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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Focus upon the ways in which individuals make meaning of their life situations--in the particulars as well as with respect to the phenomenon of life itself--is a central focus of my study and practice. I find value in the rich philosophical and psychological traditions informing existential work in therapy, integrating these considerations as my clients express a desire or yearning to do so.

— Mike Lee, Clinical Psychologist in Charlotte, NC

We all want a life free of suffering and full of happiness. Explore with the client how achieve this goal.

— Stefan Dombrowski, Psychologist in Mt. Laurel, NJ
 

Existential Therapy helps you explore questions such as "why am I here", "what is my purpose", "why is their suffering in the world?" "what happens after death?" "Is there a God?". It can help you create meaning in a world that can sometimes feel pointless and meaningless. It can also help you decide what you want the meaning and purpose of your life to be and to create an authentic life with that vision.

— Justina Janda, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Asheville, NC

Existential-humanistic therapy seeks to create a therapeutic relationship and environment that fosters deepening awareness of oneself, including issues of meaning, choice, relationships, and working with one's potential and limitations. Rollo May, one of the founders of this approach, noted that the purpose of psychotherapy is to set people free.

— Louis Hoffman, Psychologist in Colorado Springs, CO
 

I hold the question "what are you doing here?" both in my office and on the earth as we meet keeping in mind whether you are living out your purpose. There are four "givens" of existence that we must grapple with: Death - it can be terrifying or freeing/motivating Isolation - we are born for/die for only ourselves Freedom - we have the freedom /responsibility for our life Meaning - we are meaning-making beings Sometimes symptoms point us to larger questions and we need help working through them.

— Addie Michlitsch, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Roseville, MN

Existential therapy focuses on how we find meaning in our lives. People who seek psychotherapy often have lost abilities, careers, or relationships. How do we redefine our lives and find new sources of satisfaction and joy while grieving such loss? I can help you find ways to connect with meaning in yourself, your relationships with others, and your relationship with the world around you.

— Peter Addy, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR
 

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

I work with clients to help them understand how they see the world and to find meaning in their lives and experiences.

— William Hemphill, Licensed Professional Counselor in Decatur, GA
 

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

Considering the deeper issues of what it means to be human and exist at this time and in this place. Trying to figure out what the heck it's all about anyway. What do I believe? What do I think is BS? What happens when I die? What is death? Why am I here? What is the point of life? Will I make a difference? What matters most?

— Nancy Johnson, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Wellesley Hills, MA
 

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

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
 

When clients first begin therapy, one of the questions that often comes up is what it means to work through emotions or traumas. From the perspective of Existential Therapy, we address the meaning that these experiences hold for you, which comes from our ability to build context foresight around them. If the past still hurts, or if the future holds too many mysteries, it is worth exploring the meaning that we derive from our life's story as a whole.

— Evan Powers, Mental Health Counselor in Loveland, CO

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
 

Existential therapy acknowledges there is no solution to the great questions about the meaning of life or death. By identifying your guiding values in life, and sitting with the discomfort of death, you may find more inner peace.

— Katherine Mancera, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist

While intellectual theories of behavior and change provide a conceptual framework for communicating about human behavior and experience, they do not capture the essence of what it is like to be human. Reality Attunement Therapy stresses the experiential conditions necessary for meaningful change.

— Mike Lubofsky, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, 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

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
 

I have worked with a variety of mental health challenges over the years, from complex trauma and severe organic mental illness to anxiety and depression. What I have found is that often the most healing and human experiences come from the meaning that we are able to making of our lives. For any gardeners out there, understanding our suffering through this existential lens is how we can compost our pain and grow beautiful lives in these rich soils.

— Alex Lippincott, Therapist in Wheat Ridge, CO