GTF Faculty News: Dr. Ann V. Graber, Director of the Center for Pastoral Logotherapy, writes:
Pastoral Logotherapy: Psycho-Spiritual Care and Counseling – ecumenically applicable
The Graduate Center for Pastoral Logotherapy, initiated by GTF in 2012, offers a progressive way to serve students who are preparing for or those who are already active in any kind of pastoral care and counseling. Dr. Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy includes the whole human being: body, mind, and spirit. In his major work, The Doctor and the Soul, he addresses the meaning of life question with a “psychotherapy in spiritual terms” (Frankl, 1986, p. 17). Spirituality is understood as the essence of our humanness, the noetic core of all human beings, whether they profess to have a religious affiliation or not. GTF’s program in Pastoral Logotherapy was developed to provide a more inclusive counseling protocol that is widely applicable and will be useful to any counselor who is serving the psycho-spiritual needs of persons in our contemporary society.
The core curriculum at the Graduate Center for Pastoral Logotherapy is based on Viktor Frankl’s major works, supplemented by additional resources. Following an introduction to the Classical Schools of Psychotherapy by Dr. John Morgan, we begin the first Pastoral Logotherapy course with Man’s Search for Meaning. In this book Dr. Frankl briefly introduces a forward movement in psychotherapy by emphasizing meaning in life as the primary motivation in human existence. Subsequent Pastoral Logotherapy courses focus predominantly on Viktor Frankl’s The Will to Meaning, taught by Rev. Dr. Randy Scraper, and The Doctor and the Soul to offer further insights into the foundation and applications of logotherapy in psycho-spiritual counseling.
The final course of the core curriculum in Pastoral Logotherapy is based on Dr. Frankl’s last book, Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning (2000). This book was written half a century later than his most widely circulated book, Man’s Search for Meaning. In some ways it points to Dr. Frankl’s own growth in wisdom attained during his long years of practicing psychiatry and neurology, teaching and advancing the psychotherapy of an earlier era. Here he addresses meta-clinical problems that include the search for ultimate meaning – some call GOD by various names. A residential Practicum in Pastoral Logotherapy, facilitated by Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Murasso, where students demonstrate how they apply what they learned in previous courses in their respective fields of endeavor, concludes the core curriculum of the Graduate Center for Pastoral Logotherapy.
Since logotherapy accepts the transitoriness of life as a given, electives on “Near Death Experiences and their Life-Transforming Impact” and “On Grief and Bereavement”, offered by Dr. Ann Graber, have received high praise from students, particularly those working in chaplaincy or attending the psycho-spiritual needs of the dying and the grieving.
Following an extensive review of GTF’s Pastoral Logotherapy program by the Viktor Frankl Institute Vienna, Austria, the Graduate Center for Pastoral Logotherapy was duly recognized and became an Accredited Member of the International Association of Logotherapy and Existential Analysis in 2014. As an accredited member institute, students who complete their degree work through the Graduate Center for Pastoral Logotherapy at the GTF are qualified to become accredited individual members of the International Association.
To view the Pastoral Logotherapy program in its entirety, please visit the GTF website.