EXISTENTIAL PSYCHOTHERAPY is unique in that it seeks to explore difficulties from a philosophical perspective, rather than taking a quick-fix technique-based approach. Focusing on the human condition as a whole, existential therapy celebraties human adaptability and autonomy and encourages individuals to take responsibility for every aspect of their lives and to see choice and freedom where previously they may have seen only subjugation and limitation.
One of the primary aims of existential therapy is to help people face the anxieties of life head on and to take full responsibility for these choices as they create their destiny moment by moment and day by day. Existential therapists, therefore, look to help individuals live more authentically, joyfully and freely and to be less concerned with superficiality. They also encourage clients to take ownership of their lives, to find meaning and to live fully in the present. It is wrong, however, to assume that existential work is fundamentally bleak and pessimistic - on the contrary the whole point of this model of therapy is to enable people to find new and joyful meaning in their lives, to overcome negative patterns of belief and to live more fully and happily. Those most likely to benefit from this kind of work are those individuals who are interested in, and prepared to undertake, deep self reflection and who view their concerns as issues of living rather than symptoms of a psychiatric illness or the unchangeable past. Existential therapy is also well suited to those facing issues of existence, for example those with a terminal illness, those contemplating suicide, or even those going through or considering a significant life transition.
Existential Psychotherapy is rooted in the work of writers and thinkers who believed that the only philosophical problems that really mattered were those concerned with human existence and the ways in which people create meaning and value in their lives. The theorists most commonly associated with existential therapy are Martin Heidegger, Edmund Husserl, Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche. In literature the work of writers such as Dostoevsky, Sartre, Camus, Kafka and Bukowski.
EXISTENTIAL THERAPY FOR BEGINNERS
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