The people I see experience a variety of conflicts, dilemmas and life crises, and I’ve learned something interesting over the years: although the specifics vary from one person to another, if we look closely behind the particular crisis, we find the common ground of ontological challenges. Behind the particular phenomena that a client presents, there is usually the experience of loneliness, the difficulty in making a choice, the loss of meaning, the uncertainty, mortality, and fragility of the human experience – and the accompanying anxiety that these existential issues provoke.
Making Sense of Life
During the history of mankind people have tried to make sense of human existence in general and of their personal one in particular. Although modern existential psychotherapy began only in the twentieth century, its seeds can be found way back.
One can trace the main purposes of the existential approach in ancient philosophy and stories: the acceptance and exploration of death and ontological anxieties and still having a full life; understanding the potential in having free will and taking responsibility on one’s life while bravely taking chances and being ready to fail; and facing reality, which is looking bravely at reality and truth.
It is always about what one chooses to see and understand from what is there before one. By making its main issue ‘the existence of human being’, existential psychotherapy is connecting itself to the very essence of the creation of human beings.
written by: Gideon Menda