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Overcoming Distress by Defining Your Own Meaning

Many people are having a hard time figuring out what their purpose and meaning are in a world full of chaos and uncertainty. The goal of existential psychology is to help people get over their problems by helping them find meaning and direction in their own lives. According to this way of therapy, anxiety, depression, and other problems can be caused in part by not having enough meaning in life or the freedom to make choices that are in line with one’s ideals. Existential therapy tries to make things better by looking at a person’s outlook and how they see their life.

Philosophy-Based Bases

Existential psychology gets its ideas from European ideas from the late 1800s that pushed for individual freedom, will, and self-actualization in a world that wasn’t clear-cut. In the 1960s, existential therapy appeared as a way to use philosophical ideas in therapy. It was based on existentialist ideas that reality is subjective and people are responsible for shaping their own character. Practitioners help people take control of their changing purpose and values by asking open-ended questions that focus on the client’s unique life situations and points of view.

First Phase of Evaluation

The first main step in existential psychotherapy is a full psychological evaluation to find out what problems are stifling the client’s inner spark and desire to take an active part in shaping their own future. This first part of therapy helps you think deeply about things like past trauma, feelings of rejection or not being good enough, your worldview, and your views about your ability to grow and change. This sets the stage for future sessions. Also, it helps the client and therapist understand each other, trust each other, and get along, which makes deep work possible. Instead of just treating the symptoms on the surface, existential psychotherapy tries to get to the bottom of the issues by looking at the existential causes behind them.

A look at life themes

Once the therapist has done a basic assessment, they will help the client look at important life themes that will give their outlook structure and meaning over time. The things that come up a lot in sessions are our mortal nature and how to deal with death, our searches for freedom and purpose without rigid absolutes, ways to get past stagnation and sadness, and the balance between being alone and being connected to others and to ourselves. By having an open Socratic conversation about how people personally understand these common but deeply personal themes, we can become more aware of the things that keep us from fully participating in life. This helps reorient people towards living more authentically and in line with their growing sense of importance.

Making peace and growing

After a deep look at oneself, existential therapy moves on to the growth and reconciliation stages, where understanding information gives the present more power. With help from a therapist, clients let go of old beliefs that helped them avoid the free will and awareness that are necessary for growth. When you match your choices and goals with your newly awakened values and purpose, new meaning and direction in your life appear naturally. As once-stifling themes become part of a client’s growingly important worldview instead of being forced on them from the outside, the painful darkness fades. Now that someone is sure of their beliefs and has the confidence to live by them, good change starts to happen.

Ongoing Help

Even though existential therapy sessions may end, most clients keep in touch on a regular basis to keep up the hard-won progress they’ve made while dealing with the expected problems in life that threaten to undo their progress. Existential ideas help people stay determined to keep writing their own story of self-realization, whether it’s through monthly support meetings or one-hour sessions planned as needed. Existential psychotherapy gave its clients long-lasting tools, such as self-reflection, tactical freedom, and defining personal meaning, that help them respond strongly even during times of major change, worry, or crisis.

To sum up, important steps that make existential treatment work are:

  • First look at and evaluation of important problems
  • Looking into and becoming more aware of life’s themes;
  • Adding new information to existing worldviews;
  • Growing without being limited by old beliefs;
  • Ongoing help keeping determination strong;

Existential psychotherapy gives people the power to make their own meaning and purpose by looking at how they understand their life and the opportunities that are around them with compassion. Existential principles help us get through hard times and do well by letting us write our future lives based on what we’ve learned instead of responding fearfully to outside forces we can’t control. Now that we have strong convictions that are in line with our awakened ideals, change happens as we live, not just exist.