Q10. Existential therapy
Existential therapy reacts against the tendency to view therapy as a system of well-defined techniques; it affirms looking at those unique characteristics that make us human and building therapy on them. It focuses on exploring themes such as mortality, freedom, responsibility, self-determination, anxiety, and aloneness, as these relate to a person’s current struggle.
Key propositions are:
- We have the capacity for self-awareness.
- Because we are basically free beings, we must accept the responsibility that accompanies our freedom.
- We have a concern to preserve our uniqueness and identity; we come to know ourselves in relation to knowing and interacting with others.
- The significance of our existence and the meaning of our life are never fixed once and for all; instead, we re-create ourselves through our projects.
- Anxiety is part of the human condition.
- Death is also a basic human condition, and awareness of it gives significance to living.
Clients are confronted with addressing ultimate concerns rather than coping with immediate problems. They are expected to put into action in daily life what they learn about themselves in therapy.
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