Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Logotherapeutic Management of Persons with Substance Abuse/dependence

Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Logotherapeutic Management of Persons with Substance Abuse/dependence

Article excerpt


The paper examines the logotherapeutic management of persons with substance abuse/dependence which involves the utilization of a multi- displinary approach. Therefore, the paper highlights how this view is in relationship with the concept of logotherapy about man that comprises biological, psychological and spiritual dimensions which the management of substance abuse has to be based upon. Thus, efforts are made to describe logotherapy and logotherapeutic view of substance abuse/dependence.

It is concluded with arguments on the need to include logotherapeutic approach to the management of persons with substance abuse/dependence.


The management of persons with substance abuse/ dependence involves a multidisplinary approach. This is in line with the concept of logotherapy which views man as having biological/ somatic / physiological, psychological and spiritual dimension. Frankl (2004 & 1988) makes us to realize that the three dimensions must be taken care of when we are healthy. Therefore, our lifestyles should also reflect those three dimensions of man. Likewise, in therapy, efforts must be made to take care of the three dimensions. As a result of this view, the paper would look at the meaning of logotherapy and logotherapeutic view of substance abuse/ dependence. Furthermore, the paper would highlight the methods of managing persons with substance abuse/ dependence. It would be concluded with appeal to all practitioners working with persons with substance abuse/ dependence to consider the use of logotherapy in their practices.

What is Logotherapy?

Logotherapy is meaning - oriented psychotherapy. That is, therapy through meaning. The basic belief in logotherapy is that the best protection against emotional instability and the greatest security for psychological health is for man to have meaning fulfillment in his life.

Logotherapy was developed by Prof. Viktor E. Frankl, a philosopher, psychiatrist, and a renowned third Viennese Psychotherapist in the 1920s. He was named after the second one, Adler and the first one, Freud.

Frankl (2004 & 1988) posited that the primary motivation of man in life is to seek for meaning which is constant with man as long as he lives on earth. This is different from Freud's view which sees man's primary motivation as seeking for pleasure or material things in life by avoiding pain or anxieties created from the intrapsychic conflicts. Also, Adler's view of the primary motivation of man is to seek for power, by trying to move away from "inferiority complex". Frankl (2004 & 1988) had observed this view of human nature from his patients and his many years of experience in Austria, other countries in Europe, USA, Asia, South America, South Africa and other countries he had visited that most people had gained pleasure or material things such as wealth and other things in their lives. That is, they have everything in life. Yet, they are not happy and they are not enjoying their lives as expected of them. Likewise, most people who have gained power in their lives were expected to be happy and be enjoying life with their power. But in reality they are frustrated and have nothing to live for, despite their wealth or power. For this reason, Frankl (2004 & 1988), who was a former follower of the two schools of psychotherapy had to propound his own theory known as "Existenzanalize", translated in English as existential psychotherapy, which is same with Logotherapy. It is pertinent to note that Frankl (2004 & 1988) had to coin logotherapy in order to differentiate it from many existential psychotherapies. Also, to avoid confusing it with the English translation at that period. According to Frankl (2004 & 1988), logotherapy comes from the Greek word logo which is meaning. Therefore, it is justified if it is called the therapy through meaning or meaning centered therapy.

Frankl (2004 & 1988) believes that meaning in life is built upon three pillars which are freedom, the will to meaning and the meaning in life. …

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