Reactions to the Current Status of Existential Psychotherapy Today


Author: David Ferlic, Ed.D.

Category: Commentary

Pages: 7

JEPP Issue: Vol. 3 No. 1

Become an INPM member and get $30.00 off. Learn more here.



The debate over the origin,  present status, and the future of existential psychotherapy have moved at glacier speed while the communication patterns of much of the world have changed dramatically.   Confusion over such significant matters as to what type of training a therapist should  receive, the moral and societal obligation and component of therapy, and the value of Freud’s contributions remain ubiquitous and enervating.  Before these issues can be effectively dealt with, the seminal issue of whether human beings are truly free or instead are determined by their experiences must be honestly resolved, or at the very least honestly and fearlessly addressed and debated. Perhaps other characteristics such as tolerance, flexibility, perseverance, and determination, other than or along with experience, may be more fruitful to consider “within the therapeutic milieu”.  Coincidently, it may be the Internet is a metaphor for choice, symbolizing the ability to make informed choices through access to knowledge and information we could never have dreamed of.  Freedom may be the degree to which choices are informed, instead of a static construct based on experience.  Instead of paying attention to resolving that dichotomy, determinism vs. freedom of choice, we have a novel or new freedom that is continually expanding with the growth of available information.