Psychotherapy Theories and Models: Existentialism and Narrative Therapy

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Psychotherapeutic Theories and Models (CPc1) Assignment 2 Paul Carey Student No: 1241-13 Abstract In this assignment I will explore the theories of Existentialism and Narrative therapy, giving an overview of the main elements, including examples of potential weaknesses or limitations that may occur in their clinical use. I will then discuss and explore the ways the theories links with the case study of John, using examples from Johns presenting story to explore a clinical application. Theoretical discussion Existentialism is a philosophical approach to therapy (Corey, 2009a), where the therapist practically applies this approach to a relevant discussion and thinking about a client’s life (Van Deurzen & Adams, 2011). It is not so much a therapy about individual problems, as it is a therapy on the problem of life, or living, as applied to the clients own sense of self in the world (Van Deurzen & Adams, 2011). Philosophers who laid the foundation for the approach gave focus to the existential or ontological dimension of our existence (Cohn, 1997). This is the domain of being ‘in itself’, that our own sense of personal being, or ‘essence’, can be said to reside within (Cohn, 1997). This domain of ‘being’ has certain inescapable ‘givens’ or concerns that each person creates their own unique sense of world within (Cohn, 1997). Of importance to existential therapy is understanding and using a phenomenological approach, where all reflections, insights and interpretations are inter-relationally derived from a persons own engagement with these givens, within their life (Spinelli, 2007). The approach emphasis a persons unique experience of ‘being in the world’ (Cohn, 1997), with a particular highlight on the Existential world of ‘being’. Highlighting how a client is understanding and creating meaning from their world (Spinelli, 2007), with the process

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