Psychology for Lawyers

bringing the course home
existential psychotherapy



"[I]nterest in existential aspects of psychotherapy, somewhat neglected sine the work of Victor Frankl and Irwin Yalom, has regained prominence. Noting the salience of existential themes in cognitive therapy, John Mack claims that being 'creator of one life . . . is essential to the sense of self.' Similarly, Chris Brown and Mack Power assert, 'There is little question that issues of meaning form the heart of most forms of psychopathology.' They also observe, however, that the mentally ill do not suffer from meaninglessness per se, but rather from a plethora of pernicious meanings such as self-hatred and radical mistrust of others. What psychotherapy calls for, perhaps even more than the interpretation of hidden realities, is the imagination of alternative possibilities."

—Neil Scheurich, "Reading, Listening, and Other Beleaguered Practices in General Psychiatry," in Peter L. Rudnytsky & Rrita Charon (eds.), Psychoanalysis and Narrative Medicine 247-260, at 253 (Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 2008)


Peter Zafirides, "Existential Psychotherapy: How the Search for Meaning Can Heal Us," in Keith D. Markman, Travis Proulx & Matthew J. Lindberg (eds.), The Psychology of Meaning (Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association Press, 2013) [online text] [The Zafrides paper appears in The Psychology of Meaning with the title "Psychotherapy and the Restoration of Meaning: Existential Philosophy in Clinical Practice" and is attributed to Peter Zafirides, Keith D. Markman, Travis Proulx & Matthew J. Lindberg]

Kirk J. Schneider, John Galvin & Irene Serlin, Rollo May on Existential Psychotherapy, 49 (4) J. Humanistic Psy. 419 (2009) [online text]

Class Video

Class Viewing 1: Rollo May in Ten Minutes [10:15 mins.] [Eric Dodson] [presentation can end at 7:02 mins.]

Class Viewing 2: Rollo May: The Human Dilemma [27:31 mins.] [Thinking Allowed with Jeffrey Mishlove] [presentation begins at 16:14 mins.; ends at 26:00 mins.]

Class Viewing 3: 2014 Personality & Its Transformation Lecture: Existentialism: Viktor Frankl [1:12:01 mins.] [class presentation begins at 3:25 mins.; end presentation at 32:55 mins.; skip to 1:04:36 mins and continue to end of video at 1:12:00 mins]

Reference (Videos)

Existential Psychotherapists: Rollo May & Irvin Yalom

Course Resources: Rollo May

Course Resources: Irvin Yalom

An Introduction to Existential Psychotherapy

Existential Psychotherapy: Death, Freedom, Isolation, Meaninglessness
[11:03 mins.] [Academy of Ideas]

Self Reflection as Part of the Training of Existential Therapists
[11:07 mins.] [Emmy van Deurzen] [Emmy van Deurzen is an existential therapist and honorary professor at the University of Sheffield. Of Dutch origin, Emmy van Deurzen trained as a philosopher in France, before qualifying as a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist.] [Psychotherapy without psychological jargon and labels.]

Reference (Existential Psychotherapy)

James Bugental Existential-Humanistic Psychotherapy
[3:54 mins.]

James Bugental: Humanistic Psychotherapy
[4:35 mins.] [Thinking Allowed with Jeffrey Mishlove]

Existential Psychotherapy: Death, Freedom, Isolation, Meaninglessness
[11:03 mins.]

Existential Psychotherapy
[podcast, Philosophy Now] [53:20 mins.] [the interviewer in this podcast is not particularly adept in his interview of Gill Davies, existential psychotherapist, and Brian O'Gorman, lecturer at the Open University]

Humanistic-Existential Therapy Models
[15:48 mins.] [instructional video] [includes a basic introduction to Carl Rogers' approach to humanistic psychology] [commentary on existential therapy begins at 7:31 mins.]

Reference (Applied Existential Psychotherapy)

Psychodynamic/Psychoanalytic Roots of Applied Existential Psychotherapy
[9:56 mins.] [Betty Cannon]

Applied Existential Psychotherapy
[7:10 mins.] [Betty Cannon]

Existential Issues in Therapy
[31:48 mins.]

Applied Existential Psychotherapy Dream Session
[10:00 mins.] Pt2 [10:00 mins.] Pt3 [9:34 mins.]

Reference (Viktor Frankl)

Finding Meaning in Difficult Times: Interview with Viktor Frankl
[28:43 mins.]

Viktor Frankl on The Will to Meaning
[3:19 mins.]

Viktor Frankl on Youth in Search of Meaning
[4:21 mins.]

Search for Meaning in Life Today with Viktor Frankl
[3:53 mins.]

Frankl on Existential Philosophy
[2:40 mins.]

Applying Logotherapy in Your Life and Practice
[52:47 mins.] [Daniel Schonbuch]

Who Was Viktor Frankl? Jewish Biography as History Dr. Henry Abramson
[52:35 mins.]

Viktor Frankl: Logotherapy and Man's Search for Meaning
[6:46 mins.] [Academy of Ideas]

Reference (Applied Existential Psychotherapy)(Betty Cannon)

Psychodynamic/Psychoanalytic Roots of Applied Existential Psychotherapy (AEP)
[9:56 mins.] [Betty Cannon, founder of Applied Existential Psychotherapy, discusses the influence of classical and contemporary psychoanalysis on her work.]

Existentialism and Psychotherapy
[7:16 mins.]

Free without Excuses: Existential Issues in Therapy
[31:48 mins.]

What Is Applied Existential Psychotherapy: Betty Cannon & Reed Lindberg
[52:53 mins.]

Reference (Articles)(Existential Psychotherapy)

Existential Psychotherapy
[Rollo May & Irvin Yalom]

The Existential Psychotherapy of Irvin D. Yalom
[Steve Berry-Smith, Masters dissertation, Auckland University of Technology, 2012]

Existentialism and Existential Psychotherapy
[Emmy van Deurzen]

Meaning Therapy: An Integrative and Positive Existential Psychotherapy
[P.T.P. Wong, J. Contemporary Psychotherapy, v40, pp.85-99]

Irvin Yalom on Existential Psychotherapy and Death Anxiety

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