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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I believe that experiencing both joy and pain is what makes us human. My goal when sitting with you is not to "fix" you or to change the ways in which you show up as a human, but to embrace what makes you, "you". Themes like choice, freedom, purpose often come up in my sessions; I am interested in helping you figure out whether what you are doing is truly what you want to do with your life.

— Nancy Juscamaita, Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Existential psychotherapy is deeply life affirming and is rooted in the belief that change is always possible. It is aimed to assist with issues that arise from being human—or, simply “existing”, to which no one is immune. Goals include to increase self-awareness, take responsibility of life, relate better to others, self-acceptance, and to live authentically. Existential therapists are curious, genuine and conversational. Therapeutic work includes dialogue, creativity, dream work and more.

— Lauren Hunter, Psychotherapist in New Orleans, LA
 

I deeply enjoy helping people investigate issues such as personal identity, freedom and responsibility and how they intersect in our lives. The world is a confusing, frustrating place often lately and exploring the ways to make personal sense of meaning of it can be incredibly healing.

— Molz Wirtz, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Portland, OR

Let's look for the meaning in what you have experienced along with how you think and feel.

— Lori Lee Staton, BS, MA, (pre)LPC/MHSP, Counselor in Cookeville, TN
 

Existential therapy asks deep questions about the nature of being human. Why am I here? What do I want from life? What gives me purpose? What matters to me? It simultaneously asks us to consider our unique experience in this world while also helping us to see that everything we're going through is also connected to a universal human experience.

— Damon Dodge, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

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-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

Finding meaning, direction, and purpose in life can be some of the greatest sources of anxieties for a person. Existential therapy looks at a person as a whole, in a humanistic context, to look at all the factors affecting a person and how those manifest into anxiety. It centers on deep, introspective discussions to help a person learn how to search for answers to meaning in life, to choose the way they want to live, and help people find connectedness to the world - ultimately reducing anxiety.

— Kate Mageau, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate
 

We are all capable humans with some amount of self-determination in our lives. My belief is that we each create meaning in different ways. Part of my goal is to explore with you how you find meaning in your life and what your narratives about yourself and others are to see where supportive shifts can happen.

— Augustin Kendall, Counselor in Minneapolis, MN

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
 

Existential-humanistic therapy is a relational approach that recognizes the importance of creating a therapy environment that helps clients deepen their awareness of themselves. Existential-humanistic therapy also recognizes the importance of addressing issues of freedom and responsibility, meaning, 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 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
 

Existential psychotherapy is deeply life affirming and is rooted in the belief that change is always possible. It is aimed to assist with issues that arise from being human—or, simply “existing”. No one is immune to the inherent tragedies of existence. I help my clients increase self-awareness, gain insight, take responsibility of their lives, integrate painful experiences into their life story, relate better to others, accept themselves, and live authentically.

— Lauren Hunter, Psychotherapist in New Orleans, LA

The existential components of my therapeutic approach involve facilitating self-exploration of how each client understands the world around them and their place in it, allowing them to identify what it looks like to them to live meaningfully and intentionally.

— Kate Fallon Upton, Associate Professional Counselor in Marietta, GA
 

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

This is where my formal training is - existential phenomenology. I realize that every human faces huge questions: life, death, relationship, meaning. The anxiety that moves us toward or away from finding meaning can be a great gift when harnessed, but can also paralyze us and lead toward a feeling of stagnancy. I do not consider existentialism as an intervention, necessarily, but it is a frame that underlies all of the work that we do together.

— Chris Perry, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA
 

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

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