Existential psychotherapy has a philosophical, innovative feel to it but is non-dogmatic. Along with the therapist, the client explores his or her beliefs about the world around them, specifically how they relate to it. Existential Psychotherapy takes the view that a certain degree of tension is inevitable when two individuals come together, in this case the therapist and client.
This creates an inter-subjective relationship through which the client’s concerns about their existence can be examined. Together, they will creatively illuminate the client’s personal meaning and values, as well as the possibilities and choices open to them. By exploring these fundamental aspects of their existence, the client can learn to live more authentically, and gain a true sense of ‘aliveness.’
Existential ‘givens’ are explored through the ‘fourfold world’ of the physical, social, psychological and spiritual dimensions. This approach acknowledges our limitations, but fundamentally highlights the ultimate freedom in choice we all possess.
This approach to psychotherapy therefore centres on an exploration of a person’s particular way of seeing life, the world and him/herself. The goal is to help the individual establish what matters to them, so that they can begin to feel in tune with their existence and function more effectively in the real world.