Anna's Case Study: Existential Therapy

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Introduction Existential therapy (ET) is a dynamic approach that focuses on issues and concerns that are imbedded in the individual’s existence (Yalam, 1980). ET is based on the view of “specific forces, motives and fears that interact in the individual” (Yalam, 1980). The purpose of ET is to help clients in making choices based on their belief system, accept reasonability for their actions and the outcomes, whether positive or negative, and find meaning in their life (Eliason, Samide, Williams & Lepore, 2010). ET is applied to a case vignette of Anna throughout this paper. Concepts A concept that could be applied to Anna’s case is attention to nonverbal behavior. This is Anna’s first time in therapy. Anna arrived early, had shaky hands…show more content…
Some anxiety is an appropriate response to a situation one is facing, however “neurotic anxiety is out of proportion to the situation” (Eliason, 2010). Anna’s report of “worrying all the time” and “cant get my brain to shut off” is no longer healthy and motivating. The therapist could help Anna find ways to deal with her anxiety in a constructive manner and to be able to tolerate some ambiguity and uncertainty. The last concept: awareness to death is what gives significance to living. It provides humans with motivation to live life and take advantage (Eliason, 2010). Utilizing this concept might allow Anna to find motivation and take advantage in living her life, finding out what she wants to do as well as finding a new job, as she has been unemployed for three…show more content…
ET therapist should listen empathetically, draw from different theoretical approaches as needed and adopt a flexible style (Murdock, 2013). Specific to Anna, the therapist’s goal would be to confront Anna on her lack of movement in life and help to encourage Anna to move forward and find meaning. Client’s role Clients in ET are challenged to take responsibility for their actions and behaviors. Clients are required to be active in the process and share fears, guilty feelings and anxieties (Murdock, 2013). Anna’s role is to take responsibility as well as being open, honest and to confront her feelings. Treatment Populations and Social/Cultural

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