A bit about Existential Counselling/Psychotherapy
18th February, 2009
Existential therapy essentially helps deal with the problems of everyday living, such as relationship difficulties (both with Individuals & in Couple Therapy), anxiety/fear, food/body-image issues, addictions, mood disorders, social anxiety, panic, trauma, low self-esteem, unresolved childhood issues, sexual issues and others. It is a clear, direct and honest approach helping clients work on their particular, unique, experiences, problems, dilemmas and issues. It is appropriate for both short and long term therapy. It ideally suits those who wish to examine themselves and their relationship with others and the world.
Existential psychotherapy and counselling draws its frame of reference from a philosophical tradition rather than medical or diagnostic principles. Unlike other, more prescriptive approaches, existential therapy acknowledges that within all our lives we may face times when our own particular/unique struggles can feel overwhelming. ‘Existential – Phenomenology’ takes the human condition as the focus of investigation and therapy focuses on the uniqueness of each individuals, particular experience.
Through the therapeutic relationship, existential practice creates an opportunity for clients to develop new awareness of the challenges they feel confronted with, and therefore uncover new choices and paths in overcoming life’s emotional difficulties.
By building self-knowledge and self-awareness clients are able to grow and conquer issues which may at times feel all consuming or overwhelming. Suffering from severe anxiety or panic attacks, for example, can be addressed through an understanding that anxiety is not similar to a virus, which can be caught (in the same manner as a cold or flu), but is the outcome of choices we have made in the past, and can make in the future, in life and the context we find ourselves in.
By exploring your context or ‘worldview’ in therapy, it becomes possible to understand these choices and create new opportunities to develop and see a way out of your personal suffering/situation. In exploring our relationships we also explore the way that everything we do is dependent on the context of our lives. The fluid and relational nature of existential psychotherapy/counselling makes it a relevant and useful approach for the hugely varied and individual challenges life presents to each one of us, in a unique way.
Related articles from our experts
Fiona Goldman, BACP Registered CounsellorJanuary 17th, 2017
Julie CrowleyJanuary 18th, 2017
Tom KeelyJanuary 16th, 2017
Andrea Harrn Psychotherapist and Author of The Mood CardsMay 13th, 2011
Imi Lo: Psychotherapist, Art Therapist, Supervisor (MMH,UKCP,HCPC,MBPsS)March 29th, 2015
Keeley Townsend BA (Hons), Ad.Dip.CP with Distinction, MNCS (Acc)December 14th, 2009
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.