Academic journal article Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

Professional Books -- Existential Family Therapy: Using the Concepts of Victor Frankl by J. Lantz

Academic journal article Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

Professional Books -- Existential Family Therapy: Using the Concepts of Victor Frankl by J. Lantz

Article excerpt

Lantz, J. (1993). Existential family therapy: Using the concepts of Victor Frankl. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 205 pp., no price.

This book makes a significant contribution to our field by introducing the often overlooked existential concepts of Viktor Frankl's work (logotherapy) to marital and family therapy. Operating from the belief that the family group presents the best opportunity for discovering and experiencing meaning, Lantz skillfully applies existential concepts to the family process.

Central to this approach are the ideas that meaning exists in all situations, no matter how mundane or how horrifying, and that the single most compelling human need is to discover meaning in our own personal existence. When meaning is too elusive, an existential vacuum develops, presaging the onset of a number of symptoms and problems (anxiety, anomic depression, despair, confusion, etc.).

A variety of treatment techniques, including existential reflection, Socratic dialogue, dereflection, paradoxical intention, network intervention, and social skills training (communication training and problem-solving skills) are described throughout this volume. While these techniques are clearly conceptualized and applied via clinical vignettes, the real strength of this book lies in its willingness to embrace a philosophical perspective about the process of therapy. We are too often programed to seek specific techniques and clever strategies; this book promotes an approach that emphasizes authenticity, genuineness, and personal encounter. …

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