1st Edition

Critical Existential-Analytic Psychotherapy Some Implications for Practices, Theories and Research

Edited By Del Loewenthal Copyright 2021
    168 Pages
    by Routledge

    168 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book is an introduction to critical existential-analytic psychotherapy. It has been written as a response to what is considered to be a crisis point in what is currently taken as psychotherapeutic knowledge. A focus point is the relentless move in psychotherapy and psychotherapy trainings towards evidence-based practice. It is suggested that such developments can be usefully challenged if we are to consider:

    • Can starting with theory be a form of violence?  
    • Should a primacy be given to practice?  
    • Does reliance on empirical research mean we start from the wrong place?  

    From a critical existential-analytic psychotherapeutic perspective, the answer to all three of these questions is ‘yes’. This perspective, therefore, is fundamentally different from what psychological therapists are increasingly purporting to do, and further challenges other current notions from diagnosis and treatment to dominant discourses in psychology.

    The aim of this book is to consider some ways in which the psychological therapies might be able to move away from the crisis mainly caused by what is currently wrongly being understood in terms of ‘evidence-based practice’ as the nature of psychotherapeutic knowledge. Instead, it is proposed that primacy be given to: practice, considering theories having implications rather than applications, and privileging thoughtfulness with notions of research being seen more as cultural practices.

    This book is based on a special issue of the European Journal of Psychotherapy& Counselling.


    Del Loewenthal

    1. Looking like a foreigner: Foreignness, conformity and compliance in psychoanalysis

    Onel Brooks

    2. Language as Gesture in Merleau-Ponty: Some implications for method in therapeutic practice and research

    Julia Cayne

    3. The private life of meaning – some implications for psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic research

    Tony McSherry, Del Loewenthal and Julia Cayne

    4. Finding my voice: Telling stories with heuristic self-search inquiry

    Elizabeth Nicholl, Del Loewenthal and James Davies

    5. ‘When working in a youth service, how do therapists experience humour with their clients?’

    Patricia Talens

    6. What gets in the way of working with clients who have been sexually abused? Heuristic inquiry

    Iana Trichkova, Del Loewenthal, Betty Bertrand and Catherine Altson

    7. Maculate conceptions

    Manu Bazzano

    8. The pictures you paint in the stories you tell, a response

    Laura Chernaik

    9. Reflections on the tensions between openness and method in experientially oriented research and psychotherapy

    Steen Halling

    10. On the very idea of post-existentialism

    Del Loewenthal


    Del Loewenthal is Emeritus Professor of Psychotherapy and Counselling at the University of Roehampton and is Chair of the Southern Association for Psychotherapy and Counselling (SAFPAC), London, UK. He is an existential-analytic psychotherapist and chartered psychologist, with a particular interest in phenomenology. His books include Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling after Postmodernism (Routledge 2017). www.delloewenthal.com; www.safpac.co.uk.