Existential Therapy: Death, Freedom & Self-Awareness

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Existential Therapy: Death, Freedom & Self-Awareness
Some people rely on others to validate who they are, and to give them meaning. However, they must realize that they are alone in this world and they must find meaning from within themselves and not from others. Nevertheless, for many people being alone causes anxiety in which people feel that their life has no meaning. A person can become aware of who they are but not accept who they are while being alone. Existential therapy helps people to look within and find a way to cope with their emotional experiences they have encountered in order to recover from them. When individuals learn to love themselves and be content with themselves, they will then know how to love others. Existential therapy is different from other theories. It is therapy to help people understand that they are the authors of their own life and that they are free to choose how they respond to it. The important factors of existential therapy are getting the client to find personal meaning and truths. Taking responsibility for any decisions, he/she makes. Being able to live in the present and not the past: getting the client to experience life by living in the moment. Tolerating anxiety, as a part of life, this will reoccur throughout life. Finally, to help clients understand and accept death and a greater gain of self-awareness. Death and Meaning

The only absolutes are life and death. Many people give death too much power by fearing it, instead of embracing it. “Death is often one of the most powerful forces which keeps us from truly living” (Hoffman, 2004). When a person sincerely accepts death, they realize that their purpose in life is to do something meaningful by helping others. By dealing with death through the loss of loved ones and friends, I have learned to appreciate life and use my time here on earth wisely. As a little child, I was always afraid to die, due to my parents dying at a young age. I just knew I would die early too....
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