Please enter something

Existential Therapy

question

Was Rollo May’s Childhood pleasant?
answer

No. -his parents didn’t get along and eventually divorced -his sister had a psychotic breakdown
question

Why did Rollo May have to leave from Michigan State?
answer

because of involvement with a radical student magazine
question

What did Rollo May do when he went to Greece after graduation?
answer

-taught English at Anatolia College for 3 years -worked as an itinerant artist -studied briefly with Alfred Adler
question

Turning point in Rollo May’s life?
answer

suffered from tuberculosis ( spent 3 years in a sanatorium). facing the possibility of death was probably the turning point of his life
question

What kind of therapy does Rollo May use?
answer

existential therapy
question

about existential therapy
answer

-based in philosphy -helps people examine issues of PERSONAL MEANING -less about theory and more about offering PERSPECTIVE on the human condition
question

Self Awareness
answer

Live in the here and now
question

The Primacy of Experience: Every individual is unique
answer

Isolation: We are born alone and die alone. Personal Meaning: What is the purpose for living? How we live our life (being-in-the-world) Do we visit all the “rooms in our house”?
question

Free Choice
answer

People can choose what they become
question

Freedom
answer

People have fear of freedom because with freedom comes choice and the possibility of choosing poorly (responsibility)
question

What buffy says about free choice (freedom)
answer

she wants to fight evil, help people, its a good fight
question

Responsibility: We are responsible for our own lives
answer

– Genes and environment are important. They are just not deterministic – Many individuals, at some point, struggle with accepting this responsibility and, therefore, deny or limit their own freedom – Sartre: “Statements of bad faith”; inauthentic to assume that our existence is controlled by forces external to ourselves
question

Examples of Sartre
answer

– Displace responsibility onto others (“My boss made me work late”) – Think of self as helpless victim of circumstances (racism) – Attribute behavior to unconscious drives (“I’d never do something like that”) – Absolve themselves of responsibility by a sort of temporary insanity (“It was the beer talking”) – Buffy says: “Something made us different. We’re warriors. We’re built to kill” (Faith in “Consequences” 3-15)
question

Wish? Its parts?
answer

To be in touch with what one really wants – indecisiveness – impulsivity?
question

Will
answer

To organize oneself in order to achieve one’s goals (roughly “ego”) or “the ability to make wishes come true.”
question

Sartre
answer

“Statements of bad faith”; inauthentic to assume that our existence is controlled by forces external to ourselves
question

Parts of Will
answer

– Neo-puritan – Infantile – Creative
question

Neo-puritan
answer

All will, but no love. Amazing self-discipline, can “make things happen”… but no wishes to act upon. So they become “anal” and perfectionistic, but empty and “dried-up.” (archetype?)
question

Infantile
answer

All wishes but no will. Filled with dreams and desires, lack self-discipline to make anything of their dreams and desires, and so become dependent and conformist. They love, but their love means little. (archetype?)
question

Creative
answer

A balance of these two: “Man’s task is to unite love and will.”
question

How are our lives safer because of fear?
answer

– Fear and anxiety are signals of problems – They help us recognize the problem – They motivate us to cope with the problem – Normal anxiety is good
question

How are our lives poorer because of fear?
answer

– Avoid RESPONSIBILITy for our acts – Avoid recognizing we have CHOICE – Avoid anxiety and play it safe – Avoid real INTIMACY – Stay busy so we don’t become aware of our fundamental ALONENESS – Stay busy so we don’t become aware of the FINITENESS of life
question

Neurotic anxiety is not good.
answer

Choices are opportunities, not problems
question

Sometimes “life happens.” Deaths, accidents and traumas can:
answer

– Force us to become aware of a problem – Force us to reconsider how we live life – Cause us to accept responsibility for the direction of our life
question

Existential anxiety
answer

– Makes us aware of the “big issues.” – Helps us steer an effective path through life – Helps us become aware of separations from: Self Others World -Cannot be lived with constantly, but should be revisited time to time
question

Death
answer

It kills us but without it we would not know we were alive
question

May’s Stages of Development
answer

Age-salient, not age-dependent – innocence – rebellion – ordinary – creative
question

Innocence
answer

the pre-egoic, pre-self-conscious stage of the infant. The innocent is pre-moral (i.e., is neither bad nor good). Like a wild animal that kills to eat, the innocent is only doing what he or she must. But innocents do have a degree of will in the form of a drive to fulfill their needs!
question

Rebellion
answer

the childhood and adolescent stage of ego development or self-consciousness. It is characterized primarily through contrast with adults, from the “no” of the two year old to the “no way” of the teenager. The rebellious person wants freedom, but does not yet understand the RESPONSIBILITY that goes with it. The teenager may want to spend her allowance in any way she chooses — yet still expect the parents to provide the money, and complain about unfairness if she doesn’t get it!
question

Ordinary
answer

the normal adult ego: conventional and a little boring. This person has learned responsibility, but finds it too demanding, and so seeks refuge in conformity and traditional values
question

Creative
answer

the authentic adult, the existential stage, beyond ego and self-actualizing. This is the person who, accepting destiny, faces anxiety with courage!
question

Can life circumstances/ developmental changes bring up existential crises, even if they were successfully resolved earlier?
answer

yes
question

Therapeutic goals of existential therapy
answer

– Find meaning in life — even from the terrible – Change meanings to those that are more healthy and adaptive – To “live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now”
question

How can the therapeutic goals of existential therapy be accomplished?
answer

-Listen and understand client’s worldview. -Communicate your understanding to client. -Only when client recognizes that therapist understands, can therapy focus on shifting meanings.
question

Therapeutic Process of Existential Therapy:
answer

– Being in the moment: Focusing on the here and now. – Focus on owning feelings, desires, and actions Can’t vs. Won’t Whose unconscious is it? – Making connections to the past: Clients are encouraged to emotionally relive past life events. – Integrating the felt experience (including in therapy) into primary relationships – Integrating what was learned: Being a new person in the present moment.
question

Integrating what was learned
answer

– Deal and confront inability to feel and/or want – Identify and deal with conflicting wants – Help client process the “what ifs”
question

Reframing
answer

searches for the positive in the situation. Must wait until client feels heard
question

paradoxical intention
answer

encourages client to do what client is afraid might happen. Returns control to the client.
question

dereflection
answer

redirects focus from the maladaptive to the healthy
question

Specialized Techniques of Existential Therapy
answer

-reframing -paradoxical intention -dereflection
question

Advantages of Existential Therapy
answer

– Contemporary developments have made it more flexible and easier to use – It has been adapted to briefer systems of intervention – It provides a theoretical framework from which to be eclectic – It is conducive to collaboration with the client to find a unique way of working together – It is emotionally powerful and fulfilling for client
question

Disadvantages of Existential Therapy
answer

– It is dense, complex and difficult to master. – There is very little guidance for the practitioner. – You can be an existentialist but you cannot do it. It is not about technique but your own personal stance.