Introduction to Extistential Psychotherapy for Counseling

Get an overview of basics of Existential Psychotherapy and how it can be used in counseling

What you will learn

Understand Existential Psychotherapy

Learn Core models and techniques

Understand role & attitude of a counselor

Learn how Existential Psychotherapy helps in various mental illnesses


Existential therapy focuses on free will, self-determination, and the search for meaning—often centering on the individual rather than on their symptoms. The approach emphasizes a person’s capacity to make rational choices and to develop to their maximum potential. Some practitioners regard existential therapy as an orientation toward therapy, not a distinct modality, per se. This type of therapy is often useful for patients who experience existential threat or dread when security and identity feel in peril.

Existential therapy is derived from the work of philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche and Soren Kierkegaard, wherein the nature of being human is a central philosophical problem. Other theorists, such as Martin Heidegger, have contributed to existentialism; and much later Otto Rank applied this philosophy to the healing process of therapy.

The existential approach stresses that:

  • All people have the capacity for self-awareness.
  • Each person has a unique identity that can be known only through relationships with others.
  • People must continually re-create themselves because life’s meaning constantly changes.
  • Anxiety is part of the human condition.

Existential therapy can be useful in treating psychological concerns that are thought to result from an inhibited ability to make authentic, meaningful, and self-directed choices. Interventions often aim to increase self-awareness and self-understanding. Existential psychotherapists try to comprehend and alleviate a variety of symptoms, including excessive anxiety, apathy, alienation, nihilism, avoidance, shame, addiction, despair, depression, guilt, anger, rage, resentment, embitterment, purposelessness, psychosis, and violence. They also focus on life-enhancing experiences like relationships, love, caring, commitment, courage, creativity, power, will, agency, presence, spirituality, individuation, self-actualization, authenticity, acceptance, transcendence, and awe.

In this course we will cover the basics to existential psychotherapy along with its core models and how it can be used in day to day context as well as counseling.

This course is created by Vyas Psychology Training Centre




Course Overview
Introduction to Existential Psychotherapy
Assumptions of Existential Psychotherapy
Aim and Living of Existential Psychotherapy
Attitude of Practioner of Existential Psychotherapy
Reflecting Existential Anxiety and Guilt
Role of Practioner in relieving anxiety
Authentic Inauthentic living
Existential Dimensions
Taking stock of life and role of intuition
Role of Practioner
Understanding emotions
Emotional cycle
Dreams and Imagination
Living with Time
Viewing self and role of Practitioner
Action and Commitment

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