International Journal of Existential Positive Psychology

Suffering—An Existential Challenge: Understanding, Dealing and Coping with Suffering from an Existential-Analytic Perspective

Alfried Langle


The paper begins with a description of an existential-anthropological classification of different types of suffering. These classifications are then deepened through an elaboration of the essence of suffering. The structure of existence derived from the Existential Analytic model is used to elucidate this essential understanding of suffering. The Existential Analytic model is used to describe both the content of suffering and the impaired structures of existence. From this perspective, a model of coping with, and treatment of, suffering is developed. The paper closes with some logotherapeutic remarks on possible meanings of suffering.

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