Existential Therapy Essay

3391 Words14 Pages
EXISTENTIAL THERAPY: 1. INTRODUCTION: * Existential therapy is more a “way of thinking”, than a set of practices (Russel, 2007) * It’s not independent/ separate school of therapy, nor is it defined techniques. * Existential therapy can best be described as a philosophical approach that influences the counselor’s therapeutic practice. * Grounded on assumptions that we are free and so responsible for our actions. * Existentialists approach rejects the deterministic view of of human nature espoused by orthodox psychoanalysis + radical behaviourism. * In contrast: existential therapists acknowledge some of these facts, but emphasise our freedom to choose what to make of our circumstances. * Basically, we are not victims of circumstance, WE CHOOSE WHO WE ARE TO BE. A major Aim of therapy is to encourage clients to: 1. Reflect on life 2. To recognise their range of alternatives 3. And to decide among them. Once clients have begins the process of recognising ways in which the have actively/passively accepted circumstances and surrendered control, they can start reshaping their lives. Yalom (2003), emphasises the 1st step is to accept responsibility: “Once individuals recognise their role in creating their own life predicament, they also realise that they have the power to change the situation” Van Deurzen (2002a) does not vie clients as “sick”, but as “clumsy at living.” and unable to lead a productive life. In Existential therapy attention is given to client’s immediate, on-going experience with the aim of helping them to develop greater presence in their quest for meaning and purpose (Sharpe & Bugental, 2001) The therapist’s task is to encourage clients to explore their options for creating a meaningful existence. * We are not victims of circumstance * We are the architects of our own lives. 1.2
Open Document