In 1958 in their book Existence, Rollo May, Henri Ellenberger and Ernst Angel introduced existential therapy to the English-speaking psychotherapy world. Since then the field of existential therapy has moved along rapidly and this book considers how it has developed over the past fifty years, and the implications that this has for the future.
In their 50th anniversary of this classic book, Laura Barnett and Greg Madison bring together many of today's foremost existential therapists from both sides of the Atlantic, together with some newer voices, to highlight issues surrounding existential therapy today, and look constructively to the future whilst acknowledging the debt to the past. Dialogue is at the heart of the book, the dialogue between existential thought and therapeutic practice, and between the past and the future. Existential Therapy: Legacy, Vibrancy and Dialogue, focuses on dialogue between key figures in the field to cover topics including:
- historical and conceptual foundations of existential therapy
- perspectives on contemporary Daseinanalysis
- the search for meaning in existential therapy
- existential therapy in contemporary society.
Existential Therapy: Legacy, Vibrancy and Dialogue explores how existential therapy has changed in the last five decades, and compares and contrasts different schools of existential therapy, making it essential reading for experienced therapists as well as for anyone training in psychotherapy, counselling, psychology or psychiatry who wants to incorporate existential therapy into their practice.
Table of Contents
Barnett, Madison, Introduction. Craig, Existential Psychotherapy, Discipline and Démarche: Remembering Essential Horizons. Frie, Existential Psychotherapy and Post-Cartesian Psychoanalysis: Historical Perspectives and Confluence. Holzhey-Kunz, Fazekas, Daseinsanalysis: A Dialogue. Barnett, Tedium, Ennui, and Atonement, Existential Perspectives on Boredom. Todres, Gendlin, Experiential-Existential Therapy: Embodying Freedom and Vulnerability. Madison, Gendlin, Palpable Existentialism: An Interview with Eugene Gendlin. Cannon, Applied Existential Psychotherapy: An Experiential Psychodynamic Approach. Heaton, Thompson, R.D. Laing Revisited: A Dialogue on his Contribution to Authenticity and the Sceptic Tradition. Hoeller, The Existential 'Therapy' of Thomas Szasz: Existential, Yes; Therapy, No. Spinelli, Cooper, A Dialogue on Dialogue. Längle, The Viennese School of Existential Analysis, the Search for Meaning and Affirmation of Life. van Deurzen, Reasons for Living: Existential Therapy and Spirituality. Finlay, Research: An Existential Predicament for our Profession? Schneider, du Plock, Depth and the Marketplace: Psychology's Faustian Plight, a Dialogue. Friedman, Carel, Hassan, Orange, On Reading Irvin Yalom's Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Dread of Death. Barnett, Madison, Conclusion.
"This volume, whose list of contributors reads like a 'Who's Who' in existential therapy, will leave the reader with no doubts about the influence and vitality of the existential tradition in a plurality of contemporary psychotherapeutic approaches. The book is a marvelous feast for anyone with a taste for the existential." - Robert D. Stolorow, author of World, Affectivity, Trauma: Heidegger and Post-Cartesian Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2011)
"This book is a tour de force that under one cover discusses the main current approaches to existential therapy, and does so in a highly interesting and engaging way. History, theory, dialogue, meaning, life and death, and the future are all discussed in an illuminating way. It is a wonderful book for both students and practitioners to gain a greater understanding of current existential approaches from an integrative perspective." - Leslie S Greenberg, York University, Ontario, Canada
"This is a “must have” book for everyone interested in existential therapy. The coverage of authors and topics is extensive and deep. Read it as a celebration of and guide to all that has happened in the field since May et al.’s “Existence” in 1958. I wish May, Laing, Bugental, Binswanger et al. were alive to see what has sprung from the fertile seeds they sowed. The void still stalks human destiny, but here are ways to confront it." - Thomas Greening, Saybrook University, California, USA
"This text is the most prominent landmark in the field since May, Angel and Ellenberger’s 1958 classic, Existence. When reading the chapters of these prominent existential therapists and thinkers, you rediscover the unique value of the existential contribution to the field of therapy and the urgency of this approach for our present situation as human beings." - Bo Jacobsen, University of Copenhagen, and author of Invitation to Existential Psychology.
"Daunting in its scope and engaging in its style, Existential Therapy: Legacy, Vibrancy and Dialogue is a rewarding experiential and intellectual encounter with the past, present and future of existential psychology. This must-read for students and therapists alike is guaranteed to captivate the imagination and satisfy the intellect." - Pat Ogden, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, Colorado, USA
"This highly ambitious volume manages to successfully hold together many divergent perspectives in a coherent dialogue of philosophical ideas and practice dilemmas that is truly vibrant and provides the reader with the best overview of existential therapy that has been produced to date." - Paul Smith-Pickard, former Chair, Society for Existential Analysis, London, UK
"This excellent book, an edited collection of 15 articles, certainly lives up to its subtitle. ... I found myself surprised by how accessible and engaging most of the articles were in seeking to explain the complex thinking of Hegel, Heidegger, Sartre, Levinas et al. ... For me, the book reinforces the continuing relevance of this strand of therapy today. I thoroughly recommend it, particularly to those with an interest in this area." - Val Simanowitz, Therapy Today, March 2013