Practising Existential Psychotherapy: The Relational World by Ernesto Spinelli

By Ernesto Spinelli

This new textual content through Ernesto Spinelli examines the original traits and chances of an existential method of psychotherapy. Drawn from his personal event as an across the world regarded theorist, lecturer and practitioner, its total goal is to supply a radical and obtainable explication of existential psychotherapy in perform. starting with an outline of the theoretical underpinnings and distinguishing beneficial properties of existential psychotherapy, the textual content describes and develops a three-phase structural version for its perform.

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For instance, let us suppose that one means by which the ontological condition of uncertainty finds its ontic expression in my life is via the strategy I adopt toward my day-to-day experiences of insecurity. This strategy might be that for fifty weeks of every year my worldview is dominated by stances of regularity, habit and predictability all of which promote a felt sense of security which is experienced by me as both valued and necessary. In addition, however, it is equally the case that my worldview values and finds it necessary to be able to adopt a complementary stance of irregularity, unpredictability, risktaking and an openness to the unknown during the remaining two weeks of the year, when I travel to a novel location.

This quote serves as a reasonable summary of the second principle of existential phenomenology. And yet, if certainty is to be viewed only as a necessary fixture for the maintenance of the worldview, it remains to be asked: if the worldview is the structural attempt to reflect worlding, what leads it to deviate so far from, and discredit, the evidence of uncertainty? How does existential theory respond to this all too evident point? To provide at least an initial answer, we must turn to its third key underlying principle.

For example, Ernesto might insist that what he had delivered could not justifiably be labelled ‘a lecture’ but rather was more akin to a set of informal and somewhat spontaneous statements. Equally, Ernesto might claim to have ‘forgotten’ that he had, in fact, previously prepared a lecture on the self-same topic and that his ability to deliver this one had rested upon that earlier planning, so that the challenging event is defused of its de-sedimenting potential through the explanation of a timekeeping confusion or a prior forgetting of an earlier arrangement.

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