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What is existential humanistic psychology?
- Existential-Humanistic Psychology, Mindfulness and Global Change. Existential-Humanistic Psychology and Mindfulness. Existential-Humanistic psychology has played an important role in the treatment of psychopathologies by looking at individuals as a whole person and living in a socially interconnected and holistic world.
Phenomenology is the most important core belief of existential-humanistic psychology and psychotherapy. The founders of phenomenology were from Germany: Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) and Martin Heidegger (1889-1976). Using this concept, humanism focuses on the unique conscious experience of each human being. So in order to understand the person ...
Who is an Existential-Humanistic Therapist? Everyone has inherent worth and dignity beyond their undesirable or ineffective behaviors. How do we connect with our worth and dignity?
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Mar 15, 2017 · First, insight is extremely important. Existential therapists may interpret aspects of the unconscious differently, but they still believe in the importance of the unconscious. Existential therapy also helps people make changes in their attitudes, decisions, behaviors, and thoughts through the awareness process.
Sep 18, 2016 · This article explores how phenomenology, a particular approach to understanding consciousness, can vivify and better honor clients' experiences in therapy.
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- A Brief History of Self Psychology
- Existential-Humanistic Aspects of Self Psychology
- Values and Ideals
- Advantages of Self Psychology Over Existential-Humanistic Therapies
- What Self Psychology Can Learn from Existential Humanism
- Summary and Conclusions
Self psychology is largely the creation of Heinz Kohut, although there are many other creative theorists currently adding to and modifying self psychology theory and clinical practice. Some of these are Arnold Goldberg (1978, 1980), Robert Stolorow (Atwood & Stolorow, 1984; Stolorow, Brandschaft, & Atwood, 1987; Stolorow & Lachmann, 1980), Michael Basch (1980, 1983), Paul and Anna Ornstein (Ornstein & Ornstein, 1980, 1985), and Estelle and Morton Shane (Shane, 1985; Shane & Shane, 1980). Kohut was a Viennese-born psychoanalyst who lived, practiced, and taught in Chicago after coming to the United States in 1940. Until 1971, when he published his first book, The Analysis of the Self, Kohut was known as an orthodox analyst, a favorite of Anna Freud's, and a leading light in the branch of Freudian analysis loosely called ego psychology. Starting with his 1971book, however, he began to create a theory and form of therapy that, although including the analytic basic assumption of the dec...
Although a complete exposition of self psychology is beyond the scope of this article, I shall attempt to discuss aspects of the theory and therapeutic methodology in considering each of the points I make.
Although Freud's concept of the superego certainly stressed the importance of internalized (usually introjected) moral precepts and ideals in human functioning, Kohut made the presence of firm, coherent, mature ideals part of the basic strength or resiliency of the individual. These ideals are part of the idealizing pole of the bipolar self. Significantly, he does not specify which values he thinks people should have-that, he believed, was up to the individual. He did believe, however, that these values and ideals are important ingredients in a cohesive, resilient self, as important as the individual's ambitions, which are part of the other pole of the self. For example, one client of mine, a handsome, charming, intelligent man, was a successful lawyer. He worked in an area of law that he saw, however, as meaningless, and his view of the worth of his work made it impossible for him to feel proud of his success. His lack of firm values and ideals also made it impossible for him to d...
If Kohut merely mirrored many of the ideas and beliefs of existential-humanism, there would be little advantage to his theory. However, I believe there are many advantages to self psychology, advantages that originally stimulated me to attempt to integrate self psychology with Gestalt therapy (Tobin, 1982).
All too often one gets the impression from reading Kohut that his theoretical and philosophical ideas sprang spontaneously from his own mind and were not based on the ideas of others. For example, Winnicott's concept of the "subjective object" is very similar to Kohut's concept of the "selfobject," but Kohut makes no mention of Winnicott as a contributor to his own theories. Recognizing this, he attempts to explain this neglect as due to his aim, at least in his 1977 book, The Restoration of the Self, of "an attempt to struggle toward greater clarity" rather than "scholarly completeness" (Kohut, 1977, p. xx). Similarly, Rogers has made extremely important contributions to the use of empathy in therapy and, although Kohut earlier defined empathy differently from Rogers in his last article (Kohut, 1982), he seemed to be taking an identical position (Chessick, 1985), yet there is no mention of Rogers. Rollo May (1958) 30 years ago gave a profound description of the compartmentalizati...
In this article I have attempted to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of orthodox psychoanalysis and existential-humanistic psychology, to show how psychoanalytic self psychology incorporates many of the strengths of each while avoiding many of the weaknesses, and to give some flavor of the philosophical assumptions that underlie self psychology. I have also made an attempt to point to some lacks in self psychology that I believe existential humanistic psychology could rectify. I tried to integrate some of the theoretical concepts with the philosophical assumptions, but, be cause of the limited scope of the article, was unable to bring in more than some of the very basic concepts, such as the self, the selfobject, empathy, and optimal responsiveness. I want to emphasize that I have discussed these concepts in a very cursory way. There are also a number of other important theoretical and practical aspects of self psychology that I did not even mention: the concept of trans mu...
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We continuously recreate ourselves through our projects. 6. Anxiety is part of the human condition. 7. Death is a fact of life, and awareness of it gives significance to our lives. Therapeutic goals of existential psychotherapy: 1. To help people see that they are free and become aware of their possibilities.