In Existential–Humanistic Therapy, Kirk J. Schneider and Orah T. Krug discuss the history, theory, and practice of this distinctly American expression of existential therapy. Existential–humanistic therapy welds the European existential philosophical heritage of self-inquiry, struggle, and responsibility with the American tradition of spontaneity, optimism, and practicality.
Contrary to its common reputation as a purely intellectual form of therapy, this approach emphasizes not only the concepts of freedom and responsibility, but experiential reflection, in which clients experience their problems in session through a process of checking in with their affective and bodily sensations. The goal of this therapy is to help clients free themselves from self-imposed limitations and come to a deeper understanding of their authentic life goals, versus those imposed by others or by a rigid sense of self. This approach, which is becoming increasingly integrative, is applicable in a wide array of settings and diagnostic populations and, because of its emphasis on key contextual factors, is increasingly influential on the therapeutic profession as a whole.
In this book, Dr. Schneider and Dr. Krug present and explore this approach, its theory, history, the therapy process, primary change mechanisms, empirical basis, and future developments. This essential primer to existential–humanistic therapy, amply illustrated with case examples, is perfect for graduate students studying theories of therapy and counseling as well as for seasoned practitioners interested in understanding this approach.