The tradition of existential psychotherapy has been dogged by its reputation as a vague, overly academic and ultimately impractical discipline since inception. Therapists have been given an emphasis on being and not doing, and any apprehensions they might have as to how they should actually act in the relationship is passed off as being grist for the mill of anxiety.
This book begins to construct a very clear set of practical guidelines for the existential therapist to follow, while at same time staying with the strong philosophical and client-focused tradition it springs from. Therapists are given a framework of understanding anxiety and depression that is highly adaptable to clients and other varying models, while at the same time allowing an understanding of existential givens to inform the work.
The book is well structured into punchy chapters, regular fly-outs and sub-sections that allow the user to quickly navigate the text and pull out useful sections as and when needed. Its regular mix of formats and styles means that the existentialism, content that is far too often presented as inaccessibly as possible, is made very available for both the persuser and the cover to cover reader alike.
Let's be frank, this is a specialist book which is not likely to appeal to anyone outside of counselling and psychotherapy. For people interested in existential therapy it is the holy grail. I am thoroughly enjoying reading it and reflecting on its wisdom. I'm not entirely new to the subject which means I already have a grasp of phenomenology and person-centred counselling which may help me to understand more as I read it through for the first time, but already I am looking forward to reading it through for the second time and reflecting more deeply and trying to integrate its principles into my daily life and my counselling training.
I found this a great insight, accessible and easy to read with some useful practical advice and case studies. It really brought home how much more there is to learn and will be revisiting to develop skills.