Unit 4 Existential Theroy assignment.docx - Running head APPLICATION OF EXISTENTIAL THEORY Existential Theory Analysis and Case Application Caitlin Boyd

Unit 4 Existential Theroy assignment.docx - Running head...

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Running head: APPLICATION OF EXISTENTIAL THEORY 1 Existential Theory Analysis and Case Application Caitlin Boyd COUN5239 Theories of Psychotherapy Capella University February 2020
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Running head: APPLICATION OF EXISTENTIAL THEORY 2 Existential Theoretical Analysis The conception of existential theory is rooted in the early 19 th century promulgated by a few philosophers, writers, psychologists, and poets alike. Amongst them was one cardinal influencer of the time, a seminal thinker and philosopher, Martin Heidegger. Heidegger emphasized the importance of how a few select, salient aspects of human condition impacted the way humans perceived their world, and, subsequently, how fulfilled or satisfied they felt with their “being”, with much being determined, ultimately, with whether or not they felt a presence of meaning. Heidegger felt that humans possessed the unique ability to acknowledge their existence. He also believed a person has to take responsibility for their freedoms (choices and attitudes) and deal with their inevitable mortality, (Cohn, 1997). This theory was further punctuated by Victor Frankl, who later wrote a book Man’s search for Meaning , which brought attention to the importance of one’s attitude in even the most challenging situations (Kottler and Montgomery, 2019). Existentialism is scaffolded by concepts such as “Throwness“, or our limits of control of over the world, mortality, our freedom to choose (which Heidegger postulates induces anxiety), sexuality, space, time, and mood (which Heidegger claims it does not only respond to what it meets, but also discloses it) (Cohn, 2997). Although Existential theory is concerned with change, it is arguably more preoccupied with the immediacy of the given moment. It does not discredit the past, but beckons the person to dive deep into what has lead them to this point, and, upon realization of their contentment or discontentment, what alterations are necessary to help cultivate a more meaningful, satisfying life. Henceforth, the ultimate goal of the counselor is to assist individuals to
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Running head: APPLICATION OF EXISTENTIAL THEORY 3 analyze their life choices and attitudes and guide them towards making the most meaning and purpose out of their lives (Kottler and Montgomery, 2019). Support for this theory is less technical and more philosophical, and greatly varies from unique person to unique person based on what they value most. The aim of therapy is as enigmatic as the individual, as each person is, at their core, seeking something purposeful to them . It might be important to note that what is meaningful to them may change as therapy proceeds and a deeper understanding of themselves and their desires metamorphosize (Cohn, 1997). This theory has broad applications depending on the culture and personal views which may present limitations when working with specific demographics, as will be elucidated later in this document.
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