Existential Therapy

Existential therapy, created out of the existential philosophy tradition, is a treatment orientation based that focuses on the human condition as a whole. One of the primary goals of existential therapy is to help clients face life and its anxieties head on and to embrace the freedom of choice humans have, taking full responsibility for their choices as they do so. Therapists trained in existential therapy believe that unhealthy or undesirable behaviors result from an inhibited ability to make authentic, self-directed choices about how to live. Therefore, in therapy, an existential counselor will work with you to focus on your own responsibility and freedom. You will be challenged to think and behave responsibly by confronting internal thoughts, rather than outside pressures. Existential therapy seeks to help clients live more authentically, to be focused on the present (not the past), to be less concerned with superficiality and to find meaning in their lives. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s existential therapy specialists today.

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Meet the specialists

 

I want to help clients find and make meaning and purpose in their lives. I am honest with clients about harsh realities of the human experience in the interest of helping clients come to terms with them and become their most authentic and free selves.

— Kirsten Cannon, Counselor in Memphis, TN

Let's explore the human condition and what it means to you. I take a strength based approach that increases self-awareness, accountability and quality of life.

— Sara Lowery, Psychotherapist in Marion, NC
 

It is not easy to discuss meaning making and the concepts of life and death with our social circle or friend group. I am here to provide the space for you to evaluate the human condition, your place within it and what it all means to you.

— Ashley MacLaren, Counselor in Seattle, WA

When we talk about "general therapy" I tend to align most strongly as an existentialist. This means a core belief that we are all free agents in the world, doing our best to navigate impossible circumstances. I view "the world" as both helpful and harmful in that we will be simultaneously empowered and oppressed (in different degrees for different people). Ultimately, contentment comes through a sense of self-efficacy in one's own life and from making meaning out of your experiences.

— Sean Glynn, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA
 

I offer support for the anxieties that occur when a person confronts the inherent conflicts of life. I find it helpful to weave a deep humanistic approach along in with existential exploration.

— Candis Zimmerman, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in , TX

I believe that key aspects of existential therapy such as guilt, anxiety, responsibility, meaning, and death are important to not ignore. I also believe that these principles can guide people when they appear to be "stuck" on something, and can appropriately challenge thinking patterns to create long lasting positive changes.

— Jorge Flores, Licensed Professional Counselor in Denver, CO
 

A fan of Abraham Maslow, I view client experience as one that, cultural contexts aside, has universal elements across all people when it comes to issues of purpose and meaning, life, esteem, aging, and death.

— Gregory Gooden, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in POMONA, CA

My approach to counseling centers around identifying the things that matter the most to you and the strengths and abilities you’ve used to survive in this life so far, creating a safe space to look more closely at the difficult areas of life that don’t appear to have easy answers. I see therapy as a healing and creative process, where my training and knowledge act as a mirror to help you unlock your own expertise on yourself.

— Matt McCullough, Licensed Professional Counselor Intern
 

I use tenets of Gestalt and Existential 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 tenets of Gestalt therapy in association with existential therapy: such as immediacy, the therapeutic relationship, and individual responsibility.

— Neil Panchmatia, Counselor in Portland, OR

Existential therapy provides clients with a mirror with which to see how they are in the world, as well as building a strong therapeutic relationship based on authenticity, genuineness, and empathy that helps clients to better understand themselves and their world.

— Greyson Smith @ Forge Counseling Collective, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Colorado Springs, CO
 

I practice existential therapy by focusing on areas of your life in which you can promote a greater sense of meaning and purpose, interpersonal connection, freedom, and fearlessness. I embrace the discomfort of not knowing the answer to all of life's questions, and strive to help my clients ease their anxiety about the great unknowns. Realizing that life's decisions can not always be put into boxes of "right" or "wrong" helps clients become more confident and assertive about making choices.

— Mary Mills, Counselor in Seattle, WA

Where do you find meaning? What is important to you? What does happiness look like to you? Who or what are you living for? The idea that only we can define or determine our own purpose and path is daunting and overwhelming, but can also be liberating and life-affirming.

— Nathan Robbel, Therapist in Chicago, IL
 

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.

— Polly Harrison, Marriage and Family Therapist Associate in Portland, OR

Through my work, existential therapy allows me to understand how your way-of-being in the world and any experienced stuckness.

— Notae Eddo, Associate Professional Clinical Counselor
 

Helping people find a balance and meaning in their human experience is at the core of why I am a therapist. I have practiced existential therapy for the past five years and quite honestly have lived this orientation all of my life. Challenges and issues are part of our experience as humans and can not be viewed as bad or good or black or white. Instead when it is viewed through this gray area it fosters self-awareness that I believe people make the most of their lives.

— ShannonElaine John, Counselor in Fort Morgan, CO

I love working within existential therapy and helping people identify their values and goals in life, and how to live by those. I believe it is important to find purpose and meaning in life that helps us to keep going when times are tough.

— Caley Johnson, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Bellingham, WA
 

An existential approach to therapy emphasizes the importance of the meaning that each person makes in life and that the path that one takes can only be understood in the context of their unique life experience. This means that the questions, "Who am I?" and "What is the meaning of life" is a personal journey that, ultimately, only the individual can discover for themselves.

— Matthew Beeble, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Vancouver, WA

Existential Therapy focuses on free will, self-determination, and the search for meaning. This approach often centers on you rather than on the symptom you are experiencing. The approach emphasizes your capacity to make rational choices and to develop to your maximum potential.

— Cheryl Perry, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Charlotte, NC