Based on existential philosophy, this type of psychotherapy aims to uncover the individual’s essential being, for the client to truly understand who they are – a person who was thrown into a particular life; the country in which you were born, the family which you were born into, at the particular time in history, societal structures, genes, physical characteristics are all factors that helped shape who you became.
Which values have underlain the decisions you have taken in your life thus far? Are they in line with the values you hold today? Your life has only got the meaning you give it, and you are, by in large, the sum of the decisions you have made: Existence precedes essence.
This approach is compatible with most other approaches e.g. CBT can be understood within the framework of existential psychotherapy. In existential philosophy, a life well lived is a life where you are present, making conscious decisions and not living in self-deception.
“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.
It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.”
― Jean-Paul Sartre