In existential therapy there is a focus on finding out what is important to you and how this can become a greater part of your life.
There can be many reasons for making the choice to do the first consultation. You can come due to a concrete choice you have to make, like a career choice or whether or not to get a divorce. It can also be due to a more prolonged challenge like anxiety or depression. No matter what is the cause of you wishing to speak to a psychologist, we will through the consultations find out what is important to you.
Questions that we can explore in the consultations can be:
- Who am I?
- What’s important to me?
- How do I make choices based on what is important to me?
- How can I create a life with less suffering and worries?
- What do I want to do with my life?
- How can my life become more meaningful?
The existential therapy is an approach of openness and curiosity. There is a focus on strengthening your experience of being in touch with yourself and what is important to you, as well as becoming able to make choices based on this. Due to this, we will not be following a pre-determined program or manual. The content of the sessions will be developed as we go along in a cooperation between us.
The Relation in the Conversations
In existential therapy the relation between us is straight forward and direct. Presence and investigation are key words. We aim at tuning into your experiences and not to have already determined goals for what would be beneficial for you in your life.
As one of the key purposes is that you will get more in touch with yourself, my role is not to tell you what to do. Rather, we will be doing a shared investigation of what would be beneficial to do for you as a unique individual. This does not mean I will not make suggestions. The suggestions will however always be accompanied by an investigation of what they mean to you.
It is sometimes described as me standing next to you. I will always seek to explore your experiences to find out what is at stake for you. It can be by focusing on your thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations. There will often be times where you will try to do something different than usual between the consultations. We will afterwards explore what it was like for you and what it could be like if you did more of this in your life.
Making Choices in Life
The fact that there are conditions in life we cannot change can cause great distress. These conditions can for instance be regarding physical illness, possibilities we did not cease in the past, how much support we can find in our family, or that death is inevitable for ourselves and our loved ones.
At the same time we have to constantly make choices. Being confronted with having to make choices all the time can be overwhelming and create strong feelings of insecurity and anxiety. Whenever we make a choice, we also choose to not choose something else, and we can never be completely sure that our choice will be what is best for us.
We can try to avoid making choices. This is also a choice. This choice means that we are turning away from the possibility of finding out what is truly valuable to us. This can for instance be staying in the same job that wears us down. It can also be continuing to participate in the same social events that always make us worry for days in advance and speculate for weeks afterwards, without finding out what the distress is about and making choices based on that.
Through our talks we will work with how you investigate your own experiences and make choices. This will create the foundation for you to experience a strengthened ability to make choices in life with a good gut feeling after the therapy is done.
Strengthening the Contact with Yourself and Others
During this training in investigating your own experiences and making choices, vulnerability and sensitivity are two important aspects. If we fear being vulnerable, we can try to protect ourselves by the force of control. Once control shuts off our ability to investigate our experiences and really feel what is at stake for us, we will not be able to act according to what is important to us in a flexible and natural way.
In the consultations, my most important task is to create a trusting relation. This is the prerequisite for you to experience being comfortable enough to allow yourself to be in a state of vulnerability. By doing so, you will be able to enter your experiences with an investigative curiosity. In this way, you will be training your sensitivity to your own experiences, values and wishes.
Some seek therapy because they want to work with their relations and contact with others specifically. Others focus less on relations during the consultations. No matter how much you specifically focus on this, you will experience changes in your relations with others. Resting more in our own body and experiences, and living life in a way we experience as meaningful, will also result in us beginning to be more at ease in our relations with others.
The consultations can be seen as a practice field to a more enriching and fuller way to live. A path of life more filled with presence, self worth, love and meaning.