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What is the bet way to describe the Existential approach?

Can be best described as a philosophical approach that guides that practitioner rather than a specific model.


What does Existential therapy focus on?

Focuses on mortality, meaning, freedom, responsibility, anxiety, and aloneness as these relate to peoples lives and current struggle.


Existential analysis

Developed by Binswanger, emphasises the subjective and spiritual dimensions of human existence.



Developed by Frankl: Therapy through meaning. What it means to be fully alive. To find meaning. if Freud was the will to pleasure, and Adler was the will to power, Frankl is the will to meaning.


Existential tradition

Seeks to balance recognising the limits and tragic dimensions of human existence on one had and the possibilities and opportunities of human life in the other.


Existential View of Human Nature

The significance of our existence is ever fixed once and for all; rather we continually recreate ourselves through our projects.


The Basic Dimensions of the Existential Human Condition

1. The capacity for self awareness 2. Freedom and responsibility 3. Creating ones identity and establishing meaningful relationships with others 4. The search for meaning, purpose ,values, and goals 5. Anxiety as a condition of living 6. Awareness of death and nonbeing.


What are the foundations of self awareness?

Freedom, Choice, and Responcblity.


Three values of existential therapy

1. The freedom to become within the context of self-imposed and natural limitations 2. The capacity to reflect on the meaning of our choices 3. The capacity to act on the choices we make.



A notion developed by Sartre, not accepting personal responsibility. Lacking awareness, and massively assuming that our lives are in control of external forces.



That we are responsible for our live, for or actions, and for our failures to take action.


Existential guilt

Is being aware of and having evaded a commitment, or having chosen not to choose. Grows out of a sense of completeness, or a realisation that we are not what we might have become. This guilt is explored during therapy.



Implies that we are living by by being true to our own evaluation of what is a valuable existence for ourselves; it is the courage to be who we are.


Existential Vacuum

Meaningless in life can lead to emptiness and hollowness, or a condition that Frankl calls the Existential Vacuum. Often experienced when people do to busy themselves with routine or work.



Logotherapy is deigned to assist clients in developing new meaning in their lives. Pointing out that meaning can be created, even in suffering.


Existential anxiety

- Is the unavoidable rest of being confronted with the “gives of existence” - death, freedom, choice, isolation, and meaninglessness.
- Arises when we recognise the realities of our mortality, our confrontation with pain and suffering, our need for struggle and for survival and our basic fallibility.
- We are made increasingly aware of this anxiety as we become aware of our freedom, and the consequences of accepting or rejecting that freedom.
- Can be an indicator of the subtle need for growth.


Normal anxiety

- Is an appropriate response to an event being faced. Can be used as a motivation to change and does not need be repressed.
- At the root of normal anxiety is ontological anxiety, which is based on awareness of of our on temporality and is present even when we do not have face to face particularly difficult situations.


Neurotic anxiety

- Is anxiety about concrete things that is out of proportion to the situation.
- Typically our of awareness, and ends to immobilise the person. We must learn to live with as little neurotic anxiety as possible whilst managing the inevitable normal anxiety that comes with life.


Therapeutic goals of Existential therapy

- Existential therapy is best considered to be an invitation to clients to recognise the ways in which they are not living fully authentic lives and to make choices that will lead to their becoming what they are capable of being.
- Assist clients in moving towards authenticity and learning to recognise when they are deceiving themselves.
- Relinquishing our ultimate freedom is authenticity.
- To face anxiety and engage in action tat is based on the authentic purpose of creating a worthy existence.


Four essential elements of existential-humanistic therapy:

- 1. To help clients become more present to both themselves and others.
- 2. To assist clients n identifying was they block themselves rom fuller presence.
- 3. To challenge clients to assume responsibility for designing their present lives.
- 4. To encourage clients to chose more expanded ways of being in their daily lives.


Restricted existence

Limited awareness of themselves and are often vague about he the nature of their problems.


Why is Existential therapy relevant for those from multicultural backgrounds

- Highly relevant for working in a multicultural perspective as existential therapy does not dictate a particular way of viewing or relating to reality.
- The issues that existential therapy focus’s on such as love, anxiety, death, suffering - are all universal issues. They tranced the boundaries of seperate human existence.
- The phenomenological approach of existential therapy is a benefit to the from multicultural backgrounds.
- The degree to which ones behaviour is being influenced by social or cultural conditioning.