Logotherapist & Existential Analyst

Rev. Dr. Scott Peddie


Logotherapy In Therapeutic Communities?

Posted on February 13, 2018 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (2288)

I was recently watching a short documentary on the artist and writer, Mary Barnes.  The firm focussed on her time at Kinglsley Hall, a therapeutic community set up by the pioneering Psychiatrist, R.D. Laing. Mary was diagnosed with schizophrenia and resided at Kingsley Hall for some time and developed a particularly fruitful relationship with Psychoanalyst, Dr. Joseph Berke.

One of the speakers on the film said something that struck me as rather significant.  He said, and I'm parpahrasing here, that Barnes had undergone two journeys of tranformation - one via psychotherapy, and the other through her developing spirituality. 

For a Logotherapist, spirituality is an integral part of wellbeing and not some seperate part of a person's reality.  Logotherapy acknowledges the three fold nature of human existence as soma (body), psyche (mind) and noos (spirit).  The latter is particularly important given that spirituality is broadly defined as those facets of our nature that are uniquely human and include, but are by no means exclusive to: faith, the ability to love, show empathy and to be creative. The overarching concept is that finding meaning in any given circumstance allows us to develop positively and to move beyond the constraints of psyche and soma.

I often wonder how a Logotherapeutic approach would have worked in the context of therapeutic communities; in my opinion, the holisitc nature of Logotherapy and Existential Analysis lends itself well to functioning constructively in such an environment.