Tatjana Vucinic, MSc. in Psychology, Zagreb-Croatia
Thank you so much for the opportunity to write about my country, our people and its wonders. Although I am truly cosmopolitan in the global sense, my only real homeland is the small but lovely country located in the heart of Europe – Croatia. Situated along the Adriatic Sea and its hinterland, Croatia stretches from the slopes of the Alps into the Pannonian Valley to the banks of the Danube and Drava river.
Geographically, our country is divided into three distinct regions: the Coastal region, the Mountain region and the Pannonian region, offering variety and beauty through the natural “faces” of the landscape. Founded on the ruins of the Roman Empire, Croatia shared many of its battles and insights with other countries in Western Europe. Currently, Croatia operates as one of Europe’s parliamentary democracies, making it a valid candidate for the European Union.
The population of Croatia consists mainly of Croats (89.6%) but I see people becoming more open to other nationalities as well, especially in the years after the war. The Croatian War of Independence, fought 1991-1995, started to break some deeply held barriers and convictions about our identity as a Nation. As much as the war itself posed a great shock and loss for many as well tremendous hardship, it somehow brought a much deeper sense of self-realization both individually and on the national level. It brought something new and brought us somehow closer to our ultimate meaning--leading me to the subject of Logotherapy and Dr. Viktor Frankl, my one true inspiration.
Honestly, as an MSc in Psychology, I was interested in the humanistic side of this relatively new science. Psychology offers many things and in Zagreb, capital of Croatia where I live, and in the Netherlands where I completed my Masters program, the primary emphasis was on experimental psychology and its approach to some of the basic phenomena of human behavior and thought. Although I appreciate this view, and find it essential for the further development of psychology, I was searching for something bigger, something greater--something with deeper meaning. I longed for something that would afford me, as a psychologist, not only professional validity but also satisfy my deep, nurtured longings and desires as a person. And I found it in the life and work of Dr. Viktor Frankl.
Since Croatia doesn’t have opportunities at present for further research in Logotherapy and regrettably is not focused on this field of psychology, I faced some obstacles on my path. With our Faculty, the literature was limited; therefore, I sought out more knowledge on my own. I am very proud of the fact that my B.A. thesis explored the meaning of life –this approach was pretty new in my country in 2003.
I write the historical facts to explain that in my view, Croatia has a great hunger for more knowledge of Dr. Viktor Frankl’s work and I must say that interest in the area of meaning thought, are huge here. This can be evidenced by the popularity of Frankl’s books, which sell so well among Croatians. Sadly, Logotherapy here, as all over the world, needs more recognition in scientific circles. I think Viktor Frankl and his brilliant contribution to the greatest part of psychology, deserves much more recognition, in fact, it deserves all the recognition it can achieve.
The movie Viktor & I, An Alexander Vesely Film, is such a good way to spread the word of hope and meaning to us all. In these times of change where people seek higher truths and comfort in their everyday lives, this documentary and all that it represents fits in perfectly. I hope it will bring us all closer together, lower the perceived differences among people and reveal the RIGHT perspective on the differences which may continue to separate us from one another.
I just hope that as a psychologist and true humanistic person, I will have the opportunity to study further and deepen my own knowledge in Logotherapy. With further knowledge, I believe I will be better able to help those in need and who would benefit from uncovering their own meaningful life. I am sure there are many!
I salute you all and wish you the very best from the bottom of my heart.
Tatjana Vucinic, MSC in Psychology, Zagreb-Croatia
Producers Note: One of the many ways that Tatjana helps the world is through her writings of poetry, some set to music. By creating music for her poetry and singing too, she hopes to respond in a creative and fruitful way to all those everyday requests that life puts upon us all.
Start to hear the beautiful song which she wrote and performs –“Believe in Me”
Posted on Sun, March 6, 2011
by Tatjana Vucinic, MSc. in Psychology, Zagreb-Croatia filed under