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Saturday, December 10, 2011

#36 Logotherapy and Positive Psychology

Click here to download Logotherapy and Positive Psychology.

This podcast explores the similarities and differences between Logotherapy and Positive Psychology.  Areas considered include definitions, philosophical background, foundations, techniques, current research, major differences and areas of compatibility.

For more information on Positive Psychology, please see:

Shrink Rap Radio #276 – At The Second World Congress on Positive Psychology: Part 1 with Dr. Martin Seligman & Others

Shrink Rap Radio #277 – At The 2nd World Congress on Positive Psychology: Part 2 with Dr. Ed Diener & Others

Shrink Rap Radio #281 – Short Interviews from Positive Psychology Congress and A Laughter Yoga Session

The Wise Counsel Podcast: An Interview with John Drimmer Psy.D. on Positive Psychology

Positive Psychology Center

For more information on Logotherapy and Existential Analysis, please see:

The Wise Counsel Podcast: An Interview with Marshall Lewis, M.A., on Logotherapy

The Viktor Frankl Institute Vienna

What is Logotherapy and Existential Analysis

Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy

For the self-discovery tools mentioned on today's podcast, please see:

Hutzell, Robert R. and Eggert, Mary D.  (1989, 1995, 2009).  A Workbook to Increase Your Meaningful and Purposeful Goals (2009 PDF Edition).  Online at:

VIA Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS)

Thank you for listening. Please email any questions or comments to and may you have a meaningful day.


  1. Thanks Marshall. I enjoyed that. It was a good comparison I think.

    I find some aspects of the Positive Psychology movement a bit disturbing. They minimise people who have had the same project as them in the past (like Frankl for instance - and the whole movement roughly called 'Humanistic Psychology'). And I'm not sure I feel great about it's use by governments - it has huge potential to be used to blame the victim I think (I'm in Australia where the government likes to case manage the unemployed rather than do something about creating jobs, so I might be responding to the specifics of my country).

    I confess too to a bit of worry about Logotherapy getting organised and so on. I really hope the next congress doesn't kill the spirit with regulation.

    Thanks for the podcast.

  2. Hi, Evan, I appreciate your comments.

    You are right, of course, about positive psychology often failing to cite Frankl and the humanists who have come before them. Others in logotherapy and humanist psychology have pointed this out - with varying degrees of emotion about it. I think the positive psychology case would be stronger if they acknowledged that their research ideas came from somewhere!

    I would hope to calm your fears about logotherapy regulation. I don't see that really happening. My understanding is that the Vienna Congress hopes to move logotherapy more into the mainstream worldwide, but it is not organized as a "top-down" process.

  3. Hi Marshall, thanks for your reassurance about logotherapy.

    My concern wasn't about the top down nature of the process more about that it might be a bureaucratic style. Due to the assumptions in western culture a bureaucratic system can be favoured by those at the bottom too. Hope this makes sense.