Existential Psychotherapy is a philosophical approach to psychotherapy. In Existential Psychotherapy we focus on concerns and dilemmas present in the individuals life (Existence). The aim is to offer the means for individuals to examine, confront, clarify and reassess their understanding of life, the problems encountered throughout their life, and the limits imposed upon the possibilities inherent in the world we live in. It seeks to enable a person to live more deliberately, more authentically and more purposefully, whilst accepting their own limitations and the contradictions of human existence. It encourages a deeper and more thoughtful way of living with an emphasises on the relational nature of human existence. According to Existential Psychotherapy the relational dimensions of human existence entails our relationship to ourselves, others our environment and God or the spiritual dimension of existence.
Existential Psychotherapy helps clients face and overcome the anxiety that emerges from a person’s attempts to cope with the givens of existence by working towards maturity in their personal, interpersonal and Spiritual relationships.
The Goals of Existential Psychotherapy are to…
- Enable people to become more truthful with themselves
- Widen their perspective on themselves and the world around them
- Find clarity on how to proceed in the future while taking lessons from the past
- Attributing meaning to their lived experience in the present
- Be in a fulfilling relationship with God and live a purpose driven existence with a personal vision and faith in God
- Be in a loving, caring and understanding relationship with their fellow man, self and their physical environment/ nature
Discover Your Potential
All human beings has been created with n inherent potential to direct their lives and
lead a fulfilling existence in harmony with God
Live life with the Freedom of Choice
All human beings have the capacity to make choices regarding their own lives and achieve personal goals and thereby needs to take responsibility for their choices
All human beings can develop the capacity to life authentically, true to themselves and be in control of their own lives.
Deal with the Givens of Existence
The givens of existence may effect individuals sense of personal wellbeing to such an extent that it leads to states of anxiety and depression.
Live life with Meaning and Purpose
Discover meaning and purpose for your life and relationships.
The Focus of Existential Psychotherapy
In Existential Psychotherapy we focus on four dimensions of existence:
• Environmental/ Biological– relation to biological/ physical reality
• Interpersonal– relationship with others, friends, family, partner
• Personal– relationship with oneself
• Spiritual – relationship with God
Existential Psychotherapy has as main aim to develop an attitude of self reflection and to put principles in place in the client’s life to ensure that they can continue a life of personal and spiritual growth.
The frequency of Existential Psychotherapy Sessions
Sessions can be scheduled as it suits the client but weekly sessions are recommended to keep the therapeutic momentum.
The duration of Existential Psychotherapy
The duration of Existential Psychotherapy can vary from four to twelve sessions, with a focus on specific issues in short term therapy, to a more long term commitment with monthly follow up sessions when personal growth in philosophical and worldview issues are addressed.
Dr JC Coetzee Christian Clinical Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Centurion, Midstream, Midrand, Pretoria.