Viktor Frankl, Austrian psychologist, Holocaust survivor, and founder of Logotherapy. Viktor Frankl2 by Prof. Dr. Franz Vesely. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 de via Wikimedia Commons

Annotated Links

The Art of Presence As a Lifeboat in Turbulent Times and What Suffering Teaches Us About the Meaning of Life. Maria Popova for Brain Pickings describes Frankl’s concept of presence which comes from accepting [one's] suffering as a task. Posted March, 2014.

e-Textbook From the electronic textbook created for undergraduate and graduate courses in Personality Theories by George Boeree of Shippensburg University.

Exhibit This online exhibit, Viktor Frankl: The man, his message and his principles, was hosted in honor of the 100th anniversary of his birth in 1995 by the Knowledge Gallery at the Global Dialogue Center.

Happy Birthday, Viktor Frankl: Timeless Wisdom on the Human Search for Meaning In recognition of Viktor Frankl's birthday, science writer Maria Popova summarizes Frankl's theory and how we create meaning out of purposeful work, love, and courage in the face of difficulty, using excerpts from his work and photos of Frankl and others.

Holocaust A good source of background information on the Holocaust including cybertours of Auschwitz and Birkenau, two of the four camps where Frankl spent time.

International Network on Personal Meaning From the website: The INPM is dedicated to advancing health, spirituality, peace and human fulfillment through research, education and applied psychology with a focus on the universal human quest for meaning and purpose.

Introduction to Viktor Frankl's Logotherapy by Irmeli Sjølie, Diplomate in Logotherapy, Vancouver, October 2, 2002.

The Meaningful Life is a Road Worth Traveling A Stanford research project explored the key differences between lives of happiness and meaningfulness. While the two are similar, dramatic differences exist – and one should not underestimate the power of meaningfulness. "The quest for meaning is a key part of what makes us human," Jennifer Aaker and her colleagues concluded. From the Stanford News, January 1, 2014.

More or Less Actualized? Psychologist Ann Reitan reflects on Abraham Maslow's notion of self-actualization. First, she explains what it is, then she muses on what it means for different people at different times in their lives, drawing on the work of Eric Erikson. Finally, she suggests that self-actualizing people may find meaning at lower levels of the hierarchy, such as when their needs are being threatened. She gives examples of people who she believed were actualizing while facing death (e.g., Viktor Frankl), fearing for their safety (e.g., Nelson Mandela), losing their freedom (e.g., Ghandi), and experiencing mental illness (e.g., Sylvia Plath). From Brain Blogger, January 8, 2013.

Sense of Belonging Increases Meaningfulness of Life [B]elonging to a group provided meaning over and above the value of others or the help they could provide. It’s more than just bonding, therefore, but really feeling like you are fitting in with others which is associated with higher levels of meaningfulness. Just the reverse effect has been shown in previous studies. People who feel excluded from social groups tend to feel that life has less meaning, according to new research by Lambert et al. (2013) and summarized here in PsyBlog, November 25, 2013.

There's More to Life Than Being Happy According to Viktor Frankl, It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness, and yet Americans, and American psychology is obsessed with happiness. Meaningfulness and happiness are not the same thing, and this article draws on new work by Roy Baumeister, Kathleen Vohs, Jennifer Aaker & Emily Garbinsky (2013) to understand the difference. From The Atlantic, January 9, 2013. Their forthcoming paper in the Journal of Positive Psychology is available here: http://tinyurl.com/b8mbayk (opens in PDF format).

Viktor Frankl Obituary. Viktor E. Frankl, who used his experiences as a prisoner in German concentration camps in World War II to write Man's Search for Meaning, an enduring work of survival literature, and to open new avenues for modern psychotherapy, died on Tuesday in Vienna. He was 92 and was considered to be one of the last of the great Viennese psychiatrists. From The New York Times, September 4, 1997.

Obituary Viktor Frankl's obituary in the Associated Press written by Roland Prinz, Wednesday, September 3, 1997.

Find quotes from Viktor Frankl and others here and here.

