Existential Psychotherapy

1589 Words 7 Pages
Diagnosis Sam is a 42-year-old male suffering from Generalized anxiety disorder. Sam exhibits excessive worry occurring more days than not over the past year. Sam reports symptoms of muscle tension, fatigue, insomnia, irritability and was observably restless, which is more than the required three symptom minimum. He feels it is difficult to control the worry and it has impaired his functioning and caused significant distress over the past year and this distress in not better attributed to a medical issue, substance or other mental disorder. Its also important to rule out another differential diagnosis. We know Sam does not have social anxiety because although he is having anxiety, that anxiety is not provoked by being evaluated. He does …show more content…
The first being the biological or physical world (Umwelt), this is centered around physicality. It is the world that stores “desire, relief, sleep/awake cycles and nature.” Physical feelings and symptoms are also part of this world (“Existential therapy”, 2015). The second is the social world (Mitwelt), where culture, society and language as well as work, attitudes towards authority, race and family. Emotions, friendships and romantic relationships are also part of the social world (“Existential therapy”, 2015).The third is the personal world (Eigenwlt), which is concerned with issues of the self. This includes “intimacy (with self and others), identity, personal characteristics and overall sense of self” and the question of being authentic (“Existential therapy”, 2015). The fourth and last world is the Spiritual world (Überwelt). This is considered our 'ideal ' world. Included within it are religion, values, beliefs and transformation. This is the dimension where we make sense of our lives and is considered the “realm of transcendence” (“Existential therapy”, …show more content…
According to Sharf (2012), Resistance is a way to deal with “overwhelming threats, an inaccurate view of the world or inaccurate view of ones self”(p.179). This is an important step in identifying cues and conflicts that Sam is dealing with. Once this is completed we can maintain the therapeutic work and eventually work toward termination. For Sam, it may be useful to combine CBT and existential therapy since Sam is diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and was dependent on his parents. Based on research by Bornstien (2004), cognitive therapy and existential therapy can be useful to help clients who are very dependent on others and according to Wolfe (2008) existential themes and CBT methods can be integrated for clients with anxiety disorders. Of course like with other psychotherapies, countertransference is inevitable. For example, positive or negative experience of the client may bring up countertransference or even irrelevant characteristics of the client like them resembling a family member or friend. These issues can interfere with treatment so its important to bring these feelings up to a supervisor or my psychologist and work through these feelings and understand them. Once they are understood they can be used constructively used in

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