Existential Psychotherapy



The existential approach is concerned with the exploration and understanding of people’s orientation to the world and to themselves, and with the clarification of what it means to be alive.The approach focuses on descriptive rather than analytic examination and clarification of the client’s issues, beliefs, and world-views in a manner that respects the client’s autonomy. It adopts a receptive rather than a directive stance and requires an open-mindedness and attitude of wonder and respect for the uniqueness of the client.In so doing, it raises significant challenges to a number of fundamental assumptions, be they personal or professional. Overall the existential approach reveals and questions fundamental assumptions concerning the nature and practice of psychotherapy and raises the practitioner’s awareness as to the possibilities and limitations of both his or her individual practice and of the practice of psychotherapy as a whole.