Counseling Theories Ch. 6

  1. Introduction
    • based on existential philosophers
    • most useful for those experiencing life changes
    • less about techniques, overall what it means to be human
    • belief that humans are constantly trying to find meaning in life
  2. Capacity for self awareness
    • basic dimensions of the human conditions
    • we are able to understand ourselves in a greater context
    • death, life, meaning, choices, values
    • awareness is growth
  3. Freedom and Responsibility
    • the more we are aware of our freedom to make choices, the more responsibility we have over the consequences of our actions/inaction
    • people avoid responsibility by denying that they have the freedom to make choices
  4. Striving for identity and relationship to others
    • avoid discovering own identity by adopting others values/expectations
    • lose touch with our identity by getting caught up in rituals (doing rather than being)
    • we have to discover who we are first, discover lonliness before being with another
    • therapy helps to distinguish b/t neurotic attachment and health attachment
  5. The search for meaning
    • since there is no preordained design for living, we struggle to create it ourselves
    • struggle for purpose and significance
    • therapist should help client create new meaning
  6. Anxiety as a condition of living
    • anxiety is an unavoidable part of becoming aware
    • normal anxiety vs neurotic anxiety
    • therapist teaches client to use existential anxiety to grow
  7. Awareness of death and non-being
    • awareness of death gives significance to life
    • in therapy, get a sense of how much your clients value their time/life
  8. Therapeutic Goals
    • no technique, fundmental belief
    • recognize freedoms, choices, responsibility
    • see how they are actors, not victims
    • act from freedom and responsibility
  9. Phases of therapy
    • Initial phase helps client understand their assumptions about the world
    • Middle phases helps them gain insight into own freedom/power and the value of life, change outlook
    • Final phase puts change into action
  10. Contributions
    • universal characteristics for all human beings
    • freedom, responsibility, death, awareness
  11. Limitations
    • lacks concrete nature
    • highly individualistic
    • doesn't realize realties of oppression
    • not appropriate for seriously disturbed
Card Set
Counseling Theories Ch. 6
Existential therapy