Existential Therapists' Process
Therapists who practice existential psychotherapy do not focus on an individual's past, rather they work with the client to discover and explore the choices that lie before him or her. Through retrospection, the person in therapy and therapist work to understand the implications of past choices and the beliefs that led those to take place, only as a means to shift to the goal of creating a keener insight into oneself. The emphasis is not to dwell on the past, but to use the past as a tool to promote freedom and newfound assertiveness. By coming to the realization that they are not unique nor are they destined for a specific purpose, the person in therapy is allowed to release the obligatory chains that encumbered him or her from existing in fullness from moment to moment. When that happens, he or she is truly free.
The approach is especially suitable for people who feel alienated from the expectations of society or for those seeking to clarify their personal ideology. The approach is relevant to people living in a foreign culture, class or race, as it does not dictate a specific way of looking at reality. It also works well with people confronting adversity in their lives or who are trying to cope with changes of personal circumstances (or want to bring those about). Bereavement, job loss or biological changes (in adolescence, middle age or old age) are a prime time for the reconsideration of the rules and values one has hitherto lived by. Generally speaking the existential approach is more helpful to those who question the state of affairs in the world, than to those who prefer the status quo. This approach seems to be most right for those at the edge of existence: people who are dying or contemplating suicide, people who are just starting on a new phase of life, people in crisis, or people who feel they no longer belong in their surroundings. It is less relevant for people who do not want to examine their assumptions and who would rather not explore the foundation of human existence.
Existential therapy essentially helps deal with the problems of everyday living, such as relationship difficulties (both with Individuals and with couple therapy), anxiety/fear, food/body-image issues, addictions, mood disorders, social anxiety, panic, trauma, low self-esteem, unresolved childhood issues, sexual issues and others. It is a clear, direct and honest approach helping clients work on their particular, unique, experiences, problems, dilemmas and issues. It is appropriate for both short and long-term therapy.