Upon have the capacity to know when an

Upon reviewing the concept of Existential Psychotherapy, I
have developed a deeper understanding of its purpose while engaging clients in
a counseling session and a better understanding of the counselor-client
relationships and its development. (1) The six (6) propositions for Existential
Therapy have the capacity to be utilized interchangeably based upon where a
client is mentally when entering the counseling process. Existential
Psychotherapy is at best a road map toward enabling clients to explore their
ability to make life-changing decisions which will ensure the best outcomes
toward living healthier lifestyles. This will require a shift in thinking on
the client’s behalf and a keen sense of awareness from counselors to recognize
when and if possible, the client is in range of safely taking actions
appropriate to support moving forward in their lives.

Of the six (6) propositions, I have used my experiential life
experiences to tie together two of the concepts. The first two propositions: “The
capacity for self-awareness” and “freedom and responsibility” cannot be used as
assumptions but fact. All human beings have the capacity to know when an issue
is making a negative impact in their lives. Therefore, freedom and
responsibility are the vessels of choice required to make changes. I have yet
to meet a client who is unaware of what their issues are, the options required
to change the negative behaviors or their ability develop a more positive value
system by which they live and ultimately control. Traditional counselor-client
relationships cannot be restricted when counselors keep in mind that each
client is different and holds the key to making better life choices. Clients
may have the intentions to change but lack the motivation; have been “wrong-thinking”
for extended periods of time; Or, have become stifled by their own
self-defeating behaviors in one manner, shape or form. Clients who are willing
to explore their existence in depth will rarely run from an opportunity to make
immediate and positive changes in their lives. Clients who know the root causes
of their dysfunction can therefore, identify the how to change their lives
accordingly.

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Existential psychotherapy deals with an allotment of time for
the client to become the best human being they can be under any given set of
circumstances. Counselors using this approach can develop a variety of options
of client’s choices to change based on the client’s ability to provide openings
within the session whereby change becomes a positive reinforcement and way of
life for clients. The anxiety associated with normal life forces is also not an
assumption but a fact. Most anxieties are developed over time when someone has
to encounter something they deem out of their control or don’t have a solution
to. Waking up every day, planning a trip, dealing with depression associated
with substance abuse or alcohol disorders, death and anything else in between
can be root causes for why a client’s behaviors will have them seek counseling.
On the other hand, it is their reactions to these life issues that will allow
them the ability to move forward. I have never met a client who doesn’t know
who they are or why they have become less than successful at living life on
life’s terms. I have met those who seek to change things they cannot control
within life and that is when existential therapy can best be used.

Every human being in existence will strive to be a part of
society. Their place cannot be questioned when they have chosen what role they
will play in life. The experiences clients go through can easily be identified
in how bad they want change. Counselors who have the appropriate education for
counseling and with their own instincts, beliefs and values in play, can
provide a safe course of remedy for clients seeking help for most issues within
their scope of practice. Existential psychotherapy provides this foundation and
much more if used appropriately. Clients hold the choices of freedom and their
responsibility to change. Counselors who keep this in mind will have given
client’s their best if they never strip them of the ability to choose.
Existentialist approaches to therapeutic counseling can make a huge impact in a
client’s life. It would behoove counselors to know their own biases, opinions
and values not as a comparison but as a conduit through which clients and
counselor can walk through safely, shoulder to shoulder. How a client’s
struggles are truly affecting them can only be identified through a counselor’s
ability to open a door slowly and methodically through which the client can
explore their existence in that which they seek to overcome or made a negative
impact on in their lives. Yalom and Josselson (2011) capture the essence of the
existential approach: “Existential psychotherapy is an attitude toward human suffering {that} has no manual. It asks deep
questions about the nature of the human being and the nature of anxiety,
despair, grief, loneliness, isolation and anomie. It also deals centrally the
questions of meaning, creativity and love. (Pg 310). There is deeper meaning
within that in and of itself.