Healing Paradox

Alexander Lyadov
2 min readFeb 13, 2024
Roeselien Raimond

What’s your best remedy for insomnia? First off, I try to read a book, as tired eyes favor sleep.

The alternative is to try as hard as I can to stay awake. For about five to ten minutes, I stare into the darkness, then for a moment, close my eyes, bam! and there I am, fast asleep.

That’s how Viktor Frankl’s paradoxical intention works.

The renowned psychotherapist developed this technique within the framework of logotherapy. The patient with the phobia was asked in a contradictory way to desire exactly what he feared most.

This disrupts the neurosis’s plans and robs fear of its driving force. Frankl described a case where a young doctor suffered for ten years from an intense fear of sweating. After one (!) therapy session, he rid himself of the phobia forever.

The method works just like humor.

At their core is a person’s ability to detach from themselves. You can’t feel sorry or despise yourself while laughing at yourself.

This key to healing is applicable in various fields.

For example, business problems are solved faster when people stop focusing on themselves:

  • A negotiator studies the opponent’s true interests.
  • Employee prioritizes company, not departmental goals,
  • The CEO seeks someone who can challenge him or her,
  • The founder decides to report to the board from now on.

True self-care is focusing on something or someone beyond yourself.

Sincerely yours,

-Alexander

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Alexander Lyadov

As a business therapist, I help tech founders increase the value of their business by unlocking the potential of their personality.