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Flashcards in Existential Therapy Deck (14)
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3 Important Influences

Victor Frankl
Rollo May
Irvin Yalom


Givens of Existence

1. Isolation and Relationships with Others
2. Death and living fully
3. Meaninglessness and Meaning



Meaning of human existence
Sense of value/meaning in life (present/future view)



People are more than predetermined factors
Free- will / we recreate ourselves


1. Capacity for Self- Awareness

time is limited
we have the choice to act or not to act
must seek meaning
We are subject to loneliness, meaninglessness, emptiness, and isolation


6 Propositions/ Basic Dimensions of Human Condition

1. The capacity for self awareness
2. Freedom and Responsibility
3. Identity and Relationship to Others
4. The search for meaning
5. Anxiety as a condition of living
6. Awareness of Death and Nonbeing


2. Freedom and Responsibility

-a large role in shaping personal destinies
-Manner in which we live and what we become are result of our choices
- accept responsibility for directing their own lives


3. Identity and Relationship to Others

Identity- We must trust ourselves to search within and find our own answers
Balancing aloneness and relatedness helps us develop unique identity and live authentically


4. The search for meaning

Finding meaning in life is a by-product of a commitment to creating, loving, and working
Trying to understand how to make sense of voids that have occurred in life and their meaning


5. Anxiety as a condition of living

Existential anxiety is normal
Neurotic anxiety is out of proportion


Existential anxiety

outcome of being confronted with four givens of existence-
life cannot be lived meaningfully and with responsibility, nor can isolation or death be faced, without anxiety


Neurotic anxiety

we typically are unaware, is anxiety about concrete things that are out of proportion to the situation


6. Awareness of Death and Non-being

Awareness of death is a basic human condition which gives significance to living


Phases of Existential Therapy

Initial phase: Clients identifying/ clarifying their assumptions about the world
Middle phase: Clients examining the source/authority of their present value system
Final phase: Clients translate what they have learned about themselves into action