Existential Counselling & Psychotherapy in Practice

Front Cover
SAGE, 2002 - Psychology - 224 pages
`For a book with such a reflective and philosophical element, this is a surprisingly readable and grounded read. This is perhaps the strongest aspect of van Deurzen s approach - an ability to understand social development and its often profoundly disturbing effects on the psychology of the individual and to remind us of what is really important in living' - Counsellingbooks.com

`There is a lot to be said for the existential approach in counselling and therapy, and the honesty, intelligence and experience that Emmy van Deurzen brings to her account say it very persuasively. This, thankfully, is not a book setting out a system or founding a school of therapy, but one the reader can engage with constructively to elaborate his or her own position on some very fundamental issues' - David Smail

`Existential Counselling in Practice was without doubt one of the classic texts in this field, and of considerable significance for the wider landscape of therapy too. Existential Counselling & Psychotherapy in Practice is bound to ensure that van Deurzen's practical wisdom continues to influence the future development of existential psychotherapy and counselling for many more years to come' - Simon du Plock, Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis

'Van Deurzen's introduction to existential counselling is outstanding and almost entirely devoid of the linguistic contortions which characterize some of the philosophical literature underpinning the field. For those with an interest in the practical side of existential approaches to counselling and psychotherapy - emphasising the challenges of living in the world rather than focusing on personal psychopathology - I can recommend none better' - CounsellingResource.com

Existential Counselling & Psychotherapy in Practice is the Second Edition of the bestselling text, which offers a concrete framework and practical methods for working from an existential perspective. Central to the book is the belief that many of our problems and concerns arise out of the essential paradoxes of human existence, rather than from personal pathology. From this perspective, the purpose of counselling and psychotherapy is not viewed as problem-solving or skill-building, but as a means of enabling people to come to terms with living life as it is, with all its inherent contradictions.

Emmy van Deurzen, a leading existential philosopher and therapist, presents a practical method of working, using systematic observation, clarification and reflection to help clients rediscover their inner strengths. She shows how personal assumptions, values and talents, once acknowledged, can be turned to constructive use. Using wide-ranging case examples the author also demonstrates the effectiveness of the existential approach in many different situations - from crisis work to dealing with chronic unhappiness.

The existential approach is a well-respected form of psychotherapy, but most writing on the subject tends to be heavily theoretical. This book offers a practical and accessible alternative, which will be invaluable to those in training as well as to more experienced practitioners.



Aim and Framework
Establishing Contact
Clarification of Personal Worldview
Taking Stock
Creative Explorations
Coming to Terms with Life

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