Existential Therapy Essay Sample
There is always a feeling that human beings are alone in this universe. This feeling, coupled with a perception that this loneliness will continue for eternity, makes some people really disturbed and distracted. They cut themselves out from the daily life and become absorbed in their aloofness. Psychologists deal with this problem through existential therapy. The therapy essentially employs the freedom of choice in shaping one’s own life. The basic core of existential therapy lies in the self-awareness and choices made by the patient. A person can related to and interact with his surroundings in four dimensions. These are physical, social, psychological, and spiritual. A person suffering from loneliness or extreme depression needs a personal initiative to overcome his or her feelings (Sharf, 2008). A psychologist can only help him in this regard. Existential therapy works in a manner that encourages the patient to rethink his options. This, however, is not a very easy process.
A person might not be interested at changing his lifestyle at all. Additionally, existential therapy strongly emphasizes the need for a strong approval on part of the patient. A psychologist can never force his opinion, especially if the patient is not motivated enough. Many experts believe that prolonged psychotherapy sessions work better in this case.
Therapeutic techniques in existential therapy
Existential therapy does not follow the norms of typical psychological treatments. Psychotherapists generally apply the following therapeutic techniques in existential therapy.
Under this technique, psychologists help the patient to overcome his fears or traumas through a combination of methods. Instead of forcing his therapeutic analysis, clients are encouraged to take their time. A therapist generally emphasize with the client’s feeling in a warm and open atmosphere. The therapy also involves reading; writing, speaking, and listening exercises to help the patient in prevail over his psychological disorders.
Unlike the client-centered therapy, Gestalt therapy encourages the client to accept his responsibility and face the consequences of his past deeds (Sharf, 2008). The therapy might turn confrontational at times though therapists try to steer away from any controversy. Therapists create a feeling of guilt that is necessary to create awareness and acceptance of shortcomings. Role-playing, group therapies, and neurosis, among other techniques, are commonly used in this therapy.
The most popular method in existential therapy works in a quick succession. Clients are given a limited time-period during which they have to change their behaviors. A combination of psychoanalysis, self-discovery, and meditation helps the patients in understanding the realties of life. This technique also helps in a better realization of one’s problems that might take a lot of time in other therapies. Aside from these techniques, psychologists also use a number of other treatments. Cognitive, behavioral, humanistic and art therapy techniques can be applied in existential therapy to boost the recovery.
Sharf, Richard S. (2008). Theories of Psychotherapy and Counseling. Fourth edition Thomson Brooks/Cole.