Existential Therapy

Topics: Existentialism, Psychology, Meaning of life Pages: 5 (1639 words) Published: September 13, 2010
Existential Therapy
Existential therapy helps people who has uncertainties, anxiety depression, grieve and depression. Problems can distract a person life and essential of living. Sometimes it is hard to become stable possessing core cognitions, cognitive distortions thoughts and feeling on how a person views the world and themselves, which points out low self-esteem. Cognitive distortions are mainly negative thoughts of self, guiltiness that leads to uncertainties emotions and actions. Cognitive behavior focuses on results reinforcements and monitor behaviors. Existential therapy enables people to change and become aware and self actualized. “ Existential therapy is suitable for people who are open to new ideas and seeking greater meaning in their lives, especially for people who are struggling with suffering of loss, disabilities, illness, anxiety and depression” (Seligman & Reichenberg, 2010). In the above paragraphs existential therapy will be define through the history of the development of the therapy, the beliefs on which it is based, the important contributors or practitioners of the therapy, the theory of helping, the relationship between the helper and the clients, some techniques or approaches developed. The kinds of problems addresses, multicultural issues in using these approaches and research finding on the theory. According to Seligman, and Reichenberg (2010) Existential Therapy is more like philosophy than that of any other treatment that can be considered. The text states that because of wars and other events that have happened over the years anxiety has stricken. The fear of death and loneliness is common and this is what this particular type of therapy is geared toward. Existential Therapy covers not only “death, but suffering love and meaning as well” (Seligman, & Reichenberg, 2010, p. 170).

There were several people involved in the development of the Existential Therapy. One of the most influential was Viktor Frankl. This individual was a doctor who believed that everything in life had meaning (Seligman, & Reichenberg, 2010). Another was Rollo May he focused on the anxiety that people go through with change, growth, and loneliness. This is what he wrote about for many years. He brought existentialism to the United States (Bily, Susan Jean, 2003). Each of these writers was influentially writing in the early 1900’s. Irvin Yalom took an approach using both of the previous writers mentioned and coming p with his own theories. This writer was more prominent in the late 1900’s. Irvin believed that confronting our fears such as death will allow us to be more comfortable with the idea (Seligman, & Reichenberg, 2010).

Although the thought process began in the early 1900’s the text states that Existential therapy began in Europe in the 1940’s and 50’s. Due to the war the need for reassurance was crucial (Seligman, & Reichenberg, 2010, p. 173). It seems as though this form of therapy has declined since the 60’s. Although not the most common type of therapy it gives people faith and hope in the meaning of life. Although Existential theory has been discussed for many of centuries, it is still the topic of major studies. Existential theory is not perfect and can have difficulty in formation among therapy and client. Existential theory focuses on the relating to dealing with now and today. The kinds of problems addressed with existential theory are anxiety, guilt, alienation, spiritual, mental health and substance abuse. Anxiety is the key problem associated with existential theory. Existential theory allows the client to be face with the problem before going in further into treatment. It forces you to be honest about your fears and thought in an effort to help you recognize them so that you can deal and find solutions. The Journal of Mental Health Counseling cited, “Existential therapy deals with a basic anxiety that comes out of each person’s accomplishment and undertakings-...
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