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Existential Psychotherapy

Sharon Ziv-Beiman, Golan Shahar
Ascending to prominence in virtually all forms of psychotherapy, therapist self-disclosure (TSD) has recently been identified as a primarily integrative intervention (Ziv-Beiman, 2013). In the present article, we discuss various instances in which using TSD in integrative psychotherapy might constitute a clinical error. First, we briefly review extant theory and empirical research on TSD, followed by our preferred version of integrative psychotherapy (i.e., a version of Wachtel's Cyclical Psychodynamics [Wachtel, 1977, 1997, 2014]), which we title cognitive existential psychodynamics...
September 2016: Psychotherapy
Marina Martínez, María Arantzamendi, Alazne Belar, José Miguel Carrasco, Ana Carvajal, María Rullán, Carlos Centeno
BACKGROUND: Dignity therapy is psychotherapy to relieve psychological and existential distress in patients at the end of life. Little is known about its effect. AIM: To analyse the outcomes of dignity therapy in patients with advanced life-threatening diseases. DESIGN: Systematic review was conducted. Three authors extracted data of the articles and evaluated quality using Critical Appraisal Skills Programme. Data were synthesized, considering study objectives...
August 26, 2016: Palliative Medicine
Beatrice A Popescu
This paper stems from clinical observations and empirical data collected in the therapy room over six years. It investigates the relationship between psychotherapy and philosophical counseling, proposing an integrative model of counseling. During cognitive behavior therapy sessions with clients who turn to therapy in order to solve their clinical issues, the author noticed that behind most of the invalidating symptoms classified by the DSM-5 as depression, anxiety, hypochondriac and phobic complaints, usually lies a lack of existential meaning or existential scope and clients are also tormented by moral dilemmas...
August 2015: Europe's journal of psychology
Carla Ida Ripamonti
In oncology, little is known about dignity, dignity-related distress and the issues that influence the sense of dignity for patients. Dignity is personal, subject to changes depending on the experience and the path of life. In oncology some patients feel that their dignity is directly related to the disease, to physical and emotional symptoms, to the highest level of physical and cognitive autonomy and to the continuity of the self. Patient dignity inventory (PDI) is a validate tool designed to measure various sources of dignity-related distress among patients nearing the end of life and serve as a screening tool to assess a broad range of issues that influence the sense of dignity...
April 2016: Recenti Progressi in Medicina
J Valdes-Stauber
BACKGROUND: The existential concept of "limit situation" was proposed by Jaspers as the inevitable threshold of human beings at their ordinary mode of being, namely Dasein, which has to be crossed to reach Existence as the proper mode of being after having transcended an existential challenge. A failure at facing limit situations indicates that they are ineluctable and have to be assumed. METHOD: The starting point is the analysis of Jaspers' concept of limit situations, both within the antinomic structure of the human condition as well as the duality of being-in-the-world...
January 2016: Fortschritte der Neurologie-Psychiatrie
Clara E Hill, Yoshi Kanazawa, Sarah Knox, Iris Schauerman, Darren Loureiro, Danielle James, Imani Carter, Shakeena King, Suad Razzak, Melanie Scarff, Jasmine Moore
OBJECTIVE: Our goal was to explore the meaning experienced psychotherapists derive from providing psychotherapy, their beliefs about the role of meaning in life (MIL) in psychotherapy, how they worked with MIL with a client who explicitly presented concerns about MIL, and how they worked with a different client for whom MIL was a secondary and more implicit concern. METHOD: Thirteen experienced psychotherapists were interviewed and data were analyzed using consensual qualitative research...
November 17, 2015: Psychotherapy Research: Journal of the Society for Psychotherapy Research
Lorraine Michael
OBJECTIVE: In this article, the author uses the leitmotifs inherent in a critically acclaimed film and in the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas as a backdrop for discussion around how we encounter the humanity in the Other and its particular relevance for psychiatry. She proceeds to describe the existential underpinnings of psychodrama and demonstrates how she has been directing a psychodrama group, 'Theatre of Life', which has been operating for well over a decade within a public mental health system, acute inpatient unit...
