Existential Psychotherapy Techniques

Existential psychotherapy is an original style of treatment that puts focus on the human situation as a whole. This psychotherapy utilizes a positive method that applauds human capabilities while simultaneously sustaining a genuine perception of the limits of the human spirit, human being and human mind. Existential psychotherapy was created by Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Rollo May, Jean-Paul Sartre, Viktor Frankl, James Bugental, Kirk Schneider, Irvin Yalom, Myrtle Heery and Stephen Diamond. Existential psychotherapy gives numerous similarities to:


Existential Psychotherapy Techniquesexperiential psychotherapy

depth psychotherapy

psychodynamic psychotherapy

relational psychotherapy

humanistic psychology

Timeline of Existential Therapy

Existential Therapists' Process

Accepting Fears and Overcoming through Existential Psychotherapy

Resources Related to Existential Psychotherapy

Existential therapy produced through the philosophy of Kierkegaard and Nietzche starting in the early 1800’s. Kierkegaard theorized that human being discontent could just be overcome via internal wisdom. Nietzche further created the theory of existentialism by presenting the idea of personal responsibility and free will.

Existential Therapy Techniques

Psychological theories are often dependent in more pervasive philosophical ideas, for example humanism or naturalism. These fundamental philosophies often result in Christians to refuse a psychological theory. However, when psychological theories obtain some biblical correction, Christian counselors may effectively utilize them to aid clients. Existential therapy is special in that it is much more of a philosophical orientation to therapy compared to an actual therapeutic theory. 

Existential therapy presumes human freedom plus a corresponding human responsibility for actions and choices. Consumers are motivated to reflect on life, identify the significance of their own reactions and choices and understand to exercise responsibility in framing their own lives. Meaning is a main focus. Existentialism posits which humans have a capacity for self-awareness; freedom, which necessitates responsibility; establish meaningful relationships and the ability to produce a personal identity; a push to search for purpose and meaning, which results in the formation of values and goals; anxiety and an awareness of nonbeing or death. Existential therapy attempts to balance one’s awareness of limits and tragedies having an awareness of potential and opportunities.