Existential

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

Jennifer Gray (she/her)

Licensed Professional Counselor

Licensed Professional Counselor

Existential therapy is a philosophical approach to psychotherapy that emphasizes personal responsibility and the search for meaning in life. It explores existential themes like freedom, isolation, death, and meaninglessness. The aim is to help clients confront these existential concerns, and find meaning and purpose in their lives.

View Profile
Michael Ianello (he/him/his)

Licensed Professional Counselor

LPC

I have a background in existential philosophy and psychology. Discovering deeper meaning by confronting the difficult questions that arise from the unique nature of the human condition. What does it mean to be alive? How do my choices define me? How can I live a life committed to action and purpose? How can I embrace my failures and celebrate my success?

View Profile
Sarah Dykes

Licensed Professional Counselor

I believe we all seek meaning in understanding our truth.

View Profile
Valenca Valenzuela (she/her)

Clinical Social Work Associate

MSW, CSWA

I believe that existential therapy offers a transformative path from feelings of loneliness, death anxiety, and being lost to one of meaning making, balance, and personal transformation. It allows me to guide individuals on their unique journeys, helping them find purpose and understanding in the face of life's transitions and challenges. I have a background as a social worker, death doula, and life-cycle educator, which lends itself to helping others navigate existential dread.

View Profile
Dani Dierking (She/Her/Hers)

Licensed Art Therapist

LAT, LPC, ATR

Meaning, purpose, and our spiritual beliefs can be hugely influential on our life paths. I utilize foundations of existential therapy to inform the way that I guide you in grappling with common human fears and struggles.

View Profile
Sarah Craycraft

Licensed Professional Counselor

LPC, NCC

This helps us to answer some of life's more difficult questions, so I use some of these techniques as we get into the deeper issues in life.

View Profile
Marcy Irene Jenks (she/they)

Licensed Professional Counselor

MS, RN, LPC, LMHC

Authenticity and freedom are the primary virtues of existentialism. Completing the Re-Creation of the Self Professional Module, I ascribe to the philosophy which posits that we are innately whole - expansive, abundant and loving. I use this method to empower clients to emerge from perceptions of woundedness and merge with their organic self, which leads to an understanding of each persons unique purpose of life.

View Profile
Lucas Wenker MS LPC (he/him)

Licensed Professional Counselor

Looking for the answers to the questions that really matter. Why am I here? What is this all about? What should I do? Who am I? I am endlessly fascinated and impassioned by the exploration of the human experience. I have studied mindfulness meditation approaches as well and incorporate this orientation in my work with clients.

View Profile
Nani Waddoups (she/her)

Licensed Professional Counselor

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.

View Profile
Emalee Assenberg, MS, NCC

Licensed Professional Counselor

Existentialism is a philosophy that claims the most important aspects of our lives are personal responsibility and meaning. When translated into a therapeutic approach, existentialism is a powerful vehicle for accessing your inner wisdom and purpose. I utilize existentialism to help clients connect with their immediate experiences and explore their untapped potential.

View Profile
Graham Borgman (He/him/his)

Licensed Professional Counselor

A response to the social, political, and religious fragmentation that occurred in Europe in the last century, existential philosophy forms the basis for an existential-oriented therapy. The seemingly meaningless and random nature of existence and the emotional turbulence that accompanies it are collective human issues which, when embraced fully, can yield unexpected joy and vitality.

View Profile
Katherine Chiba, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

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.

View Profile
Travis Wright (he/him)

Professional Counselor Associate

MA

My work with trauma survivors has led me to develop and connect with other existential therapists in the community. This perspective addresses some of the deeper questions of purpose and meaning associated with suffering. The intent is not to fix but to learn to become more of yourself within the context of our existential struggles as a human being. To be more in tune with who we are, life can have more profound moments and more freedom.

View Profile
Brandon Bressi, MA, LPC (He/Him)

Licensed Professional Counselor

We often experience varying degrees of stress, anxiety, and depression when we aren’t fully and consciously tending to our needs in the present moment. We can easily become humans who are “doing” instead of humans who are “being.” Using an existential approach will allow us to stay present and explore your innermost fears, uncertainties, and lack of meaning you may be experiencing while finding new ways to overcome these challenges by engaging in greater acceptance and intentionality.

View Profile
Blake Locher (he/him)

Licensed Professional Counselor

LPC, CRC

We all want purpose. We all want meaning. But tackling questions such as "What does it mean to be alive?" or "What provides me meaningful joy?" is a difficult, lifelong venture. I use Existential Therapy to help you look at the choices you make, and calibrate authenticity as the compass bearing for navigating life. By helping you understand the ways you keep and break faith with yourself, you can chart a course for a more expansive, self-determined life.

