Click here to download Franklian Diagnostics and Clinical Indications for the Use of Logotherapy
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This month's podcast combines two related topics that are an outgrowth of the logotherapy clinical practicum that I am currently completing.
Viktor Frankl's diagnostic system was based on presumed cause of a disorder and primary presentation of the disorder. The most detailed explanation of Franklian diagnostics can be found in Frankl's On the Theory and Therapy of Mental Disorders. I made the table below to help me follow along in the book. Clicking on the picture below should enlarge it.
For an account of the DSM-IV-TR category of "Religious or Spiritual Problem" please see:
Lukoff, D., Lu, F., and Turner, R. From spiritual emergency to spiritual problem: The transpersonal roots of the new DSM-IV category. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 38(2), 21-50, 1998.
To note its absence in the proposed DSM-5, please visit http://www.dsm5.org/.
Clinical Indications for the Use of Logotherapy
Viktor Frankl outlines five indications for the use of Logotherapy:
1. Logotherapy is a specific treatment when the source of the psychological disturbance is a lack of meaning-orientation. Logotherapy then aids in the discovery of personal meaning. Frankl referred to this condition as the "noogenic neurosis." Several modern tools are available to measure personal meaning. I use the Meaning in Life Questionnaire, available here:
Steger, Michael F., Patricia Frazier, and Shigehiro Oishi, "The Meaning in Life Questionnaire: Assessing the Presence of and Search for Meaning in Life," Journal of Counseling Psychology 53 (2006): 80-93. Online at:
2. Logotherapy is a non-specific treatment when the source of the disturbance is rooted in physiology or psychology. Specific logotherapeutic methods such as paradoxical intention and dereflection may be helpful in such cases. In these cases, Logotherapy is seen as an adjunct to other treatments and may be combined with other treatments.
3. Medical Ministry: This is Frankl's term for the use of Logotherapy in situations of terminal illness. In such cases, Logotherapy is used to help patients retain an orientation toward the meaning of their lives up to the very end.
4. On the level of society, Logotherapy is seen as a tool to counter the influence of nihilism.
5. Within the medical and therapeutic community, Logotherapy is seen as a tool to counter reductionism,
Finally, the proposal that I made to my employer to allow me to engage in the clinical practicum is offered below. I offer this for the use of others who may be in a similar situation. My employer is a community mental health center:
Thank you for listening. Please email any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and may you have a meaningful day.