Existential Counselling & Psychotherapy in Practice Hardcover – 1 Dec 2001
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'Existential Counselling in Practice was without doubt one of the classic texts in this field, and of considerable significance for the wider landscape of therapy too. Existential Counselling & Psychotherapy in Practice is bound to ensure that van Deurzen's practical wisdom continues to influence the future development of existential psychotherapy and counselling for many more years to come' - Simon du Plock, Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis
'Van Deurzen's introduction to existential counselling is outstanding and almost entirely devoid of the linguistic contortions which characterize some of the philosophical literature underpinning the field. For those with an interest in the practical side of existential approaches to counselling and psychotherapy - emphasising the challenges of living in the world rather than focusing on personal psychopathology - I can recommend none better' - CounsellingResource.com
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As Ms van Deurzen makes clear,the themes of this type of therapy - and of existentialism in general - are fundamental. They concern issues of life and death, of meaning, of purpose, of choices and freewill. Yet in existential texts these fundamental themes are often developed and elaborated until the points being made become either incomprehensible, or just plain woolly. For my part, the most interesting part of this book concerned her approach to dreams, which I felt was insightful, and made a refreshing change to the interpretative approach of the psychoanalysts.
Nonetheless, one of the numerous doubts I have about this type of therapy is its apparent exclusivity. To an extent, all therapy relies on a client who is willing to engage with it, yet existential therapy seems to require a degree of philosophical-mindedness from clients that most simply will not have.
Another objection is that,just like psychoanalysis - which it clearly tries to distance itself from - this therapy has a tendency to complicate problems that don't need complicating. Sometimes a fear of falling off ladders is a fear of falling off ladders, and not an ontological crisis.Read more ›
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