What is Existential Therapy?
It is a school of therapy that started in Europe in the years following the Second World War and became widespread in America with forced migration. It defines a therapy school inspired by Martin Heidegger’s existential philosophy. Ludwig Binswanger, Viktor E. Frankl, Rollo May, Otto Rank, and Irvin Yalom are major psychotherapy pioneers. It is possible to find common aspects between existentialism and Eastern philosophies.
Man is the only creature that knows he was born and will die one day, and this fact worries him whether he lives meaningfully or not. This therapy prioritizes the perception and experience of the “I.” The main problem that this therapy deals with; It is the ability to comprehend the meaning of existence through the perception of one’s own “self” and how he experiences his own responsibility for existence.
One of the main problems of modern man is alienation. The number of people experiencing disconnection, disconnection, alienation, and emotional deprivation is increasing. There are very few moments when we can realize the “I” and be free.
The existential psychotherapist tries to understand the person coming to the treatment within his / her own world. In this therapy, understanding takes precedence over technique. While traditional approaches emphasize what the therapist should specifically “do”, this therapy focuses on the content of the process, understanding and living one’s existence. The important thing is to be fully aware of what we are living. When we are fully aware of what we are experiencing, “meaning” also arises spontaneously and unwanted emotions become affordable.