Misconception Of Existentialism

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4. Existential Therapy
Unlike Adlerian Therapy, or Psychoanalysis, Existentialism was not founded by any person or group. Instead, the concept is a cornucopia of different ideas which contribute to a universal theory of existence (Corey, 2013, p. 140). World War II devastated Europe and left those that participated, or that were victims of the war, struggling with isolation and meaninglessness. The search for understanding and freedom within the confines of the Nazi oppression lead philosophers and psychologists alike to rethink the concept of freedom and the meaning of life. Philosophers like Nietzsche and Heidegger laid philosophical foundations for existentialism by challenging the idea of self and reminding us that we exist “in the
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The common misconception of existentialism, as demonstrated in the movie Garden State, is an individualistic desire to discover the meaning of existence. Society’s preoccupation with this aspect of existentialism is likely derived from the “distinctly human characteristic [of] the struggle for a sense of significance and purpose in life” (Corey, 2013, p. 151). Society becomes fixated on the idea that there exists a scientific approach to discover the “meaning of life” when in fact the focus of the search for meaning centers instead on internal questions like “What do I want from life?” and “What gives my life purpose?”. Given our mortality and the finite nature of human life, combating meaninglessness is challenging for society and existential therapists alike. While society searches for a magic bullet that will enlighten them to the meaning of life, existential therapists provide the conceptual framework that allows individuals to challenge themselves to find meaning in all things (Corey, 2013, p. 151). It is the freedoms which we learn to exercise in all instances that allow us to shape our lives and find meaning in even the direst

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