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Existential Therapy

Existential therapy focuses on the exploration of a person’s sense of being-in-the-world. Therapists tend to take a here-and-now approach, emphasising their client’s ability to make decisions in the present, rather than rely on the influences of their past. They attempt to explore the meaning of certain problem areas for a client through a philosophical, rather than technique-based approach.


The theory is based on the work of philosophers such as Heidegger, Kierkegaard, Sartre and Merleau-Ponty. It was developed by therapists Medard Boss, Ludwig Binswager, Ronald Laign andEmmy van Deurzen. The latter founded the Society For Existential Analysis in London; the first of its kind in the UK. As one of the centres for existenial methodology, it publishes a highly influential journal on the subject.


Existential therapists  encourage the client to be honest with themselves, to broaden their views on their surrounding world and environment and to make firm decisions about future plans. The approach is based on the assumption that people are directly responsible for their lives and the environment they exist in.

How can Existential Therapy help?

Existential Psychotherapy is suitable for those willing to increase their self-awareness and who are prepared to take control of their lives and make positive changes. Relationship and family issues are among the problems that can be addressed.

Useful Existential Therapy Resources

International Society For Existential Psychology

Society For Existential Analysis