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Existential psychology is an approach to psychology and psychotherapy that is based on several premises, including: understanding that a "whole" person is more than the sum of his or her parts; understanding people by examining their interpersonal relationships, understanding that people have many levels of self-awareness that can be neither ...
Depth psychology includes a number of psychological approaches that share similarities in how they explore the conscious and unconscious aspects of beliefs and behaviors. Claypool said he was drawn to existential psychology and psychotherapy when he discovered the field addressed the same type of questions he frequently asked himself.
The latest edition of The International Journal of Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy Volume 6 Number 1 is now available. To view, visit our journal site here. The International Journal of Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy - Current issue, back issues, and information for authors.
Existential psychotherapy is a form of psychotherapy based on the model of human nature and experience developed by the existential tradition of European philosophy. It focuses on concepts that are universally applicable to human existence including death, freedom, responsibility, and the meaning of life.
Existential psychotherapy is a style of therapy that places emphasis on the human condition as a whole. Existential psychotherapy uses a positive approach that applauds human capacities and aspirations while simultaneously acknowledging human limitations. Existential psychotherapy shares many similarities with humanistic psychology, experiential psychotherapy, depth psychotherapy, and relational psychotherapy.
Existential therapy developed out of the philosophies of Friedrich Nietzsche and Soren Kierkegaard. As one of the first existential philosophers, Kierkegaard theorized that human discontent could only be overcome through internal wisdom. Later, Nietzsche further developed the theory of existentialism by introducing the idea of free will and personal responsibility. In the early 1900s, philosophers such as Martin Heidegger and Jean-Paul Sartre began to explore the role of investigation and interpretation in the healing process. Over the next several decades, other contemporaries started to acknowledge the importance of experiencing in relation to understanding as a method to achieving psychological wellness and balance.
Otto Rank was among the first existential therapists to actively pursue the discipline, and by the middle of the 20th century, psychologists Paul Tillich and Rollo May brought existential therapy into the mainstream through their writings and teachings, as did Irvin Yalom after them. The popular approach began to influence other theories, including logotherapy, whic developed by Viktor Frankl, and humanistic psychology. At the same time, British philosophers expanded existentialism further with the foundation of The Philadelphia Association, an organization dedicated to helping people manage their mental health issues with experiential therapies. Other institutions that embody the theory of existentialism include the Society for Existential Analysis, founded in 1988, and the International Community of Existential Counselors, created in 2006.
A confrontation with any of the aforementioned conditions, or givens, fills an individual with a type of dread commonly referred to as existential anxiety. This anxiety is thought to reduce a persons physical, psychological, social, and spiritual awareness, which may lead to significant long-term consequences.
For example, the fact that each one of us and each one of our loved ones must die at some unknown time may be a source of deep anxiety to us, and this may tempt us to ignore the reality and necessity of death in human existence. By reducing our awareness of death, however, we may fail to make decisions that can actually safeguard or even enrich our lives. At the other end of the spectrum, people who are overly conscious of the fact that death is inevitable may be driven to a state of neurosis or psychosis.
People in therapy who are willing to explore the reasons for their intrapsychic conflicts and the decisions that led to their current circumstances can benefit greatly from existential psychotherapy. There are many behavioral and mental health issues that may be successfully treated with this therapeutic approach, including depression, anxiety, substance dependency, and posttraumatic stress resulting from exposure to military combat, rape, childhood sexual abuse, interpersonal violence, or other life-threatening experiences.
Individuals who respond to treatment tend to find meaning and purpose in their lives and often experience heightened self-awareness, self-understanding, self-respect, and self-motivation. The realization that they are primarily responsible for their own recovery often increases the likelihood that people in treatment will see beyond the limits of a therapy session and view recovery as a therapeutic process.
Because existential psychotherapy targets the underlying factors of perceived behavioral and mental health concerns, an existential approach may not directly address the primary issue a person in treatment is experiencing. Because of this, existential therapy, which is quite adaptable, is often used along with other approaches to treatment. Combining approaches can help maximize the effectiveness of both and promote greater recovery. Additionally, the in-depth, penetrative approach used in existential psychotherapy may not appeal to people who do not wish to explore their intrapsychic processes, or who are solely interested in finding a quick fix for their mental health challenges.
- Existential Psychology (Intro Psych Tutorial #143)youtube.com
- Rollo May speaking about Existential Psychologyyoutube.com
- Existential Therapy (Overview)youtube.com
- Existential Psychotherapy: Death, Freedom, Isolation, Meaninglessnessyoutube.com
Oct 02, 2014 · Existential psychology is, in my opinion, the most profound of all psychologies because it deals with the most elemental and basic of all human experiences: our very existence. Existential psychology deals with human existence and our reaction to that existence as the basis of all human experience.
- River Lin
Existential therapy focuses on free will, self-determination, and the search for meaning—often centering on you rather than on the symptom. The approach emphasizes your capacity to make rational ...
Existential psychology is a branch of psychology that studies how people come to terms with the basic givens of human existence. The existential perspective has important roots in philosophy ...