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.

Need help finding the right therapist?
Find Your Match

Meet the specialists

 

Experienced with employing existential therapy and aim to help individuals grow throughout their life span, develop their potential, become more self-aware, work through discomfort and find their purpose in life.

— Adam Carmichael, Counselor in Mansfield, MA

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
 

Existential therapy is all about looking for meaning, purpose, and exploring identity. Who are we? What are we doing here? What's it all for? If you're asking questions like these, existential therapy is for you.

— Grace Wood, Licensed Professional Counselor in Austin, TX

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
 

"What is the meaning of life?" is an eternally joked about question, but when we do not have our own personal answer to this question it often leads to mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, and interpersonal conflict. I support clients to ask the deep questions, seek and understand their core values, and find meaning in their life as a way to reduce negative symptoms and bring about positive mental health.

— eric bjorlin, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Evanston, IL

Existential Therapy focuses on the individual, rather than the symptoms. Existential Therapy explores one’s search for meaning, free will, and self-determination in order to increase self-awareness and self-understanding.

— Shavonne James, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Long Beach, CA
 

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

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 Dayan Hunter, Psychotherapist in New Orleans, LA
 

I help clients find meaning in their life in the face of adversity and uncertainty.

— Waitsell Jones, Addictions 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”. 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 Dayan Hunter, Psychotherapist in New Orleans, LA
 

Especially in this political and social climate, anxiety, dread, and depression can be attributed to the human condition; that is, being a human in this deeply imperfect world is bound to bring with it anxieties, worries, and a sense of loneliness sometimes. Viewing it as a normal, although unpleasant, part of life can help to shift the narrative from pathology, to a temporary feeling that we can use to explore these emotions and how they impact us globally.

— PSYCHe PLLC, Psychologist in Nashville, TN

To be human is to endure pain and hardship. I utilize existential therapy to help clients find meaning and value in their lives, despite the challenges and hard times.

— Cori Ross, Therapist in Alpharetta, GA
 

Exploring life's difficulties from a philosophical and existential perspective can increase positive feelings, personal freedom, and a sense of wonder for our lives that can sometimes feel stagnant. Existential therapy can help to create meaning and purpose in life by bravely approaching the unknown fears, desires, and curiosities that many of us carry. Engaging in existential therapy allows us to confront internal conflicts and be more in touch with what is in the present moment.

— shanen curran, Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate in Denver, CO

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
 

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

I am very interested in how things are interpreted and what meaning we give to things, events, relationships, and life experiences. I believe everyone is different and are just looking for where they fit in their lives and in the universe. The meaning we give to these things influences how we behave and interact with ourselves and others.

— Lacy Isenburg, Licensed Professional Counselor in Houston, TX
 

At the core of human experience are fundamental questions about responsibility, freedom, life and death, and meaning. My approach connects client experiences to these questions.

— Seth Stewart, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

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 Upton, Licensed Professional Counselor in Atlanta, GA