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

Listening to unease and discontent can shift our relationship to inherent pains and discomforts of living. Awareness of the impact and implications of beliefs, values, and actions allows us to be deliberate in how we show up, engage with ourselves and others, and participate in our lives and the world. Cultivating honesty with ourselves, drawing in spiritual and philosophical threads, illuminates purpose and meaning, moving towards ethical alignment and greater congruence and integrity.

— Jessamyn Wesley, Licensed Professional Counselor in portland, OR
 

Existential therapy can help you uncover the underlying issue behind your empty feelings and discover what stands in the way of your emotional well-being. In our sessions, I can guide you to examine and define what is and isn’t providing satisfaction and fulfillment in your life. You will empowered to change your life and know yourself in a deeper way.

— Dillon Welliver, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Tallahassee, FL
 

I have studied Applied Existential Psychotherapy in Boulder, CO and just completed a training with Irvin Yalom. Existential concerns and our search for meaning are oftentimes at the core of the challenges or distress we are facing.

— Cindy Gordon, Licensed Professional Counselor in Longmont, CO

Existential therapy is intertwined with philosophy and how it relates to your life.

— Hava Jarosz, Therapist in Baltimore, MD
 

A common theme that comes up in session with clients and in my own life is how do we cope with the vast unknown. My general world view is existential. Part of the work of therapy is helping you identify your coping strategies for life's unknowns and help you build your tolerance for sitting with it rather than running away.

— Lily Sloane, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

Questions of meaning often underlie some of our deepest struggles. I am inspired by the work of Viktor Frankl, a psychologist who survived the Holocaust. He wrote about his experience in the camps, and probed deep questions about how people make meaning in their lives. Exploring - facing - existential questions can be empowering even in the darkest, most difficult of circumstances.

— Susanna Guarino, Counselor in Rochester, NY
 

Helping people find a balance and meaning in their human experience is at the core of why I am a therapist. I have practiced existential therapy for the past five years and quite honestly have lived this orientation all of my life. Challenges and issues are part of our experience as humans and can not be viewed as bad or good or black or white. Instead when it is viewed through this gray area it fosters self-awareness that I believe people make the most of their lives.

— ShannonElaine John, Counselor in Fort Morgan, CO

Meaning and purpose are central to life's greatest joys and deepest sorrows. With this lens, I support clients in expanding self awareness while cultivating their sense of both freedom and responsibility. I also intertwine practical applications including career exploration, building quality relationships, and pursuing a 'life worth living' aligned with the individual's unique values. In this way, clients confront the 'big questions' and gain ownership over their healing process.

— Stephanie Renny, Counselor in Cincinnati, OH
 

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

Meaning and purpose are central to life's greatest joys and deepest sorrows. Through this lens, I support clients in expanding self awareness while cultivating their sense of both freedom and responsibility. I also intertwine practical applications including career exploration, building quality relationships, and pursuing a 'life worth living' aligned with the individual's unique values. In this way, clients confront the 'big questions and gain ownership over their healing process.

— Stephanie Renny, Counselor in Cincinnati, OH
 

"Listen man," says the freshman as she exhales a huge bong hit, "we all should take some time off from school to figure this sh*t out." I wasn't that freshman. But she's not wrong. Existential angst and the reality of death will park in your driveway sooner or later. We're a tiny speck on a small rock falling through space. That's enough to startle anyone. Accepting all that and still creating personal meaning in your life is an essential part of human development.

— Scott Levenberg, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in LOS ANGELES, CA

Existential therapy focuses on free will, self-determination, and the search for meaning—often centering on you rather than on the symptom. The approach emphasizes your capacity to make rational choices and to develop to your maximum potential. Primary focus on life-enhancing experiences like relationships, love, caring, commitment, courage, creativity, power, will, presence, spirituality, individuation, self-actualization, authenticity and acceptance.

— Amanda Dutton, Licensed Professional Counselor in Stockbridge, GA
 

Life's meaning changes time to time. I'd like to focus how you live rather than your symptoms.

— Junko Yamauchi, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Santa Clara, CA

Meaning and purpose are central to life's greatest joys and deepest sorrows. Through this lens, I support clients in expanding self awareness while cultivating their sense of both freedom and responsibility. I also intertwine practical applications including career exploration, building quality relationships, and pursuing a 'life worth living' aligned with the individual's unique values. In this way, clients confront the 'big questions and gain ownership over their healing process.

— Stephanie Renny, Counselor in Cincinnati, OH
 

Free will, personal choice and responsibility, and exploring the meaning of life are key parts of how I work. I believe this is the fundamental dignity of being human and love seeing people connect with their own deepest values.

— Heather Seguin, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Upland, CA

Helping you to develop self-awareness and take responsibility for your choices to realize your full potential and self-actualization.

— Cynthia Goeller, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in ,
 

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

Based on free will, self-determination, and the search for meaning centering on you rather than on the symptoms. I believe we all have the capacity for self-awareness. Learning more about you and your uniqueness will help you made the best decisions for your life.

— Dr. Adriana Dyurich, Licensed Professional Counselor in Corpus Christi, TX
 

Existential Therapy is a highly successful treatment for youth and adults struggling with anxiety, depression, addiction and a wide range of emotional and behavioral issues. The purpose of existential therapy is to encourage clients to take ownership of their lives, to find true meaning, and to live fully in the present. One of the primary aims of existential therapy is to help people develop personal development by empowering them to face the unknowns of life, embracing the freedom of choice.

— Amanda Gurgel, Counselor in Sunrise, FL

Existential Therapy focuses on free will, self-determination, and the search for meaning. This approach often centers on you rather than on the symptom you are experiencing. The approach emphasizes your capacity to make rational choices and to develop to your maximum potential.

— Cheryl Perry, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Charlotte, NC

In my therapy the keys to happiness are to find personal meaning in one's life and to accept and move beyond the inevitable challenges of life. Our lives are meaningful when we have both a sense of the impact we can have on the world as well as have a path to personal joy. Life is difficult. While we cannot create a life without suffering, we can decide what proportion of our life is suffering and what proportion is joy. We have a choice to actively live or simply endure and wait to die.

— Denis Flanigan, Psychologist in Houston, TX
 

I help clients find meaning in their life and we explore both the freedom and the responsibility of living life authentically.

— Jenny Larson, Counselor in Portland, OR

An existential approach to therapy emphasizes the importance of the meaning that each person makes in life and that the path that one takes can only be understood in the context of their unique life experience. This means that the questions, "Who am I?" and "What is the meaning of life" is a personal journey that, ultimately, only the individual can discover for themselves.

— Matthew Beeble, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Vancouver, WA
 

Our search for meaning and identity is often difficult in a culture that is more and more dominated by preoccupation with partisan politics, likes, shares, and followers. Though we are often not in control of external circumstances, our ability to determine our own meaning and lessons from our experiences still remains. I'd love to help you find meaning and growth in your challenges.

— Kimberly Watts Hoggatt, Licensed Professional Counselor in San Antonio, TX

Existential therapy explores core issues that affect us all as human beings regardless of ones diagnoses, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation etc. Realities such as freedom and responsibility, and finding meaning in ones life are part of the human struggle and affect us all. Existential therapy helps you gain insight how these issues impact your life and empowers you to be your most genuine self.

— Karly Hoffman King, Counselor in Cleveland Heights, OH