Existential Psychotherapy

Existential Psychotherapy deals with basic issues of existence that may be the source of present conflict within a person. These concerns are universal, and inherent in the human condition: death, freedom, essential aloneness, and meaninglessness. In therapy, the person leans how to integrate the paradoxes around these issues, and thereby increase tolerance of the tension that may be associated with them. Personal responsibility and choice is emphasized, and focus is more here-and-now rather than on historical origins. Increased conscious awareness is key in becoming more healthy and fully functioning.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is similar to existential psychotherapy in that the focus is in the present and on increasing conscious awareness. CBT, however, is more structured; the emphasis is on the problems in thinking and behavior that lead to disturbed emotions and poor choices, rather than a more general or diffuse exploration of the existential crises being experienced.

Cognitive therapy that has been demonstrated by many research studies to be the most effective approach for a variety of psychological problems. The therapy relationship is collaborative and goal-oriented, and the focus on thoughts, beliefs, assumptions and behaviors is key. In CBT, the goal is for a person to develop more realistic and rational perspectives, and make healthier behavioral choices, as well as to feel relief from negative emotional states. Specific techniques, strategies and methods are used to help people to improve their mood, relationships and work performance.

Schema Therapy is similar to cognitive therapy in that the focus is on correcting problems in a person’s habitual patterns of thinking and feeling, and corresponding difficulties in his or her behavioral coping style. The focus is on identifying and understanding, and then challenging and overcoming the long-standing maladaptive patterns in thinking, feeling and behavior that create obstacles for a person in getting needs met and attaining life goals. As with standard CBT, the goal is for the person to feel better and enjoy greater life satisfaction.

CTA is a network of experienced therapists in the NY metro area who provide Cognitive Therapy and Schema-Focused Therapy. To inquire about an appointment, please call us at 212-258-2577.

image description