oa Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology - The value of relatedness in existential psychotherapy and phenomenological enquiry
Existential psychotherapy places pivotal significance upon the inter-relational aspects of human experience. By so doing, the therapeutic relationship itself becomes the principal means through which the client's presenting symptoms and disorders are disclosed as direct expressions and outcomes of the client's overall "way of being" rather than as isolated and disruptive impediments. At the same time, existential therapy emphasises the actual relationship that emerges between psychotherapist and client and argues that it is via the contrast and comparison of this lived experience with that of their 'wider world' experience that clients can find the means to reconsider and reconstruct their "ways of being". This paper seeks to demonstrate that, as well as their shared aims and methods of enquiry, it is the mutual emphasis upon inter-relatedness as a foundational value for human enquiry that reveals substantive and intriguing points of connection between existential psychotherapy and phenomenological enquiry. The paper furthermore argues that existential psychotherapy might best be viewed as a clearly formulated expression of phenomenological enquiry.
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