Viktor Frankl Dedication
In times of crisis, people reach for meaning. Meaning is strength. Our survival may depend on our seeking and finding it.
~ Viktor Frankl
This page is a tribute to Viktor Frankl and his contribution to humanity that will propagate and serve countless generations ahead.
Without the work of Viktor Frankl, I may not have survived the loss of my son Danny, an Army Combat Veteran of two deployments to Afghanistan.
In the early dark days of my loss, if I stood still to mourn, I felt my pain would eat me alive.
Heeding Viktor’s message, I found my path forward by searching for meaning in my suffering; I became the wounded healer, adopting “at-risk” Veterans and sheepherding them through their difficult transitions to safety.
During my time in purgatory as a wounded healer, roughly ten years, I learned a great deal about helping Veterans and their families find meaning and purpose in their suffering as well. As my heart healed, I witnessed incredible transformations in the people I helped on their way, asking nothing in return.
During this period, I completed a project Danny and I had conceptualized before his passing.
Veterans who need help the most either can’t or won’t seek it due to both real and perceived barriers to care.
Our country needs to develop more ways to reach “at-risk” Veterans that are confidential and discrete.
Our solution was to create an audiobook where Veterans could get help in the privacy of their own minds, where no one would know. We also wanted an audiobook where family members of Veterans could gain insights and understanding to be of better support.
The overriding theme woven throughout the audiobook is the need to re-create who we are becoming after military service in four distinct areas: Re-inventing our sense of identity, mission, meaning, and purpose.
What is presented is a personal development approach to dealing with triggers, trauma, and the critical mind that constantly hijacks our attention and steals precious time from our lives.
Viktor E. Frankl, 1929
With a lifetime that spanned most of the 20th Century, Viktor Emil Frankl (March 26, 1905 –September 2, 1997) was witness to a transformative period in world history. He is most known for being a Holocaust survivor, but in reality, this represented a short period in his long life.
By the time he entered the concentration camps at 37 years old, he had already spent much of his adult life as a psychiatrist and neurologist, specializing in the treatment of suicidal patients.
He had also developed his own psychology theory called Logotherapy (Greek for “healing through meaning”). His lasting contribution has been to the field of psychology, with his recognition of meaning as a factor in mental health and his advocacy that the psychologist’s role was to help their patients find meaning.
Frankl was so interested in psychology that he began taking adult night classes when he was in junior high school. He was an honor student prior to beginning his self-directed education and his grades subsequently dropped. He studied philosophy and learned hypnosis at the age of 15. Frankl had his first article published when he was 18 and by 22, he was lecturing on the meaning of life.
In 1930, at the age of 25, he organized free youth counseling centers in Vienna that successfully combated the epidemic of teen suicides occurring around the time of report cards. Within a year, suicides dropped to zero.
Man’s Search for Meaning
by Viktor E. Frankel
Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival.
Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose.
Frankl’s theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”)-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.
At the time of Frankl’s death in 1997, Man’s Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four languages. A 1991 reader survey for the Library of Congress that asked readers to name a “book that made a difference in your life” found Man’s Search for Meaning among the ten most influential books in America.
Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy: The Discovery of Meaning