Paradoxical intention

In psychotherapy, paradoxical intention is the deliberate practice of a neurotic habit or thought, undertaken to identify and remove it. The concept was termed by Dr. Viktor Frankl, the founder of Logotherapy, who advocated for its use by patients experiencing severe forms of anxiety disorders.[1]

Used as a counseling technique in which the counselor intensifies the client's emotional state in order to help the client understand the irrationality of the emotional reaction.

It is also thought[by whom?] to derive its powerful effectiveness, not from understanding anything, as understanding often lacks the power to cause change, but from operating in alignment with and harnessing the power of the universal principle, "What you resist persists." By getting the client/patient to use the power of their will and intention to increase the symptom they've been automatically trying to decrease, resistance disappears, and as a consequence, persistence disappears[citation needed].

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Frankl, Viktor (1959). Man's Search for Meaning (1984 ed.). New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. pp. 126. ISBN 0-8070-1426-5. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)