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Applications of Existential Therapy


Existential therapy has a philosophical approach and is a psychotherapy . It focuses on the existence of individual.  It states that the whole is important than the sum of its parts. This approach is focused on the belief that the essence of humans is their existence as the word existentialism suggests.  Life is ever changing and is dynamic in nature .  Soren Kierkegaard is called as the father of existentialism . If one wants to understand existential therapy so it can be said as a client- centered approach as the therapist digs into the life of the client/patient.  It deals with finding meaning and purpose. Existential therapy sees anxiety , depression as normal stages in every individual’s life rather than an illness. As it is philosophical in nature it gives a human freedom to shape his/her experiences in their own way. It focuses on the way how we see ourselves, who we really are ; instead of labelling people. The focus is on the overall development of the individual.

This approach lays emphasis on the fact that a human is alone in this world and his/her self-concept is formed by the quality of interpersonal relationships as it is the basic need of every individual as we want to make space in other’s life to get meaning, to understand ourselves and to get validation.  This approach focuses on personality, having a good life, emotions etc.  It identifies why we exist, what is the purpose of our lives , how shall we exist, what is my contribution to the world . When a human doubts his existence and about life’s purpose it is known as existential anxiety .


Existential therapy can be used in case of Substance abuse . The focus of this approach is on the client and freedom of the client. Substance abuse is considered as a choice to make lives more authentic and meaningful so the interventions are based on self-awareness and making healthy choices . When a person faces loss of other person in their life that is death of a near one that person experiences loneliness and hopelessness and realises that we do not actually have any power or control and in this case existential therapy is effective as it helps an individual in confrontation of the reality , making the client understand the influence of past experiences , present perception and expectations for the future. While making a significant decision this therapy is used as it helps an individual to understand himself/herself  in a better way to make  decision with knowledgeable  insights as this therapy respects the individuality of every client , in  this approach client and the therapist both are two real people which means therapist is not merely a listener he/she has equal participation to make as he/she can use his/her life experiences as well but without imposing his/her thoughts on the client. Usually existential therapy has a longer duration than others that’s why it is very effective.  This can also be used in developmental crisis as in adolescents a lot of changes take place they start getting involved with peer groups more than their families  , they feel the need of belonging to a group , child form new identity as they understand things from a different perspective, in this age every adolescent want attention and that’s why having a counsellor can be useful. This therapy is also useful in coping with the failure in marriage or work  , for human beings the basic need is the need of belonging ,intimacy of relationships and when that does not go well we feel disconnected from our true self and that’s why therapist needs to develop a relation with the client which shows care and concern on a profound level. One of the most important aspect of this therapy is how it increases the awareness about death and let’s a person appreciate life . It helps people to identify their identity in the constant battle to know who we really are , when we struggle to find our true self , to find meaning this therapy can be useful.

Victor Frankl writes “Man’s search for meaning is a primary force in his life …”

even if we know that eventually we all have to die still life has certain motives to fulfil that serves our life a meaning.  It makes an individual more aware and arises his/ her consciousness which helps to get better insight and make right decisions in life.


The motive of existential therapy is not to free people from anxiety but rather accept that it is normal to feel anxious at times, it defines how every individual is unique in every term and has his/her own meaning to life as every individual experience things differently and interprets those experiences in their own ways ,the actual quest of every individual is to identify the goal of their life and to give meaning to their existence , this approach does not have any specific method as it depends upon the therapist .

What do you think?

522 Points

Written by Tanmeet Kapoor

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Disha Dhage

good content

Disha Dhage


Disha Dhage

well written

Disha Dhage

keep up the good work

Disha Dhage


Disha Dhage

will share

Disha Dhage

keep writing

Disha Dhage


Riya Rajkotiya

Very informative


Existencial therapy is indeed really essential nowadays, as there are a lot of temptations around such as vices and abuse of substance. Thank to this it was very accurate to todays generation.

Khushi Sati

i really like it but it could have been more informative

Vaishnavi Aher

A rather striking perspective, loved reading about it especially because I had no idea something like this existed. Great job Tanmeet just a suggestion, do look out for a few grammatical errors in between sentences. Other than that, I absolutely enjoyed reading!

Mohini Agrawal

Leaning and gaining knowledge is one things but application is another important aspect it was beautifully explained well written good luck!

Yashaswini Bhat

 Tanmeet Kapoor I liked your article . keep up the work

Jigyasa vashistha

I like it how you have described loneliness & hopelessness.. & also feeling anxious can to normalised too. Because these things are almost suffered by all.. It’s so eye -awakening. Thanks for this article. ❤

Jigyasa vashistha

Superbly written.. Wishing you all the very best. Have a nice day

Kritika Bhair

I liked it
Well written
Good luck

Jigyasa vashistha

Just lovely..


Very well written. Keep up.

Simone Morarka

Very well explained, Tanmeet !

Simone Morarka

Well done!! Keep up the good work ;))

Femitha Rachel Ebby

Well written and structured. I would want to read up more on Existential therapy 🙂 I also had no idea that it could be applied in cases of substance abuse. Thank you for bringing that up.

Gunreet kaur

Beautiful explained in less content

Ilhaam Shaik

The content was informative! Good job

Sree rekha k zenith

It’s really short. The applications are only described in bread. Looking forward for more details.


Its a nice article which portrays relationship between philosophy and psychology…


very informative one, thanks for sharing


Very informative and interesting !

Kirti manaktala

Short and concise. Very informative and interesting.

Manasi Bhosale

Nice article! Informative!

Shramana Singha Roy

i like it , but if possible use more examples. but its good .


Excellent article. The explanation was very clear and insightful


Great work

Sneha Agrawal

Very short and crisp article.But as a suggestion,please put in more information from next time onwards.A lot could have been added to the article.Otherwise good writing!!

Sushmitha Subramani

Interesting topic

Sushmitha Subramani

Short but well conceptualized. Well done

Jaspreet kaur

Very informative content. I got to know so many new things.

Meenakshi A Nair

Well written

Aditi Dhoundiyal

For me existential psychology is very philosophical but I must say it’s very well written

Shraddha S. Kambli

Good article, keep it up

Sabira Solanki

Wow, this was relatively new to me, and the way this article explained the topic created a clear picture in my mind. Brilliant!

Gourinanda T S

Very informative article. Well written.

M. Benadict Savitha

good and nice content write more like this

Srushti BM

Wow, I didn’t know something like this existed. Thanks for the info


The content of the artical was brief yet well explained, good job

Simran Rai

well written!!

Jigyasa vashistha

this is such a wonderful article!! thanks for writing 🙂

Nidhi Dahiya

Amazing article!

Jiniya Chakraborty

This approach is really interesting and I think one of the most realistic types of therapy. Thanks for writing such an informative and interesting article.


Your content was very informative. You have presented the information in a very simplistic manner. Anyone who does not know about Psychology can still understand about existential therapy by reading this.
My only suggestion would be that you should add some real life cases to make this more interesting. Case studies will enhance this piece even more.