Geriatric Logotherapy: Exploring the Psychotherapeutics of Memory in Treating the Elderly

John H. Morgan


Geriatric Logotherapy is an analytical approach designed to address issues uniquely confronted in the counseling encounter with the elderly and is an adaptation of the psychotherapeutic school of thought known as Logotherapy. Logotherapy is a type of psychotherapeutic analysis and treatment which focuses on a will to meaning, founded upon the belief that striving to find meaning in one's life is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force within the human experience. Sometimes called existential analysis, logotherapy grew out of the psychiatric research and personal experience of Viktor Frankl, M.D., based on his internment experience in Germany. Known as the Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy (Freud and Adler being the founders of the First and Second Schools), logotherapy as a school of thought emphasizes existential reflection rather than psychoanalytic repression, focusing upon the concept and centrality of “meaning” in one’s life rather than Freud’s “pleasure principle” and Adler’s “will to power.” This article explores, then, the application of this school of psychotherapeutic theory and practice to the psychological care and treatment of the elderly, emphasizing the “existential efficacy of the good memory” as an analytical tool for emotional nurture with emphasis upon “immediacy” rather than “longevity” of care and treatment.


Language: English


logotherapy; geriatrics; psychotherapy; elderly

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