While the term existential therapy might sound a little challenging, it’s a very powerful and accessible form of therapy. It helps to create a more open-minded approach to our problems, helping us to create and establish more meaningful relationships. It’s typically aimed at people who might lack an idea of their life’ purpose, or those who feel like they cannot escape their anxiety. Creating a sense of self-awareness is a vital part of therapy, and often helps people to accept that:
- Like others, they are limited in the time they have in life.
- Every choice that we make is entirely our own; we can choose to say no.
- Often, the meaning for a particular process or action is not known from the offset.
- Feelings of anxiety, guilt and worthless are commonplace and not unique.
This form of therapy is vital for those who find it hard to locate their meaning and purpose in life.
Freedom of choice.
One of the main elements of existential therapy is to look at the power of freedom of choice and taking responsibility. Many people fail quite remarkably at this aspect of life, and can find solace within existential therapy. Not only does this provide people with the fact that they are free to choose any destiny they like, it also imparts the importance of personal responsibility.
If we always look to blame others for our own failures and inactivity, then we can never improve as people. This form of therapy looks to overcome that, and instead makes us look closer at ourselves; the actions we take and decision we make, or fail to make, are our own choice. The idea is to help people to feel encouraged and energized by the idea of freedom of choice.
Rather than always looking to others for answers, the aim of existential therapy is to help find the answers within ourselves. From those who feel like they lack an identity to those who feel like they are unsure of who they are, existential therapy offers a way to come back and find out who they are.
Others and anxiety.
Another key part of existential therapy is the fact that it teaches us about our own relationships with other people. It’s a form of therapy that suggests we are alone, and that we need to give ourselves a sense of personal purpose. We have to listen to ourselves, and never allow somebody to make decisions on our behalf.
Humans must form a closer relationship with others first and foremost, and existential therapy will look to challenge people on how they form relationships, and open their eyes to what relationships can give back.
This, naturally, leaves some people with a sense of lasting anxiety. If you find it hard to truly relate to who you are and what you could or should be, it can be very hard to truly determine where you wish to be in life. With the help of existential therapy, you can grow to understand that anxiety is merely part of life.
It’s a natural consequence of talking about things like death freedom and the search for meaning. Once we can spot that our anxiety is existential, more can be done to combat it and overcome the problem.
From helping us to accept death and use death as a motivating factor to do all we can while we live, instead of hiding from death, existential therapy offers a richer way to look at the world around you.
What does existential therapy provide?
The aim of existential therapy is quite simple, though it is easy to find it to be needlessly complex. For example, the aim here is to help all patients to:
- Become more self-aware and look at the challenges that they face personally and professionally.
- Open their minds to more choices in life, and accept that their choices are their own.
- Deliver a more open-minded, authentic approach to decision making.
- Help the patient see the world through the means of discussion that they bring to therapy.
- Accept that many of their problems in life are something they must take responsibility for.
Unlike other forms of therapy, though, existential therapy is not built upon using any particular or specific set of techniques. Instead, it’s a program that is built around the concept of helping people to become more philosophical about their view on the wider world.
From existence itself to dealing with bereavement, making major decisions or overcome a major problem in life, existential therapy offers a unique way to tackle a very common problem. It’s a solution that is used to help people perhaps see that the failures faced could be avoided and overcome if they were allowed to do so.
It’s also a very powerful solution for those who want a more open-minded and philosophical outlook of the world around them in general. When the problems at hand are more existential in nature, there is no one proven technique to correct these issues other than inner-exploration.