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Existential Counselling & Psychotherapy in Practice


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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Origin of Existential Therapy
Aim and Framework
Basic Assumptions
The Aim of Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling
The Attitude of the Existential Practitioner
Chapter Summary
Establishing Contact
Starting Point: Anxiety
Towards Authentic Living
Finding Guidelines
Chapter Summary
Clarification of Personal Worldview
The Physical World
The Social World
The Personal World
The Spiritual World
Chapter Summary
Taking Stock
Defining Assumptions
Determining Values
Exploring Talents
Chapter Summary
Creative Explorations
Understanding Emotions
Discovering Meaning
Working with Dreams
Playing with Imagination
Chapter Summary
Coming to Terms with Life
Facing the World Alone
Action and Commitment
Communicating and Relating
Living in Time
Chapter Summary

About the Author

Emmy van Deurzen is an international authority on existential therapy, who lectures worldwide and whose work has been translated into many languages. She is the founder and principal of the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling in London and a visiting professor with Middlesex University. She also directs Dilemma Consultancy and the Existential Academy, in London and Sheffield. She was previously the founder and first Dean of the School of Psychotherapy at Regent′s College and she was also the first chair of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. It was her initiative in forming the Society for Existential Analysis and its journal Existential Analysis, in 1988, the same year this book was first published, which established the field of existential psychotherapy and counselling in the United Kingdom.


′This latest edition of the classic text Existential Counselling and Psychotherapy in Practice preserves the accessibility and focus on actual practice which made the original essential reading for all existential therapists, while incorporating new material on working with emotions and dreams, alongside valuable suggestions in every chapter for discussion and reflection. It is authoritative without being dogmatic, and in the honesty and clarity with which it presents this most lively and vibrant way of working cannot fail to inspire any therapist wishing to engage creatively with the problems of living which clients bring to the consulting room′ -
Professor Simon du Plock, Metanoia Institute & Middlesex University ′In this third edition of the classic, Existential Counselling and Psychotherapy in Practice, Deurzen offers her confident down-to-earth account of existential practice now with a valuable new overview of the philosophers who have influenced this perspective. She manages to show concretely how existential philosophy is practiced without reducing it to doctrine or method. The text provides an antidote to the contemporary thinning out, through technique and expertise, of what psychotherapy should be; a vigorous and passionate dialogue about human life and how to live it. Highly readable and inspiring, this text remains a stalwart within the increasing literature on existential therapies′ -
Greg Madison, PhD., author, The End of Belonging and co-editor of the Journal of Existential Analysis and Existential Therapy: Legacy, Vibrancy and Dialogue

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