View Profile
Dawn Forrester (She/her)

Professional Counselor Associate

M.S., N.C.C.

View Profile
Ray Nelson (He/Him)

Licensed Professional Counselor

LPC, CCMHC

View Profile
Palma Corral Sotelo (she /her)

Professional Counselor Associate

MA, NCC, PCA

We will incorporate narrative approaches while we explore how you make meaning of your life and how you tell your story. We will identify your values and how they guide you. We will explore the meanings you make of your life and death as deeply as you want and need.

View Profile
Gemma Baumer (she/her)

Licensed Professional Counselor

Licensed Professional Counselor, M.A. in Counseling

Existential Therapy is an orientation to the existential dimensions of life. There are certain givens with this--we all will die, we all will face suffering, and we live with certain limitations. Yet in spite of these limitations, existential therapy holds that we can move beyond despair and anxiety to access the most freedom when we attend to our deepest, core selves, and work to integrate the levels of our experience and find what is most authentic to us.

View Profile
Todd Mercural (He/His)

Licensed Professional Counselor

NCC, LPC

View Profile
Leif Moa-Anderson (He/him)

Licensed Professional Counselor

LPC, LMHC

My first love was philosophy. I believe that we all struggle with the existential conundrums of the human condition, whether we know it or not, and one or more of them is behind all mental and emotional angst.

View Profile
Matthew Beeble (He/Him)

Licensed Professional Counselor

Whether meaning and purpose are things you think about a lot or not, they are core factors in what drives you from day to day. You may be seeking therapy because the things going on in your life have caused you to revisit the questions, 'Who am I?' and 'What do I want from life?' The existential approach believes that answering these questions are essential to health and well-being.

View Profile
Steve Harper (He)

Professional Counselor

LPC, MCOUN, MED

Life changes, as well as our sense of identity can change, and with it increased uncertainty. We all share common needs for acceptance, connection, and intimacy from others, as well as for our individual freedom, security, growth, and fulfillment.

View Profile
Brad Pankey (he/him)

Professional Counselor Associate

View Profile
Ryan Brown (He/him/his)

Licensed Professional Counselor

MA, LPC

View Profile
Erin Carney Moline

Licensed Professional Counselor

LPC

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.

View Profile
Emily Berry (she/they)

Licensed Professional Counselor

LPC

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 live and expansive, meaningful life.

View Profile
Aja Stoner

Professional Counselor Associate

Existential therapy and techniques are designed to help you to find your true self and live a life in accordance with your values. It is designed to help you achieve congruence between your environment and your inner-self. Do you even wonder, what's my purpose, what does this all mean? If so, existential therapy is for you! Existentialism is all about self-empowerment, authenticity and purpose.

View Profile
Justin Rock (he/him)

Licensed Professional Counselor

I am a founding member of EHNW (Existential-Humanistic Northwest). I studied philosophy as an undergraduate at Lewis & Clark College. During this time, I studied predominantly phenomenology, existentialism and philosophy of mind. I have focused my therapy training in Existential-Humanistic therapy and provide E-H Supervision.

View Profile
Polly Harrison (she/her)

Licensed Professional Counselor

C7190

Living is not for the faint of heart. To seek meaning and actively engage with an exploration of individual and collective humanity is a shifting lifelong journey. Existential therapy wrestles with matters of life and death, and what it means to you to be a human being with all the attendant pain, sorrow, joy, and questioning.

View Profile
Colleen Burke-Sivers, LPC (She/her)

Licensed Professional Counselor

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.'

View Profile
Neil Panchmatia (he/they)

Licensed Professional Counselor

MS, NCC, Licensed Professional Counselor

I use tenets of Existential Humanistic therapy in my work, as I believe that we all gravitate naturally towards self-determination and holistic congruence. Self-examination and self-awareness are key steps for this - supported in therapy. I use core tenets of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT): such as self-acceptance, emotional regulation systems, and compassionate/content living.

View Profile
Rhys Pasimio (He/Him)

Licensed Professional Counselor

C3730

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.

View Profile
Zara Roth (she/her)

Professional Counselor

M.A., QMHP, CADC, Registered Associate

View Profile
Clea Partridge (she/her/hers)

Professional Counselor Associate

Masters of Science in Counseling

Existential work explores innately human questions regarding death, anxiety, and congruence. Existential work can help you explore how to make choices that are authentic to you and who you want to be in the world and in relationships. This work is done relationally, in the therapy room, and I promise to show up authentically for you in our work together.

