History, meaning and understanding of biographical work in Existentialanalysis
Logotherapy and Existentialanalysis initially had difficulty with an understanding of biography that wanted to place the history, its imprints and more or less (un)processed experiences of the individual in the focus of counseling and psychotherapeutic accompaniment. This had to do with Frankl’s fundamental critique of the psychologism of psychotherapy of his time. Biography was seen as a blueprint for the future, the human being in his possibility of always being able to become another. Under the impression of the weight of biographical experiences in their importance for the experience and the
self-understanding of the world and the reference to values, this understanding changed. The human being with his attitudes, which could often only be explained by the processing of biographical experiences, moved into the field of vision. The therapeutic or counseling work on these attitudes and their understanding is now seen as a prerequisite for an authentic shaping of life.
The lecture will give an overview of the history of the meaning and significance of biographical work in the horizon of Logotherapy and Existentialanalysis and present a current understanding.
V3 Claudia Reitinger
Biographical experiences as the basis of self- and world-experience – a case presentation
Each and every one of us lives in a radically different world. To keep this fact in mind can help us in our practical work with patients not to forget the importance of a phenomenological attitude, to engage with this other world and to understand its difficulties on the basis of his/her experience of self and world. The world we live in, our perception of it, ourselves and others is deeply dependent on how each of us has been shaped in our experience of the world. Have we perceived the world as unsafe, as dangerous, as cool? Do we experience others as a threat or as an enrichment? Do we feel inferior or can we let ourselves be “seen”? Our experience of the world and of ourselves is not fixed forever. Through ever new experiences this is in constant change. Thus, the connection between experience and experience is always weaving itself anew.
In this talk, the experience of self and world will be presented by means of a patient example, showing how this being-in-the-world has developed and to what extent it has changed in the course of the therapeutic process.
V9 Markus Angermayr
The body as sedimented biography
On the relationship between implicit, bodily knowledge and explicit, autobiographical memory
In my lecture, I will focus on the constant bodily micro-processes and emphasise the importance of the bodily reference for memory.
In the present moment, the whole of life is embodied in a way that corresponds to the rhythm, posture and expression of the situation in the moment. In the moment of presence, perception, acceptance and consent, the transformation of what is happening within me takes place. It is an “inward-ing” that requires inner attention. At the same time, the connection with my becoming-being is revealed – implicitly – in the lively present remembering. Pre-reflective and previously unconscious “autonomous” bodily phenomena are given space to reveal themselves and open up biographical aspects that we perceive physically. Phenomena that have not shown themselves to us in the stream of memory or even contradict our autobiographical memory are exciting. Without bodily sedimentation, as stored in the implicit body memory, we cannot make sense of the course of our lives.
V10 Christiane Groß
On the existential-analytical understanding of the so-called “inner child”
The metaphor of the “inner child” has become a very popular idea in the self-healing market. Many psychotherapeutic approaches have also manifested “inner child work” in therapeutic procedures. This lecture traces the existential analytical understanding of the metaphor of the “inner child” and addresses the following questions: What is the “inner child” from the perspective of existential analysis? How can this be categorised theoretically and methodically integrated into counselling/therapeutic practice?
V11 Ingo Zirks
Human Sexuality as Destiny and Challenge
The diversity and potentiality of sexuality presents people with the task of continually experiencing their own forms of intimacy and sexuality sensually and emotionally, understanding them and shaping them personally.Coming to terms with one’s own self and separating from other people’s assumptions or definitions are always challenging throughout one’s life. The individual path often cannot be achieved without intra- and interpersonal conflicts. In this lecture, central questions and challenges will be identified and supporting existential analysis and sex therapy perspectives will be offered for understanding and dealing with sexual life issues.
V12 Karin Matuszak-Luss
When biography makes statements impossible
According to the existential-analytical understanding man as biopsychosocial being needs a dialogue which is initiated by one`s surrounding or by oneself. The person is adressed by the outside world and the inside world and answers to the outside and/or inside world. Being adressed and welcomed at the beginning of our life is essential for the development of self-perception and external-perception, the emotional basic colouring, the ability to get into relationship and to stay in relationship, the personal ego –and selfdevelopment and the existential fullfilment.
If people experience relationships and/or life events, which make them helpless and powerless, humilate them and which allow no radius of operation, the ability to dialogue will be reduced or blocked. Finally the ability to statement becomes less or diminishes.
The etiopathogenesis of the aggravated, impeded statement will be discussed. Ways to overcome biografically caused impairment of one person`s statement by existential-analytical interventions will be described and illustrated by case vignettes.
V13 Geertje Bolle
When the person seems to disappear … Shaping life in dementia
In an interlocking of accompaniments from practice, phenomenological approach and theoretical ground, this talk illuminates the reference to and working with biography in the context of existential accompaniment of people with dementia. The thesis: To live existentially, to develop and to shape one’s own life – is also possible in and with dementia.
Time grid disturbance versus resonance events? Memory loss versus continuity of life history present in the bodily memory? Patterned behavior versus personal shaping? These three aspects will be explored in this presentation. Thereby the handling of time, memory, and the freedom of the person will play a role – and the question to what extent we encounter topics in dementia that ultimately affect us all in our existential being.
V14 Alfried Längle
Development – Maturation – Ageing in counseling and therapy
The personal contribution to shaping life
In our lives, we are usually preoccupied with our daily tasks, problems and joys. They attract so much attention that we have little or no focus on the big picture of our existence. Who really looks at the shape and the cast of their biography, of what they have become and the life that lies ahead? We are too preoccupied with the daily, perhaps the annual. This connection to the immediate can lead to a fragmentation, fraying, compartmentalization or particularization of life, in which the holistic character of this one, my own life fades.
The aim here is to attempt to better integrate this broad perspective of life into everyday life, the place where the biography originates, and also to train the eye for this in counseling and therapy in order to connect the current work with the arc of life and with the maturation of the personality. Development, maturation and ageing take place constantly, but also mark life stages. What do they consist of, what are their structures? And how do their processes work? Special attention is paid to practical guidance in counseling and therapy, so that we can not only accompany our patients and clients in their worries and needs, but also see and support them more holistically in their biographical development.