Mervin Smucker (2015). Frankl’s Views on the Human Quest for Meaning.

Viktor Frankl’s years of personal experience spent as a prisoner in the Nazi concentration camps, and later as a psychiatrist, led him to develop logotherapy – a meaning-oriented psychotherapy that helps individuals to create meaning and purpose out of suffering. From a logotherapy perspective, the quest for meaning to one’s own existence is viewed as the primary motivational force in humans, which may be discovered in three different ways: (1) through achievement, accomplishment or deeds (e.g., through one’s work or occupation), (2) by experiencing something that deeply touches us – e.g., beauty, goodness – or encountering another human being via love, (3) transforming a personal tragedy or crisis into a triumph (e.g., rising above oneself and changing oneself when faced with a hopeless situation that one cannot change).

Mervin Smucker