“His prescription to experience a deep sense of meaning, then, was remarkably pragmatic. He had three recommendations: 1. Have a project to work on, some reason to get out of bed in the morning and preferably something that serves other people. 2. Have a redemptive perspective on life’s challenges. That is, when something difficult happens, recognize the ways that difficulty also serves you. 3. Share your life with a person or people who love you unconditionally. Frankl called this treatment logotherapy, or a therapy of meaning. And surprisingly, it worked. He was put in charge of the mental-health division of the Viennese hospital system because they had lost far too many patients to suicide. When Frankl came aboard, he had more than thirty thousand suicidal patients under his care. The challenge was phenomenal. Frankl created community groups for the patients and taught counselors to identify projects the patients could contribute to, serious work the world needed that would give them a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Frankl also had the patients circle the difficult experiences they’d had and while allowing them to grieve, also asked them to list benefits that had come from their pain. The result of the program was transformational. Not one patient committed suicide on Frankl’s watch.”
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