History of existential therapy - Deepstash

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History of existential therapy

  • Its origins go back to the existential philosophers of the 20th century, mainly to Jean-Paul Sartre, who declared in 1943 that we are “condemned to be free.”
  • Viktor Frankl wrote Man’s Search for Meaning in 1946, and coined logotherapy as a method of creating meaning.
  • Rollo May moved his perspective of the “existential-humanistic” approach in the 1950s from Europe to America.
  • In 1980, Irvin Yalom defined the basis of the field of existential therapy, by establishing the four “givens” of the human condition: death, meaning, isolation, and freedom.
  • Today there are a few different branches of existential therapy, but they all emphasize the fact that we can deal with existential givens in a way that can move us toward a free, authentic existence.

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Existential therapy concentrates on free will, self-determination, and the quest for meaning. It views experiences like as anxiety, alienation and depression as normal phases in the human development and maturation.

In 2016, there were 136 existential-therapy institutions in 43 countries across six continents, and existential practitioners in at least 48 countries worldwide.

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