“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves”

Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

 

 

                        

Existential Therapy

Existential Therapy focuses on the exploration of a person's sense of being-in-the-world. Therapists tend to take a here-and-now approach, emphasising their client's ability to make decisions in the present, rather than rely on the influences of their past. They attempt to explore the meaning of certain problem areas for a client through a philosophical, rather than technique-based approach.
 
Many existential therapists use existentialist theories and approaches exclusively, or combine them with any of the other depth psychology theories. Some therapists call themselves existential-integrative psychologists, meaning that they integrate existentialist theory with theories from one of the other major psychological frameworks – psychodynamic, cognitive-therapy (CT) or humanistic.
 
Regardless of approach, however, existentialists share and value the same existential focus: helping clients live full and enriching lives given their personal beliefs and values. In many cases, the existential therapist helps clients uncover their own beliefs and values, separating these convictions from what has been imposed on them by society, culture, and other “outside forces.” Existential therapists aim to encourage the client to be honest with themselves; to broaden their views on their surrounding world and environment and to make firm decisions about future plans. Existential Therapy is based on the assumption that people are directly responsible for their own lives and the environment they exist in.
  
Hoffman said that depth or existential psychotherapies are interested in changing how people live their lives, view their lives, and find meaning in their lives. If someone denies living according to his or her life's purpose, then he or she doesn't live authentically or freely - and that's not living responsibly as well.

BACP Theoretical Approaches

Making Sense Of Counselling