Existential Therapy

Existential therapy, created out of the existential philosophy tradition, is a treatment orientation based that focuses on the human condition as a whole. One of the primary goals of existential therapy is to help clients face life and its anxieties head on and to embrace the freedom of choice humans have, taking full responsibility for their choices as they do so. Therapists trained in existential therapy believe that unhealthy or undesirable behaviors result from an inhibited ability to make authentic, self-directed choices about how to live. Therefore, in therapy, an existential counselor will work with you to focus on your own responsibility and freedom. You will be challenged to think and behave responsibly by confronting internal thoughts, rather than outside pressures. Existential therapy seeks to help clients live more authentically, to be focused on the present (not the past), to be less concerned with superficiality and to find meaning in their lives. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s existential therapy specialists today.

Meet the specialists

We are all capable humans with some amount of self-determination in our lives. My belief is that we each create meaning in different ways. Part of my goal is to explore with you how you find meaning in your life and what your narratives about yourself and others are to see where supportive shifts can happen.

— Augustin Kendall, Counselor in Minneapolis, MN
 

I completed my training in cancer and chronic illness with existential therapy and CBT being the primary modalities utilized in treatment and recovery.

— Jill Gray, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in St. Petersburg, FL

Do you know why you're here? Have you found your purpose? Within the model of existential therapy, we will work together to find meaning in your life, in spite of and because of the obstacles that you might face. We get one life, so we better make it count.

— Leah Rockwell, Licensed Professional Counselor in Mercersburg, PA
 

Existential therapy focuses on how we find meaning in our lives. People who seek psychotherapy often have lost abilities, careers, or relationships. How do we redefine our lives and find new sources of satisfaction and joy while grieving such loss? I can help you find ways to connect with meaning in yourself, your relationships with others, and your relationship with the world around you.

— Peter Addy, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

This is one of the first orientations I fully bought into as a clinician. The four conditions of humanness are hard to unsee when you finally grasp them, and my training includes extensive reading and reflection on existential therapists, as well as consultation and supervision from this approach.

— Tara Vossenkemper, Licensed Professional Counselor in Columbia, MO
 

Existential Therapy (ET)approach asserts people experience intrapsychic conflict due to their interaction with certain conditions inherent in human existence. In other words, a person has discord in their life either related to the world around, extrinsically, or within, intrinsically. For example, differences with one's boss, struggles with coworkers, relational issues, problems with your teenager, etc. ET alleviates stress, anx, depression, and adds clarity, meaning & max's one's potential.

— Brendon Mendoza, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Seattle, WA

I strongly believe that examining our lives, our influences, and gaining a clearer understanding of ourselves makes us happier, more balanced individuals. I help my clients look at their beliefs and dig deeply to figure out what is truly important to them and why. Through a conscious examining and choosing, we create a more congruent life that is meaningful, valuable, and satisfying, letting go of those things that don't align with our deepest values, and devoting our time to things that do.

— Melissa Murren, Clinical Psychologist in Valley Village, CA
 

Existential therapy operates on the premise that finding meaning in life is the greatest and most powerful force of humanity. Effective for treatment of various conditions such as anxiety, depression, chronic pain and illness. Existential therapy teaches you how to find meaning in your life, with an emphasis on discovering this meaning in the face of those issues or challenges which appear, at first glance, to be insurmountable.

— Randall Harvey, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Beavercreek, OH

I use tenets of Gestalt and Existential therapy in my work, as I believe that we all gravitate naturally towards self-determination and holistic congruence. Self-examination and self-awareness are key steps for this - supported in therapy. I use tenets of Gestalt therapy in association with existential therapy: such as immediacy, the therapeutic relationship, and individual responsibility.

— Neil Panchmatia, Counselor in Portland, OR
 

I believe that each person has the power to determine what has meaning in their life. What we give meaning to is often what dictates how we feel and how we live. We must also find ways to accept ourselves as individuals rather than waiting for others to accept us. We can work together to help you identify what you want to give meaning to your life and to accept who you are at this moment.

— Ashton Burdick, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Mooresville, NC

This is one of the first orientations I fully bought into as a clinician. The four conditions of humanness are hard to unsee when you finally grasp them, and my training includes extensive reading and reflection on existential therapists, as well as consultation and supervision from this approach.

— Tara Vossenkemper, Licensed Professional Counselor in Columbia, MO
 

Increasing your self-awareness and self-understanding, focusing on the freedom and responsibility you have to your choices which works to expose your power over the direction you are going are main tenets of existential therapy. Helping you confront negative internal thoughts rather than external forces while helping you focus more on the experiences that are life-enhancing while working to alleviate the symptoms that make life harder are the intentions of this type of therapy.

— Karen Harris, Licensed Professional Counselor Intern in Clackamas, OR

I work with clients to help them understand how they see the world and to find meaning in their lives and experiences.

— William Hemphill, Licensed Professional Counselor in Norcross, GA
 

The name "Existential Therapy" sounds very philosophical and intellectual. But nothing could be further from the truth. Existential Therapy just means that we're talking about how we find meaning in our lives, what life means to us, and how we deal with the realities of being a human being.

— Jacob Brown, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Corte madera, CA

The search for happiness is usually frustrating and elusive because happiness is a feeling that comes and goes. If you focus on finding meaning, you are much more likely to succeed. I work with clients to discern their own values and help them adhere to those values. Life as a human being is inherently limited, and it is hard to accept those limits; however, choosing from among the available options helps you feel more in charge of your own life.

— Joanna Morse, Psychologist in Brandon, FL