Indications: mainly compulsive disorders and anxiety, also vegetative syndromes.
Guided by the physician or therapist, clients learn to overcome their obsessions or anxieties by self-distancing and humorous exaggeration, thus breaking the vicious circle of symptom and symptom amplification.
Indications: Sexual disorders and sleeplessness, also anxiety disorders.
Instinctive, automatic processes are impeded and hindered by exaggerated self-observation. By the same token, some mild and well-founded sensations of anxiousness or sadness will be increased and amplified by self-observation, making them more noticeable and engendering even more intense observation. It is the purpose of dereflexion to break this neuroticizing circle by drawing the client’s attention away from the symptom or the naturally flowing process.
Socratic dialogue / modification of attitudes
Certain attitudes and expectations may be obstacles to meaning fulfillment. They can alienate a person from the meaning potentialities in his or her life, thus accentuating neurotic disorders, or even producing them via repeated maldecisions and formation of behavior patterns.
It is important to note that the therapist or physician must refrain from imposing his or her own values or meaning perceptions. Rather, clients are guided to perceive their unrealistic and counterproductive attitudes and to develop a new outlook that may be a better basis for a fulfilled life.
Socratic dialogue is a conversational method frequently used by logotherapists. Specific questions are aimed to raise into consciousness the possibility to find, and the freedom to fulfill, meaning in one’s life. In the philosophical setting this technique of guiding by questioning was introduced by Socrates, who characterized it as a sort of “spiritual midwifery”.