Practical Ways To Use Existential Therapy

Introduction: Existential Therapy

Existential therapy refers to a therapeutic style that emphasizes on the holistic nature of the human condition. Such therapy aims at a positive approach that recognizes human abilities, but also takes into account the limitations of human resources. Over the years, many philosophers such as Soren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche started to acknowledge the relevance of achieving psychological balance and wellbeing. There are various assumptions associated with existential therapy that include meaninglessness, isolation, death, associated responsibility, and freedom. On the other hand, person-centered therapy is part of humanistic therapies that developed in the United States during the 1950s. According to this form of therapy, clients are better off if they are encouraged to align on their present subjective comprehension instead of some unconscious rationale or the interpretation of someone else regarding the situation. For the condition of the client to improve, therapists should be understanding, genuine, and warm. Existential therapy and person-centered therapy are relevant approaches to promoting the wellness of children.

Definition and Components of the Therapeutic Relationship

In a person-centered approach, the therapist learns to appreciate and trust the potential of human beings, and he provides clients such as children with unconditional love and empathy to promote faster healing (Walker et al., 2021). According to the Rogerian theory, various factors are vital for the growth and development of a human being. For example, if psychological contact between the therapist and the client (child), positive personal change will be realized (Audet, 2018). In addition, the therapist should promote genuineness towards the client to foster some goodwill. The person-centered and existential approaches target the mental health and behavioral concerns affecting clients or patients.

Listening to the Story and Engaging With Respect

If a counselor or psychotherapist communicates with respect, clients will listen because they trust the kind of messages or services provided by such a person. Therefore, counselors or psychotherapists must demonstrate goodwill from the patients so that their services can be trusted (Hiatt, 2022). Henceforth, such healthcare professionals should be great speakers to persuade their audience. Healthcare specialists should possess great storytelling, concision, expertise, and confidence (Sflakidou & Kefalopoulou, 2018). Such great qualities will enable the specialists to engage and persuade the audience toward the provision of vital services. Another vital element is the art of persuasive communication that makes the speakers respect their audiences.

Existential Therapy and Person-Centered Therapy as Approaches to Children Wellness Existential and person-centered therapies are relevant ways of promoting the wellness of children. For example, the person-centered approach (Rogerian theory) states that an empathic approach motivates and empowers clients in the therapeutic process (Kelly, 2020). Therefore, if children are exposed to such an approach, their wellness will improve. According to the Rogerian theory, people strive for the best things and can fulfill their full potential. Person-centered therapy has tremendous effects in psychotherapy and other fields. The Rogerian theory holds that each person has the desire and capacity for personal growth and development (Clarke & Scholl, 2022). On the other hand, existential therapy promotes creative reasoning, caring, and critical thinking and makes children possess the ability to think by and for themselves.

Negotiating the Working Alliance

Freud initially discussed the relevance of therapeutic relationships during his early theories. The psychotherapeutic process has many aspects that are significant in such a therapeutic relationship (Holt, 2022). Patients must forget and relieve the problematic past to realize a therapeutic relationship. The concept of the therapeutic alliance was meant to promote a psychological attempt to bring the interaction of the patient-analyst. The working alliance depends on the patient’s fundamental capacity to form a trusting relationship with the caregiver, such as a counselor or psychotherapist (Jolley, 2019). In this case, the therapist should provide a supportive relationship that creates a conducive environment for an alliance.

Strengthening the Counseling Relationship

There are various ways that therapists can strengthen therapeutic relationships. Research studies have demonstrated that an estimated 20 percent of clients leave therapy prematurely because of a lack of effective therapeutic relationships (Holt, 2022). For example, if therapists fail to connect to the children, they may lack interest in the services offered. Most people drop out of therapeutic sessions because they lack a platform to share their emotions and have challenges opening up. Most clients, such as children, need attention, particularly when seeking such services. Successful therapy sessions depend on clients’ honest ability to share their behaviors and experiences (Jolley, 2019). Some issues make clients have tense moments at therapy sessions, including fear of judgment, trauma, and therapist anxiety. However, therapists can help such patients overcome their fears by understanding their emotional requirements.

Literature Alignment

The process of existential therapy is an elaborate one and would promote the wellness process in children if used correctly (Holt, 2022). Therapists who use the existential approach do not concentrate on the person’s past and try as much as possible to identify the present challenges that the client could be having. Therefore, such therapy would work to explore and discover a child’s choices regarding its healing and wellness process (Kelly, 2020). On the other hand, person-centered therapy is warm and more optimistic about a child’s life. If the target of the Rogerian approach is a child, achieving personal growth and self-actualization would be the primary way of promoting wellness.

Ethics of the Client-Counselor Relationship

Ethics is one of the primary considerations in the field of psychotherapy. Henceforth, there is a need for all practitioners, such as counselors, to follow the rules and procedures to eliminate any cases of unethical behavior (Harrison & Wright, 2020). Psychotherapy ethics is one of the major cornerstones in the modern healthcare system. Clinical professionals have an opportunity to become aware of their values and ensure that clients get the best services. Ethical practice constitutes various elements, such as differentiating different psychotherapy approaches and the attitudes of psychotherapists towards human freedom and dignity (Henretty, 2018). The problem of good and evil raises the moral question of the issue of self-actualization promoted by the Rogerian approach. In this case, self-actualizing tendencies lead to the development of a righteous and creative person.


There are various practical ways in which counselors can use existential and person-centered therapy to have better health and wellness outcomes for clients (patients). For example, the two methods are very effective in ensuring the wellness of children. Person-centered approach (Rogerian theory) ensures motivates patients in the therapeutic process leading to better health outcomes. Ethics is one of the parameters that define the counselor-client relationship. In this case, there is a need for the health professional to ensure he adheres to proper ethics to gain confidence from clients.


Audet, C. (2018). Disclosure may affect (client perceptions of) therapist as expert. Therapist Self-Disclosure, 243–250. Web.

Clarke, P. B., & Scholl, M. B. (2022). Integrating the models of addiction into humanistic counseling for individuals with substance use disorders. The Journal of Humanistic Counseling, 61(1), 2–17. Web.

Harrison, L., & Wright, J. (2020). The experiences of person-centred counsellors working with suicidal clients online through the medium of text. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 48(4), 576–591. Web.

Henretty, J. R. (2018). Therapist self-disclosure: For better and for worse? Therapist Self-Disclosure, 225–230. Web.

Hiatt, K. (2022). Compassion‐supported development: A humanistic approach to counseling supervision. The Journal of Humanistic Counseling. Web.

Holt, E. (2022). Student counsellors’ experiences of mindfulness as a component of their person‐centred counselling training: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. Web.

Jolley, H. K. (2019). I’m human too: Person-centred counsellors’ lived experiences of therapist self-disclosure. European Journal for Qualitative Research in Psychotherapy, 9, 12–26. Web.

Kelly, L. (2020). Person-centered therapy: A client with postpartum depression. Case Study Approach to Psychotherapy for Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses. Web.

Sflakidou, S., & Kefalopoulou, M. (2018). The person-centred approach as an ideological discourse: A discourse analysis of person-centred counsellors’ accounts on their way of being. Developments in Qualitative Psychotherapy Research, 77–91. Web.

Walker, K. L., Ray, D. C., & Lollar, S. (2021). Integrating humanistic counseling and Ecotherapy. Journal of Professional Counseling: Practice, Theory & Research, 1–16. Web.