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Batya Yaniger, PsyD
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Logomensch is a weekly blog about meaning that draws from ancient Jewish wisdom and from Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy to assist in hearing the call to meaning that addresses us each, moment by moment.
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Showing Results 1 - 10 (12 total)
A Spirit of Stupidity
Author: Batya Yaniger, PsyD
November 3rd, 2019
Mrs. B, a woman in the early fifties, has been plagued by anxiety for decades. Her mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia and she grew up as a neglected, unwanted, unloved child. She is married with six children and seems to have a good life, but her anxiety creates a multitude of problems for herself and in her relationships. She experiences heart palpitations, tightness in her chest and irregular breathing. To escape these sensations, she star …
Alternating Diagnosis
Author: Batya Yaniger, PsyD
September 15th, 2019
The three phases of therapy are diagnosis, therapy and follow-up. In the first phase, diagnosis, the therapist asks lots of questions and identifies the problem. Gathering information helps to formulate a plan of what to do. The down side is that the same questions that give the therapist a better picture of the problem actually adds to the client’s despair and depression. The reason for this is that the client has been thinking obsessively …
Be Honest With Yourself
Author: Batya Yaniger, PsyD
November 10th, 2019
The second strategy for how to develop a relationship with your conscience and be happier about your decisions is to tell yourself the truth. In the smallest of ways catch yourself when you are lying to yourself. Is this in my best interest? For example, do I really want to go there? Is this depleting me? Am I treating myself with respect? Am I ignoring reality and pretending my behavior won’t have a detrimental effect? Does my behavior ma …
How to Be Happy with your Decisions
Author: Batya Yaniger, PsyD
October 27th, 2019
There are lots of tiny decisions we all make every day. What is the best thing to do? What would make you happy with yourself looking back at the end of your life? These are the kinds of questions logotherapy addresses. Is there a way you can know which will be the most satisfying and meaningful choice? We can address the question in one of two ways: in the moment and long term. In the moment, you can be still and listen, and you will hear and in …
Inner Space and Outer Space
Author: Batya Yaniger, PsyD
August 26th, 2019
I have just spent an intensive week at the Internal Compass music festival. One of the things I learned from Henrique Eisenman, a musician from Brazil was ‘You don’t need to play in order for the music to exist.’ Music exists in an inner space and an outer space. For example, you can play a melody repeatedly and feel it reverberating in your head. Alternatively you can hear a melody in your head first and then play it. You have …
Knowing the Right Question to Ask
Author: Batya Yaniger, PsyD
August 12th, 2019
One of the frequently asked questions in Logotherapy is: How do you know what is the right question to ask? There is a case cited by Elizabeth Lukas in her book Meaning in Suffering of an 18-year-old girl who, due to a medical condition appears to be 12 years old. As soon as Lukas met the girl and addressed her as ‘young lady,’ the girl picked up an ashtray from the table and angrily threw it across the room. This was yet another indi …
Life Questions Us
Author: Batya Yaniger, PsyD
July 23rd, 2019
And Miriam chanted for them ‘Sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously.’ (Exodus 15:21) The word va'ta'an, translated as ‘chanted’, is used in modern Hebrew to mean ‘answered.’ However, in this context, no one is asking Miriam a question. Rather, something profound has just occurred. A nation of slaves has miraculously been redeemed, and now, just as the Egyptian army is in hot pursuit and all seems to …
Author: Batya Yaniger, PsyD
September 23rd, 2019
Often in therapy you are educating the client to adopt a different perspective. One aspect to logoeducation is teaching the client to put the spotlight on meanings and values, rather than on one’s self-concerns. Self-absorption is very much of a therapeutic issue.  People who are depressed are self-absorbed. People who are paying excessive attention to themselves are incapable of getting over their stage fright. And so on.    …
Meaning in Loss
Author: Batya Yaniger, PsyD
July 28th, 2019
Logotherapy helps people with philosophical problems that impact their life. For example: How do people deal philosophically with the problem of loss? One may deal with their pain by embracing a new reality with an attitude of ‘It was meant to be.’ If you are one of those people, you might not agree with Frankl’s formulation of the tension that is felt between what ‘is’ and what ‘ought not to be.’ In suff …
The Ought Not To Be
Author: Batya Yaniger, PsyD
August 4th, 2019
After my article “Meaning in Loss” I was asked: “I like the part in the article where you explain that ‘it was meant to be’ is not in line with Frankl's theory. However, do religious people usually say ‘It was meant to be,’ in the sense that it was G-d's will?” One of the ways to find meaning in suffering is to adopt a philosophy that frames the situation from a higher perspective. However, while s …