Leo Tolstoy on Finding Meaning in a Meaningless World Maria Popova for Brain Pickings describes how Leo Tolstoy experienced depression and suicidal thoughts which led to A Confession, his meditation on the meaning of life. Posted June, 2014.

Tribute A tribute to the life and work of Viktor Frankl by Paul G. Durbin.

Viktor Frankl Institut provides many resources for teaching about the life and work of Viktor Frankl, including a chronology of Frankl's life and work with photographic illustrations, a 6-minute video interview of Frankl for streaming, a photo album biography, Frankl's Vienna with an interactive map, information about the Viktor Frankl Archives, an overview of Frankl's theory and the techniques of Logotherapy, and much more.

Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy Berkeley, California provides educational courses, and information about Frankl including an overview of his life and works, publications, and practice of logotherapy on their website.

Viktor Frankl Museum Frankl’s former residence in Vienna, Austria is now home to the Worldwide Viktor Frankl Museum. The museum features exhibits, classes, lectures, and events and in the course of learning about the development of a genius, visitors also gain insight into their own opportunities and personal potential.

Viktor Frankl at Ninety: An Interview published in the journal First Things by Matthew Scully. Scully, M. (1995, April). Viktor Frankl at Ninety: An Interview. First Things, 52, 39-43.

Assignments, Exercises, and Activities

Electronic Texts

El Hombre En Busca de Sentido A Spanish translation of Viktor Frankl's (1946) Book Man's Search for Meaning (opens in PDF format).

Examples and Illustrations

Lecture Notes

Slide Presentations

Tests, Measures, and Scales

Meaning in Life Questionnaire Michael F. Steger, director of the Laboratory for the Study of Meaning and Quality of Life explains The Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ) is a 10-item measure of the Presence of Meaning in Life, and the Search for Meaning in Life.

Multimedia Resources

Existential-Humanistic Psychotherapy and Education Shrink Rap Radio: A Psychology talk and Interview Show (Podcast; Show #115, October 14th, 2007). In this episode, Dr. Dave talks with Myrtle Heery, Ph.D., M.F.T., Associate Professor of Psychology, Sonoma State University and Adjunct Faculty at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, California and Director of the International Institute of Humanistic Studies through which she offers two-year training program nationally and internationally for helping professionals. She discusses the basics of existential-humanistic psychotherapy which emphasizes the present moment and the choices which face us, and a brief overview of the five tenets of existential therapy.

How We Elevate Each Other: Viktor Frankl on the Human Spirit and Why Idealism Is the Best Realism In an excerpt from a 1972 lecture at the University of Toronto, Viktor Frankl brimming with his humble wisdom and disarming wit… makes a beautiful case for believing in each other and viewing the human spirit with hope rather than cynicism. Runs 4 minutes, 21 seconds.

Viktor Frankl Institut provides many resources for teaching about the life and work of Viktor Frankl, including a chronology of Frankl's life and work with photographic illustrations, a 6-minute video interview of Frankl for streaming, a photo album biography, Frankl's Vienna with an interactive map, information about the Viktor Frankl Archives, an overview of Frankl's theory and the techniques of Logotherapy, and much more.

Viktor Frankl Documentary. The Viktor Frankl Institute, Vienna, Austria posted this 3-part documentary interview with Viktor Frankl on You Tube. Watch Part I (8 minutes, 41 seconds), Part II (10 minutes, 27 seconds), and Part III (9 minutes, 35 seconds) here.

Viktor Frankl on Behaviorism Frankl discusses his theory of logotherapy and Skinner's theory of behaviorism and the impact of each on human behavior. Excerpted from a longer film (6 minutes, 46 seconds).

Viktor Frankl on Logotheory and Logotherapy. This 6 minute and 32 second video originally ran on U.S. television in 1972. Frankl describes the existential vacuum, mass neurosis, and the search for meaning.

Viktor Frankl Man Alive (1977) Frankl discusses his theories and his message of hope as an antidote to the problem of meaninglessness in this two-part interview from the 1977 TV program Man Alive (Part 1 runs 4 minutes and 28 seconds). Part 2 is available here (4 minutes, 23 seconds)


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