The Themes Of Existential Therapy: Meaning In Therapy

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What am I doing here on earth? What do I live for? Why do I feel so alone? These questions do pass human minds as we develop and mature. In a study conducted with psychologist, it is reported that psychologists do not believe that there is no meaning in life and that loving, helping, showing compassion to people brought meaning to them but intimate relationships, family and friends gave them a more personal meaning in life (Kernes & Kinnier, 2008). Existential therapy seeks to help people who are facing problems with issues relating to these and it provides a phenomenological approach during therapy sessions. Existential therapy lives by the belief that every individual has the freedom to choose and is responsible for their choices in life (Corey, 2009). It also encourages clients to be aware that they have the ability to construct their lives, find the purpose of living, deal with anxieties and death (Corey, 2009). Existential therapy is more of an idea rather than an independent school of psychology with certain abided rules in therapy such as psychoanalysis or behaviorism. Some key people that contributed to existential therapy are Victor Frankl and Rollo May. Not only is existential therapy an idea practised in therapy, it has also influenced researchers to branch out, developing new theory styles based on the themes of existential therapy. Jacob Moreno, for example, has come up with a therapy style known as psychodrama which revolved around existential themes. He based

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