Existential And Client-Centered Frameworks For Psychological Analysis And Treatment Of Clients Essay Examples
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Psychology, Therapy, Life, Client, Psychotherapy, Sense, People, Trauma
There are may different schools of thought regarding how to properly conduct therapy, and how to properly interact with clients in a therapy session. Clinical work requires an ability to understand the issues that each client faces, and the ability to take the important facets of each of the different areas of psychotherapy and apply them to the client in question. These theoretical frameworks may all have their place in therapy, but the theoretical frameworks for discussion here will be existential therapy techniques as well as client-centered therapy techniques. Each of these philosophies comes with its own set of rules and frameworks, and must be understood in the context of the client.
Existential psychotherapy is a school of thought which suggests that all the conflict that an individual experiences is inner conflict—and that this inner conflict is the result of the problems that the individual experiences with the fundamental truths of existence (Colaizzi, 2002). For instance, one of the most common fears for human beings is the fear of death; the inner conflict that comes along with the individual’s fear of death is one of the things that might be treated using techniques associated with existential psychotherapy (Colaizzi, 2002). Colaizzi (2002) notes that there are four “facts” of life that are important in the context of existential psychotherapy. The first, as previously stated, is the inevitability of death. The next is the responsibility associated with freedom; the third is isolation, and the final is nihilism and a sense of meaninglessness in life (Colaizzi, 2002).
Existential psychotherapy is excellent for patients who are interested in moving forwards with their lives. Not all individuals are interested or will benefit from reflecting on their past decisions; existential psychotherapy will help individuals who are interested in moving forward through their present decisions and options (Colaizzi, 2002). These people may be feeling as though there is no meaning in their lives; the purpose of existential therapy is to give them a new sense of meaning and a new understanding of their lives and where they exist within their lives (Colaizzi, 2002).
This type of therapy is excellent for individuals who have not had particularly traumatic pasts, but are still feeling a sense of ennui or depression in the moment. This will give them a better sense of self and a better sense of perspective insofar as their place in their own life is concerned; this is an understanding that many people need to pursue, and existential therapy can help people have a better understanding. It will not help people who have experienced trauma as much as it helps people who are experiencing an overarching sense of discomfort or unhappiness, but it may help people who have experienced trauma function in their day-to-day decision-making processes. It could be used in conjunction with other types of therapy to help individuals with traumatic pasts. One fictional character who could have benefited from this type of therapy (had he not turned out to have Dissociative Identity Disorder) is the narrator from Fight Club. He clearly felt unhappy in his day-to-day life, and was looking for meaning; this philosophical approach to therapy could have been extremely helpful, had there not been something deeper at work in his mental disorder.
It is almost impossible to think of an individual and a situation where the individual would not benefit from client-centered therapy. The therapist acts as an impartial third party, and therefore is non-judgmental and completely open to anything the client says. This is something that would benefit anyone; even the happiest person can sometimes use someone to talk to about the problems or experiences that they have had. Deeper forms of therapy can and should be used for individuals who have experienced trauma, because the non-judgmental nature of this therapy allows the individual to open up without threat of judgment. In clinicals, this has been used very successfully with victims of sexual assault and other traumas.
Colaizzi, P. (2002). Psychotherapy and Existential Therapy. Journal Of Phenomenological Psychology,33(1), 73-112. doi:10.1163/156916202320900437
De Sousa, D. (2011). Client Centered Therapy. IJAR, 4(2), 10-13. doi:10.15373/2249555x/feb2014/133