It is hard to define existential therapy in a single way. There are many forms of existential therapy. Emmy Van Deurzen’s book is mostly based on existential phenomenological therapy. It can generally be concluded that existential therapy mostly deals with trying to answer some important questions about life – what exactly does it mean to live, what does it mean to be in a relationships with other people, how will we behave in relationships with other people, how can we have a meaningful life, what will happen after our death and how do we perceive death…. In some ways, by trying to define existential therapy we are trying to define the existence itself, but existence does not exist without us – what exists is our interpretation and creation of the existence itself, therefore, existential therapy is actually a battle and a way to describe ourselves. It is a type of investigating the meaning, investigating the results, investigating the structure, investigating the way we exist, through our methods, of course, and special interventions and our skills. We, as therapists, try to help people to better understand themselves, to accept responsibility for their own lives, and responsibility is one of the most important things and in that sense we mostly deal with anxiety, as well as existential anxiety, thrownness into a world where things can look scary. To conclude, we simply deal with that thrownness and in that context existential therapy is specific and special because it deals with exactly that existence in the world and being thrown into a world that is unfamiliar and scary, and we have to live with that.
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- psychotherapist, counsellor