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Existential Therapy places emphasis on the human condition as a whole and while it applauds human capacities it also acknowledges human limitations. This type of therapy operates on the belief that inner conflict within a person is due to individual confrontation with the givens of existence. The approach is that people have the capacity for choice and self-awareness.

In working with clients, therapists help the client find philosophical meaning in the face of anxiety and turmoil by deciding to act responsibly and act authentically. This type of therapy assumes that clients’ issues and problems come from not exercising choice and judgment enough. These problems are embedded in anxiety over despair, loneliness, and death. Therapists used creativity, authenticity and free will as paths toward transformation allowing clients to recognize their lives a meaningful despite uncertainty and humanistic limitations.

Existential therapy is often most effectively used with a client needs to overcome specific emotional obstacles to facilitate their continuation or entry into recovery. For example, when someone continues to feel helpless and not accept responsibility for their own recovery, this type of therapy may be quite effective.