If you’re considering the option of therapy, you might be curious about existential therapy, wondering what it is and what it has to offer. Depending on whether it’s a good individual fit for a client and what what my client is wanting out of counseling, existential therapy is one of the therapeutic modalities I utilize in my private practice. Existential therapy is an approach that explores the layers of human existence, helping individuals find meaning, purpose, and a deeper understanding of who they are and what they want to actualize in their life.
What is Existential Therapy?
Existential therapy is a philosophical and experiential approach to counseling that emerged from the existentialist movement in the mid-20th century. It is grounded in the belief that we, as individuals, have the freedom to shape our own lives and are responsible for the choices we make. Existential therapy embraces the complexities of human existence, acknowledging the inherent challenges and uncertainties that come with it.
The Four Pillars of Existential Therapy
1. Freedom and Responsibility
Existential therapy places a strong emphasis on the concept of free will – the freedom to choose our path and make decisions that align with our values. With this freedom, however, comes a sense of responsibility. Through exploration and reflection, clients discover the power they hold in shaping their lives and the impact of their choices on their overall well-being. It doesn’t ignore the circumstances and individual realities which shape people but places emphasis on choice in the midst of those variables.
2. Existential Anxiety
Central to this approach is the recognition of existential anxiety, a universal aspect of the human experience. Existential anxiety arises from our awareness of mortality, the uncertainty of the future, and the search for meaning. In therapy, we navigate these anxieties together, creating a space for clients to confront and understand their fears, ultimately fostering personal growth and resilience.
3. Meaning and Purpose
Existential therapy invites individuals to explore and define their own meaning and purpose in life. Through thoughtful introspection, clients can identify core values and align their actions with a sense of purpose, fostering a deeper connection to themselves and others.
4. Authenticity and Self-Awareness
The therapeutic journey involves cultivating authenticity and self-awareness. Clients are encouraged to explore their genuine selves, challenging societal or familial expectations and discovering their unique identity. This process fosters personal growth, empowerment, and a more authentic way of engaging with the world.
Why Choose Existential Therapy?
Existential therapy is a dynamic and client-centered approach that can benefit individuals seeking a deeper understanding of themselves and their place in the world. By engaging in this process, clients often experience personal growth, increased self-acceptance, a sense of agency and confidence and a greater sense of purpose.
If you’re ready to embark on a journey of self-discovery, I invite you consider this therapeutic modality. Together, we can navigate the complexities of existence, helping you find meaning, embrace your freedom, and live a more authentic and purpose driven life. Feel free to reach out for a free phone consultation if you have any questions about working with me.