Maybe you never had experience of being in therapy, but you heard about it and thought what it would be like. Or you heard of existential therapy (at least as you checked out this title and clicked on it), and you might wonder what is that about. I will try to explain it in this post hoping to bring more clarity and do more justice to existential therapy. If you are still left with unanswered questions, feel free to get in touch to talk about it.
I consider myself to be an integrative existential psychotherapist. This can sound quite sophisticated, even pretentious, but in essence what I do in my therapy practice is quite simple: I talk with my clients about all sorts of existential issues as an existential therapist, to which I add some other therapeutic skills, such as making use of psychoanalysis (of that you might have heard a lot more).
Now, let’s focus on those existential issues. It is really not that complicated (I promise). Existential therapy looks into all matters of life. You do not need to be a philosopher or a trained existential therapist to understand existential therapy and how it works. Whenever you take some time to think about your own life, you are being an existentialist. Really, how many times have you said in your life “I am having an existential issue” or “an existential crisis”, and although at times those were some serious events going on for you, other times it was as trivial as thinking how to come up with an excuse not to go to a party. So, that’s what I do in existential therapy. I talk to my clients about their lives, from bigger things such as the meaning of life, to day-to-day issues and life rituals (such as how they take breakfast and what does that say about them).
My focus in practice is on identity, choice in life, and meaning in life. I believe we are in a constant process of becoming whilst we are alive, and that to some extent we have choice and good potential in making it happen. I often invite my clients to reflect on who do they think they are (pun intended!), but also how they become who they are today and who do they plan on becoming moving forward. In simple words, we’d be talking about you and your personality. Whilst we could go at great depths with this, I will only guide this conversation as far as it feels right for you. You might not want to dig up the past or go into the depths of your personal existential issues. Yet, I must warn you, I will challenge you (with permission) to get in touch with the best version of yourself. Of course, with compassion…and some humour too! Despite the cliché that therapy is all about crying, I can tell you that some existential talks lead to some very good laughter in my therapy room. The ultimate goal of existential therapy is to encourage you to enjoy life in your own skin, living by choice (and with responsibility). As Billie Holiday sang, I’ll be encouraging you to “get some fun out of life”. And yes, you might be crying too sometimes in sessions. To bring in another song reference, the therapy session is your party, and you can cry if you want to.
In essence, existential therapy (with me at least) is a relaxed, open, sometimes joyful, sometimes serious conversation about all the things that matter in your life.
If you wish to book a free consultation, get in touch here.