COUN 720, chapter outline
COUN 720, chapter outline Coun 720
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Popular in Counseling and Consulting Theories
ECON 2020 - 4
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This 6 page Study Guide was uploaded by Marie Fritch on Friday February 19, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to Coun 720 at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania taught by Dr. Boley in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 77 views. For similar materials see Counseling and Consulting Theories in Psychlogy at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
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Date Created: 02/19/16
Theory__Existential Therapy_______ 1. Key figures: Viktor Frankl: Founded the Youth Advisement Centers Holocaust survivor, lost his whole family and wife His experiences in the death camps solidified his belief that you are in control of your own attitude. You can be stripped of all your belongings but your outlook on the situation is up to you to decide. He emphasized the concept of freedom, responsibility, the meaning of life, and the search for values Rollo May: o Struggled with his existential purpose in life and the failure of two marriages. o Studied Alfred Adler while in college o Believed the best way to help people is through psychology not theology o Became ill with tuberculosis, which lasted two years and experienced a lot of anxiety over that time. o Theories concern the nature of human existence and identity, recognizing and controlling power within us, as well as respecting responsibility and freedom. Irvin Yalom: o Ultimate human concerns\ “givens of existence”: freedom, responsibility, existential isolation, meaninglessness, and death o Believed that therapy should be designed differently for each client because everyone has different needs. 2. Basic underlying assumptions: Existential therapy is more of a point of view or attitude about psychotherapy and how it is practiced. Existential approach does not follow the deterministic view of human nature theorized by psychoanalysis which asserts the individual is greatly controlled by their unconscious. We are free, responsible and in control of the choices we make, we are not victims of circumstances. The way we respond to events in our lives is completely up to us. 3. Key essential concepts: View of human nature o Existential tradition: Recognize the strengths and limits of human nature. o Respect for all human kind o The freedom to discover new aspects of human behavior and different methods of understanding people Proposition 1: the capacity for self awareness o The basis of selfawareness lies in responsibility, choice and freedom. o The stronger our awareness the more opportunities for freedom are available to us. o We choose our actions and our attitudes and this essentially creates our own destiny. o We are not immune to loneliness or emptiness we must relate to others beings to feel whole. Proposition 2: freedom and responsibility o We are free to choose between alternatives in life and this constructs our destiny. o Inauthenticity: not accepting personal responsibility for something we have done. An inauthentic life is brought on by lack of awareness for our own personal choices and blaming misfortune on external factors. o Authenticity: being fully self aware and accepting responsibility for our actions and attitudes. We have the courage to be who we are meant to become. Proposition 3: striving for identity and relationship to others o As humans we are concerned about preserving our uniqueness but also remaining connected to others. o Creating an identity is not automatic; it is something we create for ourselves and it takes courage. o We experience aloneness, relatedness, and struggle with our identity. Proposition 4: the search for meaning o The struggle for a sense of significance and purpose in life is a distinct human characteristic. o Therapy can help clients to question where their life is going and if they feel they are reaching their purpose. o The client can analyze what’s working in their life to make them happy and what’s missing. Proposition 5: anxiety as a condition of living o Existential anxiety is the result of facing the “givens of existence” this implied death, freedom, isolation, choice, and meaninglessness. o Normal anxiety is an appropriate level of anxiety to accomplish a task. It can be used as motivation to make changes. o Neurotic anxiety is anxiety about concrete things out of proportion to the situation. o If we listen to our anxieties and use them constructively we can take steps to improve our life and make it what we want it to be. Proposition 6: awareness of death and non being o Awareness of death is a basic human condition that gives significance to living. o Humans have the ability to grasp the reality of the future and the inevitability of death. We need to think about the reality of death in order to appreciate life. 4. Important goals The goal of therapy is to help clients discover the existential “givens of life” and how these can be neglected. By addressing these issues one can live a much happier life and meaningful existence. Clients are encouraged to reflect on their life experiences Aim of therapy is to wake people up to the control they really do have over their own lives and to stop expecting life to work out regardless of what we do. 5. Role of therapeutic relationship in outcomes Therapists function and role o Help the client to realize what they are unsatisfied with in their lives and take steps to change it and understand their options. o The therapist encourages the client to take responsibility for their actions and where their life has taken them thus far. o In a sense the therapist “holds up a mirror” to the client and shows them things they may not have realized about themselves. If the client is unhappy with that reflection they are encouraged to change it. Clients experience in therapy: o Clients should decide what fears and anxieties they should explore and how they can further their treatment outside of therapy. o During treatment they will gradually become more self aware and more capable of deciding what they want out of life. Relationship between client and therapist: o Person to person encounters in a therapeutic situation is stimulating to the clients outlook of positive change o The therapist should show respect for their relationship with the client as well as model authentic behavior. 6. Techniques Phases of existential counseling: from the start of counseling the therapist assists the client in identifying and brining clarity to their beliefs about the world. The client gets an idea of what kind of life they consider worth living. Clients appropriate for existential counseling: this therapy is used for a diverse population of clients including those struggling with substance abuse, ethnic or racial issues or members of the LGBT community. Treatment shows the client pathways towards personal growth and coping. Application to brief therapy: this is a shortterm therapy session that focuses on clients specific areas of difficulty such as accepting responsibility or making commitments. Application to group therapy: these clients are committed to a life long exploration of themselves and what they want out of life. Group therapy enabled members to be honest, broaden their perspectives on the world, and assess what gives them the most happiness in life right now and for the future. 7. Application to client populations, settings, and treatment of problems: Client populations and diverse and include those struggling with alcohol or substance abuse, ethnic or racial issues or members of the LGBT community. Treatment of these diverse problems lies in showing the client pathways towards personal growth and coping. Clients are treated individually for their unique issues and challenges they wish to overcome. 8. Major strengths from a diversity perspective This theory does not dictate a particular view of way of living, thus making it widely accepted and relevant for multicultural clients. Clients from all backgrounds can find meaning in their lives through this unique interpretation of becoming who we want to be. Clients can recognize how they have been influenced socials and culturally thus far in there lives. 9. Shortcomings from a diversity perspective: this perspective can be seen as excessively individualistic ignoring social factors. This theory is very focused on selfdetermination and regardless of social or environmental factors. 10. Most significant contribution: Existential therapy brought the essence of the person and their individuality into focus again. Death does not have to be met only with fear, but used as a form of motivation. When we are self aware we understand the limits of mortality and that we must make the most of our lives. 11. Most significant limitation: there is a lacking systematic statement for this approach. This therapeutic style can come off as vague and without structure. The Existential therapist would need to have a deep understanding of what it means to be human. This is not a skill easily picked up, as wisdom is something we gain with age and experience. References Corey, G. (2013). Theory & Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy (9th. Ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole
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