Existential therapy is a treatment approach that places emphasis on the human condition as a whole. It acknowledges and draws upon strengths of various human capacities (love, resilience, and creativity, as examples) to help mediate inherent struggles and anxieties that can result from inevitable human limitations. Deriving meaning and purpose from the suffering that can result because of these internal conflicts is one of the goals of existential therapy. The key is to strike a balance between being aware of our limitations without being consumed and overwhelmed by them.
I believe strongly that our personal power as humans lies in our ability to choose. Even when our choices are limited or seem absent, we still have choice about how we will approach our experience or if we will at all. In working with clients, I do not focus so much on their past experiences, as much as I work with them to discover and identify the choices that lie before them. I help them understand the ramifications of their past by considering their current circumstances, how these circumstances have helped shape them, what their interpretations are, and how they might choose to modify future choices in light of this information.
Because this approach focuses on anxieties that often reside beneath a client’s presenting concerns, I often use this approach in conjunction with other treatment modalities to ensure a complete picture is obtained and addressed.
Existential anxieties that are discussed include:
Responsibilities and consequences of human freedom
Meaninglessness in life
Awareness of death
If this the kind of approach you are interested in to address your treatment needs, contact me today to learn more and get started.