Existential therapy and counselling offers a radically different perspective on who you are as an individual. It encourages you to question why you are alive at all and invites you to consider your human experience within the overriding tendency we all have to create meaning in what we do. Concepts of freedom, choice and responsibility are explored within a new paradigm – not in contemporary ways that pre-suppose right or preferable ways to live.
- Have you become disillusioned with your life?
- Does happiness seem beyond your grasp?
- Do things that once satisfied no longer hold appeal?
- Maybe you know that your current challenges mask a greater sense of angst?
When applied to experiences like anxiety, depression, panic attacks or lack of meaning, existential psychotherapy provides a refreshing re-appraisal of what these conditions actually communicate. Instead of seeing psychological abnormality, existential psychotherapy invites you to explore the underlying themes we, as humans, must all face within our lifetime. Psychological conditions labelled as abnormal are seen differently, often symptomatic of existential anxiety or existential aloneness. Such anxiety arises out of the awareness that we choose our own being and often deny the enormity of such responsibility by living inauthentically as Heidegger highlights. Change often reveals the uncertain nature of our existence – nothing is fixed despite our attempts to fix reality through culture, belief systems and myths. It is not to say that these, per se, are wrong – living without awareness of the existential choices for our Being results in us living in what Jean-Paul Sartre called ‘Bad Faith‘. Authenticity is living in the awareness of the phenomenological nature of our existence, to choose our own being against the backcloth of our inevitable death.
When existential exploration combines with traditional psychological interventions, you can transcend your difficulties in ways that are long-lasting. You begin to see your life as a creative pursuit, in which external parameters no longer exist of how you spend this precious currency called Your Life. You begin to see the potential to create a world – starting with your world – which truly celebrates what it is to live on purpose.
Existential psychotherapy enables you, as a client to face your existential angst, to move from being an unconscious expert of your life to a conscious one – one who becomes the leader for your own life and who learns to live with the inevitable anxiety that meaningful living entails. The anxiety associated with meaningfully choosing your life direction is existential in nature and arises out of an awareness that your choices are made against the backcloth of the constraint of time.
Many people ask ‘Why am I not happy when I have achieved what I set out to achieve?’ If you are one of these people who know there is more to your angst and more to life, then existential psychotherapy is for you. Through the process, you will identify your real values, avoid the pain of regret of living half-heartedly and enjoy the thrill of living with purpose.