View Profile
Greta Reitinger (She/Her/Hers)

Licensed Professional Counselor

MA, LPC

Existential & Gestalt therapies work well together in a dynamic tension between the simple fact of our life's brevity and the wonderful truth that every moment contains worlds. Staying focused in the present-moment, even noticing/amplifying an unconscious gesture, a session can become a laboratory for discovery and experimentation.

View Profile
Justice Arledge LPC Associate, MS (he/him)

Professional Counselor Associate

master's in clinical mental health counseling

Existential therapists will ask questions to the client to help them solve their problems like what is it you want to do? What are the feelings you want to feel? What things in your life do you want to accomplish. With the answers the client gives the therapist; the therapist then will simply ask how are we going to solve these goals. Existential therapy is more concerned with the bigger picture. Solving the bigger problems will in turn answer the smaller problems.

View Profile
Jessi Huffman (she/her)

Licensed Professional Counselor

LPC

My curiosity is guided by my existential training and encourages exploration of our "why to be here" principles - the ones that guide us and hold us steady when everything around us is unknown or collapsing.

View Profile
Kimberly Woodworth (She/Her)

Licensed Professional Counselor

MS, LPC, NCC

Existing can be difficult and none are exempt from the human condition that inevitably delves into an exploration of our existence, meaning, and fulfillment. This is the main philosophy I utilize in assessment, treatment, and overall work in this space.

View Profile
Michael D. Jolliffe (he/him)

Licensed Professional Counselor

MS

Personal interest in existential topics, particularly as informed by Tibetan Buddhism.

View Profile
Christopher Marquardt (he/his/they/them)

Licensed Professional Counselor

LPC

Who are you? Where are you going? How to make the most of what you've been dealt? How to cope with the unfortunate situations that are present? How to celebrate the positives?

View Profile
Lavinia Magliocco (she/they)

Professional Counselor Associate

CRC

I draw from an existential perspective, guided by the belief that each individual possesses wisdom capable of navigating life's complexities towards greater freedom, connection, and well-being. While we may not have control over many external factors, we hold the power to liberate ourselves from repetitive, unfulfilling patterns of behavior, thought, and emotion.

View Profile
Dave Davis

Qualified Mental Health Professional

MA

On one hand we are all unique, on the other, there are universal themes of existence that we all must contend with. These "existential themes" include issues of: - freedom versus responsibility - being and becoming (development) - limitation (mortality / the fact that we can't do everything we might want to do) - the fact that we must make choices now, in ignorance of what the future holds (courage) - our existence is our relationships with others, ourselves, and the world

View Profile
Aaron Finbloom (he/him)

Somatic Practitioner

PhD

With training in existential and philosophical counseling, I assist clients in delving into deeper questions that frame the contours of life, world and sense of self.

View Profile
Sofia Jasani (she/her/hers)

Licensed Professional Counselor

LPC, NCC

Wellness naturally arises when we experience empathy, acceptance, curiosity, and hope in relationships. I aim to bring these qualities to our therapeutic relationship, and support you in creating this kind of relationship with the important people in your life. I believe each client has the capacity for healing and self-actualization. I bring my full authentic self into my relationship with clients so they may feel understood, valued, and empowered to move towards growth.

View Profile
Lauren Stines (she/they)

Marriage and Family Therapist Associate

MA MCFT

So, you live in a body on a rock rotating around a big ball of gas in a limitless universe...yikes...now what? Well, whatever you want I suppose. I will compassionately support you through crises of isolation/belonging, death/life, freedom/responsibility, and the general run-of-the-mill sense of meaninglessness. I will invite you to create meaning for your experiences and touch base with how you experience them in the present moment.

View Profile
Jacob Curtis (he/him)

Licensed Professional Counselor

MA CADCI NCC LPC

My work with clients includes looking at values, choices, and the meaning in their lives, from a non-judgmental perspective.

View Profile
Jennifer Wohl, MA, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

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.

View Profile
Vedalia Zellers (she/they)

Clinical Social Work Associate

MSW, CSWA

Whatever is on your mind can have a place in our therapeutic work. For some, this may sometimes include "big" questions. How do we find meaning and fulfillment? How do we make sense of human suffering? How do we grapple with death? Personal events (such as life transitions and losses) as well as global events (like climate change and genocide) sometimes lead people to ask big-picture questions, which you're welcome to bring to therapy.

View Profile
Jeremy Steenstrup Balthazar (he/him)

Professional Counselor Associate

MA, QMHP

View Profile
Wes Harris (he, his, him)

Licensed Professional Counselor

LPC, CADC I

View Profile