But it would also motivate him. Not one to take loss lying down, he would get back up and initiate the excruciatingly slow walk to the bathroom. Would you share some of the research findings in the field of neural and psychological sciences that you find promising in the field of happiness? Neural and psychological sciences are deeply rooted in our work. We have a team of PhDs analyzing how our daily habits impact our mood and subsequently make us who we are.
Novel research focused on memory is quite exciting.