Existential Therapy Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Existential Therapy?
Existential Therapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on exploring one’s own existence, identity, and subjective experiences in order to gain insight into the meaning of life. This approach to therapy has been around since the 1940s and was largely developed by philosophers such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Martin Heidegger, and Rollo May. Existential therapy emphasizes free will, personal responsibility, and the inherent meaninglessness of human existence. It also encourages individuals to accept their mortality and strive for self-actualization. Existential therapists use methods such as reflective dialogue and open-ended questions to help clients consider how they can create a meaningful life for themselves despite their circumstances or limitations. The goal is for clients to become more aware of how their personal choices affect their lives, acknowledge the potential consequences both good or bad of those decisions, and develop strategies for living with greater purpose. Through this process clients may learn to better understand why certain things happen in their lives and how they can use this understanding to make changes that are best suited for them. The primary benefit of existential therapy is its focus on autonomy; it encourages individuals to take an active role in creating meaning out of their own experiences rather than relying on external sources or structures (e.g., religion). By exploring one’s sense of purpose through self-reflection, clients may gain more insight into who they are as well as what kind of life they want create for themselves moving forward. Additionally, this approach can be especially helpful when dealing with issues related to depression or anxiety by helping individuals gain a sense control over negative feelings instead feeling powerless in the face them. Overall existential therapy provides meaningful guidance through an exploration into the depths one’s own identity while emphasizing choice-making power within individuals rather than external factors like societal pressures or religious dogma.