LOGOTHERAPIE UND EXISTENZANALYSE
A-1150 WIEN, Eduard Sueß-Gasse 10 Tel.: (+43-1-) 985 95 66 Fax: 982 48
E.Thomas Dowd, Ph.D., Director
Counseling Psychology Training
University of Nebraska
116 Bancroft Hall
USA-Lincoln, NE 68588-0345
Vienna, March 29, 1986
Dear Dr. Dowd:
thank you for your letter of February 10, 1986, which I am able to answer only now due to many external circumstances. I want to apologize for that.
The way you have incorporated my suggestions is very helpful for the reader for clarifying. I wrote the letter after many instructions I had the chance to learn directly from V.E.Frankl (thanks the fact that we work very closely together since a couple of years). Thus I find it correct that you referred the source to a "personal communication from Dr. Frankl".
If it is still possible at this time to change one little thing, than I would suggest to the last sentence of page 19A: "Paradoxical Intention thus attacks directly the fear of contamination." The sentence brings, as I see it, nothing new, and might be misunderstandable.
You initiated a very interesting discussion in your letter, about the
By stating that "symptom prescription as currently practiced also involves prescribing actual behavior..." you already made clear another striking difference between these two techniques. Paradoxical Intention (PI) is a technique restricted to the coping of expectancy anxiety. PI cannot be used for prescribing any behavior. From this it can be seen that symptom prescription, as com-pared with PI, also has a certain manipulative quality.
You invited me to give my opinion about an example of two siblings "who fight continously". A symptom scheduling would prescribe them to "fight even more, or longer, or for a certain period each day". You continue in your letter that in this event "the symptom and the object of that symptom are functionally identical. In my example the symptom and the object are both fighting behavior." Thus you hold that PI is a special case of symptom prescription, restricted for cases involving fear.
Going into this I have first to ask, if it is legitimate to speak of "symptom prescription" in this case? Is it fighting a "symptom"? A symptom of what then? The term is engendering an underlying disease. Shouldn`t we make a difference between symptom and behavior? (Figh