How Can the Logotherapist assist the Patient in Combating their Noogenic Neuroses?
The logotherapist's role is dissimilar to that of a painters. The logotherapist displays the characteristics of the optometrist. In the case of a painter, their picture illustrates to the individual their perception of the world, but it is the optometrist that enables the individual to explore the world, and allows them to see the world through their own eyes (Frankl, 2004). Similar to the optometrist, the logotherapist provides the tools that enable the individual to broaden and expand their visual field. The logotherapist assists the patient in realizing that it is their responsibility to find a meaning and a purpose in life ( Frankl, 2004).


Frankl uses the term paradoxical intention to describe a technique that is used by the logotherapist. This technique is applied by the logotherapist, in order to break down the neurotic vicious cycles (Boree, 2006). Paradoxical intention commands the patient to embrace the very thing that they fear. The effectiveness of this method can be illustrated by observing the case of a young man who perspired in social settings. To alleviate the man's frustration and embarrassment, Frankl told him to try to sweat even more than he previously did (Boree, 2006). To the young man's astonishment the sweating began to decrease due to absurdness of the thought of sweating more. This new approach of viewing the mans sweating broke the vicious cycle and alleviated him of his problem . This method can also be used with patients suffering from insomnia, instead of aimlessly trying to fall asleep, Frankl advises them to take control, get up, move around and try one's best to remain awake and undoubtedly the ability to sleep will shortly ensue (Boree, 2006). The effectiveness of this technique can also be observed in Ascher and Ralph's (1979) experiment.

Another technique utilized by Frankl is, dereflection. This refers to the method of refocusing the patients attention away from themselves (Frankl, 2004). Frankl believes that an individual's concentration and fascination only with themselves is the cause of many people's problems (Boree, 2006). Frankl maintains that this type of self reflection turns the patient away from the true goal in life, and that is finding a meaning in one's life (Frankl, 1963). Frankl uses the area of sexual pleasure to validate this theory. Frankl describes how when partners strive to achieve ultimate satisfaction (i.e. having an orgasm) within a sexual capacity, they fail, but by redirecting their attention to other expressions of affection ultimate satisfaction is reached (Boree, 2006).
Frankl stresses that while the above techniques are useful they are by no means the solution to the individual's deeper problem. They provide a starting point to achieve the long term goal: that is to enable the patient to find a meaning in their life and in turn eliminate their vicious cycles (Boree, 2006).
In essence, the Logotherapist's task is to assist the patient and to help them on their journey of self- discovery. A journey embarked upon to find and give meaning to their lives. For "he who has a why to live for can bear almost any how"(Nietzsche,1963;as cited in Boeree, 2006, p.3)..The passage below encompasses the true nature of logotherapy.


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