Monday, June 18, 2012

12th Blog

Existential Therapy

Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622) is credited with the quote, “bloom where you are planted.”

     This assignment was difficult for me just to narrow down to one theory of the eleven approaches of psychology. Existential therapy speaks to me the most because I can identify with it on a personal, as well as, a spiritual level. I believe everyone has a destiny/purpose in life and it is to find and fulfill it while they are here on earth.


     Viktor Frankl is one of the key figures of Existentialism. Before the actual introduction of the concept, Victor was a Jew and had to overcome a few personal obstacles himself. During the three years as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp, Frankl had watched his family die including his parents, wife, and children. I respect the fact that this man used his horrific experiences in order to help someone else. Frankel was in his fourties during his personal quest, thus giving me continued hope too.  Personally, I believe if a person can live through such a terrible tradegy, and still have love in his heart, I think it is something worth listening to.


     Mr. Frankl was influenced by Freud and Alder, however his most influential leader was Nietzsche. Viktor also developed the term logotherapy (therapy through meaning). He believed that life has meaning and one must utilize the mind, body, and spirit to achieve this experience. I am also a firm believer that the body is made up of three parts and it is up to the individual to find a good balance of them in order to be happy.    

     Another figure of Existential therapy that I admire is Irvin Yalom. As a young boy, Irvin grew up in a poor environment and loved to read. I relate this background to my previous employer's clientel with Headstart. No matter how rich, or tall, poor or small.... teach a child to read, for me..that is all.  I believe if a child is a great reader, then he has the potential to be a great writer too. Irvin Yalom has written many books relating to psychotherapy. One of his philosophies is that everyone is unique and has their own story. I have personally, always said, people are like books... they have a story to tell. I must learn to read them well. Irvin also expresses that a therapist must be transparent, interpersonal, and express authenticity. These are true qualities that a leader must behold and model.

     In closing, I can identify with Existential therapy because I have applied it most of my adult life. As stated in the text book, existential tradition seeks a balance of opportunities of life and being aware of our limits. Some people have a problem with this therapy stating that this therapy is a trend to positive psychology. I say, I would rather seek the good/positive than find the bad/negative because it is in all things. When the bad or negative things do happen, try to have the attitude of what does not kill you makes you....stronger...wiser.

  •  Corey, G. (2013)..Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy (9th ed.,). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

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