ltural environment of the individual. Pilgrim (1992) suggests that such diagnostic pidgeon-holing does not enhance humanity, nor aid those who are dealing with the distressed individual to find meaning. It also neglects to consider life beyond the physical, failing to address the more philosophical questions that abound from our very existence.
Existential psychiatry and psychology arose in Europe in the 1940’s and 1950’s as a direct response to the dissatisfaction with prevailing efforts to gain scientific understanding in psychiatry (Binswanger 1963). Existentialism is the title of a set of philosophical ideas that emphasise the existence of the human being, the lack of meaning and purpose in life and the solitude of human existence. Existentialism stresses the jeopardy of life, the voidness of human reality and admits that the human being thrown into the world, a world in which pain, frustration, sickness, contempt, malaise and death dominates (Barnes 1962). How one positions oneself in that world becomes the focus for existential notions of pathology, a responsibility that is present for
every human being, not one confined to... [continues]
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