Principles of Existential Psychotherapy

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Developments in psychotherapy over the last thirty-five years have advanced since the days of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. New sub-practices have risen from contemporary schools of thought.

The principles of existential psychotherapy as both a theoretical approach, and legitimate form of therapy is growing. Principles of psychoanalytic therapy are grounded deeply in the philosophies of classical thinkers. However theoretical perspectives consider existential psychotherapy to be post-modern in concept. The last decade has seen an increase in the number of practitioners who favor existential psychotherapy.

The Existential Psychotherapy Center of Southern California (EPCSC), provides a structured professional training program for distinguished and diverse existential-oriented scholars. Seasoned practitioners share their unique clinical experiences, knowledge, and wisdom with apprentices. They also educate advanced graduate students, interns, and psychological assistants, desiring a deeper understanding of the philosophical tenets of existential psychotherapy, and formal training in its clinical application.

The origins of existential psychotherapy can be traced to Freudian and Jungian theory. In regards to if therapists decide to incorporate its principles in their practice, is a personal and professional decision. The inner-workings of existential psychotherapy are related to the age old study of philosophy, and the incorporation of psycho-dynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and psycho pharmacological theories.therapists may interpret aspects of the unconscious differently, but they still believe in the importance of the unconscious. Existential therapy also helps people make changes in their attitudes, decisions, behaviors, and thoughts through the awareness process. While the approach to accomplishing these changes is very different than brief therapy, existentialists agree they are part of healing.

The way existential therapists interpret aspects of the unconscious varies from practitioner to practitioner. Most believe in the importance of the unconscious thought as it relates to healing, in order to overcome life's stresses. Existential therapists also aim to change the way people think about themselves and the world around them.  According to some experts on the subject, therapists also encourage their patients to make radical, but realistic, changes in their attitudes, behaviors, and decision-making. Ultimately, existential psychotherapists encourage patients to improve their thought processes by realizing there is meaning in their existence. 

Existential psychotherapy is an ecletic treatment aimed at helping people who suffer from psychological interference. A few m modern psychotherapists prefer its techniques, in contrast the the old ways. Many do so because of its flexibility and developmental potential. Evidence that the practice of existential psychotherapy as a subject of study for students, and as a principle for therapists, exists in an increase in curiosity on the subject, and in its application.

More about this author: Darren Bunton

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