Based on the principles of the existential movement popularized by philosophers such as Heidegger, Dostoevsky, Kafka, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Sartre, existential therapy proposes that mental conflicts arise from an individual’s concern with the “givens” of human existence. These include the inevitability of death, freedom, existential isolation, and meaninglessness. Existential therapy does not focus on the past and instead works to empower the individual to take responsibility for their decisions and create the present and future they want. Existential therapy is most beneficial for clients who view their problems as challenges of living, rather than mental illness symptoms.
Local Experts in Existential
I have received special training in Applied Existential Psychotherapy, which weaves together existential, psychodynamic, and gestalt techniques and insights. My focus in the therapeutic encounter is on bridging the here-and-now counselor-client relationship with the client's larger life context and relationships outside of therapy.
Existential/humanistic psychologies recognize that being human is difficult. We all have to deal with certain issues - need for independence, need for relationship, fear of death, adjustment to societal roles, the transcendent, etc.. These issues bring up questions of personal meaning. Discussion and reflection further the process.
Existential therapy explores meaning and purpose in life. It looks at deeper questions that people often wrestle: \'What is my purpose in life?\', \'What is the true meaning of life?\' \'What do I believe?\' \'Why am I making the choices I am making?\' \'What is the bigger picture.\'
Existential therapy approaches inform my practice as well.
I help clients try to make sense of why they exist and their purpose in life. Some issues to discuss are death, freedom, responsibility, isolation and meaning. Inner conflict within a person versus the \'givens\' around him/her is a major theme in this orientation.
Sometimes life presents us with problems that have no easy solution, impossible scenarios, profoundly disturbing questions, and unresolvable tensions. The problems seem to be endless and there is no escape in sight. In situations like these, sometimes the key to making it through is knowing we\'re not alone. I have hope that healing and abundant life can still be found on a difficult journey.
Many of us are on an ongoing journey to understand our life\'s meaning and purpose. We are all longing to feel a sense of self-worth/uniqueness, as well as a sense of belonging/connectedness in the world as we grow and change. With the right support and self-awareness, I believe we all have the capacity to feel expansive, open, and full-hearted in the world.
As an existential therapist I\'m interested in the deeper anxieties we all experience: what is your purpose here, and how do you find gratification and happiness in the time you\'re here?
This theory emphasizes the importance of making meaning, and finding purpose, in one's life and the inherently unique journey this proves to be for each individual.
My therapeutic philosophy is rooted in the existential belief that we want meaning and purpose for our lives, and that we have the strengths to make our lives how we want them to be. My job is to creatively engage in the process of clarifying that vision and supporting the efforts to navigate the way there.
Before attending Pacifica Graduate Institute in 2003, I did a masters degree in Psychology at Saybrook Graduate Institute, one of the premier humanistic psychology schools in the US. I currently support my interest in this field through an ongoing consultation group with Bob Edelstein, an existential/humansitic therapist in Portland, OR.
Behind much of the pain and anxiety of traumas and life transitions lies discomfort around questions of meaning and purpose. What does it mean that we must die? How do we make sense of the losses we experience? How do we handle freedom? Where do we find life-enhancing connections? My training as a minister and chaplain gives me a frame from which to help you explore these concerns.
Dealing with crisis, death, and suffering raises issues about the point of enduring it all. Unresolved existential issues can lead to profound, chronic depression and emptiness. Exploring those thoughts and finding meaning and purpose with clients is one of my passions.
The most powerful component of engaging in counseling is often feeling that someone else is present, understanding and connecting with you about the difficulties you face. Often, anxiety stems from unanswerable questions about meaning, isolation, love, death, and responsibility, for instance. By incorporating existential theory and practice into my work, we can tackle these human fears together.
My work with clients includes looking at values, choices, and the meaning in their lives, from a non-judgmental perspective.
The only two certainties for human beings are life and death. What we do between those two goalposts is up to us. How do we live with joy and excitement knowing that life is temporary? How do we live with joy and excitement when it seems our lives have dragged on for too long? Acknowledging and accepting the realities of human existence frees us up to engage fully and create lives worth living.
How do you take responsibility for your existence and live fully your unique human potential? This question is at the heart of the personal issues that we face. That is, at a deep level many of our issues result from our not taking our lives with a decisive seriousness. Our lives are real, and we alone are responsible for their fulfillment or lack of fulfillment. This is the existential view.
Who am I? How do I fit into the world? What is my purpose? These questions can create anxiety and dissonance, even when 'things are going well.' When things aren't going well, an insecure and uncertain sense of self can feel debilitating. Together, we'll search within your values and consider new possibilities to find answers to these big questions and secure a firm stake in your existence.
Meaning is an individual creation, one we apply, often unconsciously, to every facet and experience of life. I work with clients to examine existential meaning-of-life and meaning-of-death questions within their individual contexts, and help identify where the meanings we hold may be holding us back.
I have post-graduate training in existential-humanistic therapy which focuses on supporting clients in growing in self-awareness, authenticity, and personal agency. It recognizes the dignity and thrust toward growth within every human being and dovetails well with mindfulness and relational approaches to therapy.
We live in each moment, grappling with who we are, experiencing joy, resolving pain. I use our time in session to bring you into this moment, to experience yourself as you are now. I have trained extensively in the art of therapy in the here and now.
I\'m a human just like you (woah, big surprise!) and being a fellow human in the therapeutic space, as opposed to an expert that lords above you, helps us both find meaning and comfort for the difficulties that come up.
Sometimes life\'s struggles will test your ability to find meaning of the suffering that your personal life\'s challenges hold. I will help guide you through your own life process of transforming your fears, needs and desires towards acceptance and greater peace...this process can be done through art therapy or talk therapy--or both.
I affirm the complexity and uniqueness of the clients I work with, and as such I make a concerted effort to understand their different facets, and to treat them with kindness and respect. Existential therapy involves personal identity development, congruence of worldview with practice, and the treatment of big life questions (e.g. personal meaning, beliefs, and purpose).
I believe clients have the power to find meaning through the set of experiences they've encountered.
Master's studies emphasis on existential philosophy. I work with clients to help them identify their values and purpose and how these can influence their success and happiness.
Existential is an experiential relational therapy that represents an over arching theme in my practice.
Existential therapy involves getting to the heart of who you are, what you believe, and why you see the world the way you do.