Theories and Applications of Counseling and Psychotherapy provides students with the foundational knowledge needed to implement various therapeutic approaches in individual and family counseling. The dynamic author team presents theories through a multicultural and social justice-oriented lens, including evidence to support each theory. Students will embrace chapter concepts through vibrant illustrations and relevant examples from movies, TV shows, photographs, paintings, musical lyrics, news articles, and other sources presented throughout.

Existential Theory

Existential Theory

Image 20

Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, each student should be able to:

  • Articulate the contributions of key players of existential theory.
  • Summarize the basic concepts underlying all existential therapies (e.g., freedom and responsibility, aloneness and relatedness, meaning-making, etc.).
  • Describe the therapeutic process of existential therapy, including goals, the therapist’s role, the client’s role, and the therapeutic change processes.
  • Define the steps of existential analytic diagnosis.
  • Identify existential strategies and techniques, including the meaning triangle, Socratic dialogue, and paradoxical intention.
  • Discuss both the practical advantages and disadvantages for using existential therapy with multicultural clients.
  • Describe the intersection of existentialism and ethics.


The author Eric Maisel (2009) stated the following:

Why aren’t we offered an existential training? Because one of society’s unacknowledged goals is to minimize existential thought. A company making widgets ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles