Dr. Gideon Menda, B.A., M.A., D.Prof, UKCP Reg. , NSPC Graduate,
Existential Psychotherapist, Group facilitator, Lecturer, Supervisor. Founder and head of the postgraduate existential psychotherapy & counselling training programme at Kibbutzim College, Tel-Aviv.
I remember three of the psychotherapists I used to visit, but I remember my feelings with only the third.
I met him once a week at his home in Kew.
I remember the train ride from West Hampstead station to Kew.
I loved watching the tall trees on both sides of the railway line.
I liked the train station at Kew and the coffee shop outside it.
I loved the few minutes’ walk from the station to his home, the doorbell ringing and meeting him.
I always felt he was waiting for me.
He was always curious to know what was happening in my life, and always up to date with international news, knowing the news about my homeland.
He was 50 years older than I; however, I always felt we were at the same level.
This reflects the existential approach to psychotherapy.
It aims to help you with the difficult exploration of life’s challenges and sees you as your own source of light.
The sessions, more than anything else, are meetings between two human beings. Although during the session one sits in the chair of the “psychotherapist” and the other sits in the chair of the “client”, the journey of the experience and exploration is a joint one.
It is a journey of “search for meaning” and curiosity – sessions in which slowly you dare to ask yourself all kinds of questions, and realize that you yourself may choose the answer.
Moments of laughter and tears, anxiety and joy –
both a dive into existential loneliness and a touch of togetherness.
No battles are found in this therapy room, nor fights of “super ego” or “id”.
Rather, it is a place where two people meet in order to experience and explore, broadening vision and possibilities.
A psychotherapist is a neutral person who is not involved in your day-to-day life and can, therefore, offer you a new angle to look at.
A psychotherapist helps you to open new possibilities – together with you he looks, sees, and reflects.
Neutral, objective, but always on your side.