Aim of Existential Therapy
■ Rejects deterministic outlook on mankind
■ People are free and responsible for their choices and actions
■ People are the authors of their lives
■ Existential therapy encourages clients to:
- o Reflect on life
- o Recognize range of alternatives
- o Decide among them
- o Help clients recognize ways they passively accepted circumstances and surrendered control
- o Help clients to start to consciously shape their own lives by exploring options for creating a meaningful existence.
Tasks of the Therapist
■ Invite clients to recognize how they have allowed others to decide for them
■ Encourage clients to take steps toward autonomy
■ The Question
o “Although you have lived in a certain pattern, now that you recognize the price of some of your ways, are you willing to consider creating a new pattern?”
■ Relationship between therapist and client
- o Therapy is a journey taken by BOTH therapist and client
● The person to person relationship is key
● The relationship demands that therapists be in contact with their own phenomenological world
- o The core of the therapeutic relationship
● Respect and faith in the client’s potential to cope.
● Sharing reactions with genuine concern and empathy
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