The second theoretical orientation that could be applied to Jessica’s case is Existential Therapy. Though Existential therapy is more of a philosophy for counseling and lacks specifically designed techniques, the key concepts associated with Existential therapy—the “basic dimensions of the human condition”, specifically mortality, meaning, aloneness, freedom, and anxiety (Core, 2013, p. 134)—are especially relevant to Jessica’s case. Following an Existential approach for Jessica’s therapeutic plan could provide the self-awareness and empowerment Jessica needs to make positive changes and achieve greater fulfillment in her life. The following is a review of key elements of the human conditions as they relate to elements of Jessica’s case, in support of an Existential approach to her therapy.
Capacity for Self-Awareness
Jessica seems to lack much capacity for self-awareness. Perhaps the most noticeable example can be seen in her relationship with her husband. Although she complains of issues that tend to be a result of both parties in a relationship—communication, intimacy, shared interests—she assigns all the blame to her husband. Her belief that their relationship issues will not improve until he works on “his issues” is potentially misguided and speaks to her inability to accurately reflect on her own role their relationship.
Freedom and Responsibility
Rejecting a deterministic view of life, Existential therapists believe that humans, regardless of the forces upon us that we can not control, do have the freedom and choice to select how we respond to situations (Corey, 2013). Jessica’s past use of recreational drugs and alcohol as a means of dealing with her pain and guil...
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... identity and having the courage to be who she is no small task, but it is an essential goal in Jessica’s therapy. Beginning by gently challenging Jessica to identify when, where and how she lost touch with her positive identity, the counselor helps Jessica explore how personal freedom and independence can be regained and begin to rebuild her positive sense of self. As such, it may be necessary for Jessica to closely examine the authentic of the relationships she has within the stay-at-home mom 's group, and make difficult decisions about their true value in her life. Again, questioning and self-assessment is a key piece of this intervention strategy; however, because it is important for Jessica to recognize life with purpose and meaning, Bibliotherapy could also be used effectively by finding a character in a story that would relatable to Jessica 's situation.
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