Existential Therapy

existential therapy seeks to gain perspective on one's experience
geralt / Pixabay

Existential psychotherapy is based upon the fundamental belief that each individual experiences internal conflict due to his or her interaction with certain conditions inherent in human existence called “givens.” The theories recognize at least four primary existential givens:

  • Freedom and associated responsibility
  • Death
  • Isolation
  • Meaninglessness

Existential models identify four basic dimensions of human existence:  the physical, the social, the psychological, and the spiritual. Accordingly, people encounter the world and shape their attitude out of their particular take on their experiences: Their view and perspective of the world defines their reality.

The Existential Therapist:

Existential therapists seek to avoid categorizing or labeling people.  Instead they look for the universals that can be observed cross-culturally.  Existential Therapists do not focus on an individual’s past, rather they work with the client to discover and explore the choices that lie before him or her. Through retrospection, the person in therapy and therapist work to understand the effects of past choices and the beliefs that led those to take place, only as a means to shift to the goal of creating better insight into oneself.  In other words, the focus is to use the past as a tool to promote freedom and newfound assertiveness in the present and future.

Dr. Aileen Garibyan, Psy.D.
Licensed Psychologist and Co-Founder of BTC

The following therapists at BTC have a strong understanding and frequently incorporate Existential theories into their therapy: Jeremy Cerneros, Jessica Torrecillas and Tara Guarino Fairbanks. However, all therapists at BTC have a general understanding of Existential theories.