February 2016: Australasian Psychiatry: Bulletin of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
Katharina Scheffold, Rebecca Philipp, Dorit Engelmann, Frank Schulz-Kindermann, Christina Rosenberger, Karin Oechsle, Martin Härter, Karl Wegscheider, Florian Lordick, Chris Lo, Sarah Hales, Gary Rodin, Anja Mehnert
BACKGROUND: Although psycho-oncological interventions have been shown to significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and enhance quality of life, a substantial number of patients with advanced cancer do not receive psycho-oncological interventions tailored to their individual situation. Given the lack of reliable data on the efficacy of psycho-oncological interventions in palliative care settings, we aim to examine the efficacy of a brief, manualized individual psychotherapy for patients with advanced cancer: Managing Cancer and Living Meaningfully (CALM)...
2015: BMC Cancer
Maria Kangas
BACKGROUND: Adult brain tumor (BT) patients and longer-term survivors are susceptible to experiencing emotional problems, including anxiety and/or depression disorders, which may further compromise their quality-of-life (QOL) and general well-being. The objective of this paper is to review psychological approaches for managing anxiety and depressive symptoms in adult BT patients. A review of psychological interventions comprising mixed samples of oncology patients, and which included BT patients is also evaluated...
2015: Frontiers in Oncology
Lucia Fattori, Cesare Secchi
The authors present two clinical cases involving an existential crisis which led the patients to lose what had been the foundation in their lives, their faith. Although the therapeutic settings differ--the first patient had a few psychotherapy sessions following a psychotic episode with a mystical background, while the second was in the final stage of analytic treatment - the authors highlight how in both clinical cases a loss of faith becomes a total and urgent crisis of the Self. The fracture which ensues seems to generate an intense engagement of the body which, paradoxically during a loss of faith, induces an experience of ecstasy of the kind that has traditionally been reported...
August 2015: International Journal of Psycho-analysis
Allison J Applebaum, Julia R Kulikowski, William Breitbart
OBJECTIVE: The multidimensional burden that results from providing care to a patient with cancer is well documented and a growing number of psychosocial interventions have been developed to address this burden. None, however, target existential distress, a critical, common element - and potentially driving mechanism - of caregiver burden. Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy (MCP) is a structured psychotherapeutic intervention originally developed by our group to target existential distress and spiritual well-being among patients with advanced cancer...
December 2015: Palliative & Supportive Care
Tamara Ownsworth, Kimberley Nash
When faced with a significant threat to life, people tend to reflect more intensely upon existential issues, such as the meaning and purpose of one's life. Brain tumor poses a serious threat to a person's life, functioning, and personhood. Although recognized as an important dimension of quality of life, existential well-being is not well understood and reflects an overlooked area of support for people with brain tumor. This perspective article reviews the historical underpinnings of the concept of existential well-being and integrates this discussion with theoretical perspectives and research on meaning making and psychological adjustment to primary brain tumor...
2015: Frontiers in Oncology
William Breitbart, Barry Rosenfeld, Hayley Pessin, Allison Applebaum, Julia Kulikowski, Wendy G Lichtenthal
PURPOSE: To test the efficacy of meaning-centered group psychotherapy (MCGP) to reduce psychological distress and improve spiritual well-being in patients with advanced or terminal cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with advanced cancer (N = 253) were randomly assigned to manualized eight-session interventions of either MCGP or supportive group psychotherapy (SGP). Patients were assessed before and after completing the treatment and 2 months after treatment...
March 1, 2015: Journal of Clinical Oncology: Official Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
Reinhard Lindner, Martin Sandner
Despite the high morbidity of mental disorders in old age, psychotherapy take-up, especially by multi-morbid, very old patients, is still negligible, immobility being a significant constraining factor of access. So far, variations of standard psychotherapy adapted to meet these circumstances, such as home visits providing psychotherapy are not widespread and their effectiveness unexplored. An explorative study applying the 'Grounded Theory' method examined medical letters, consultation reports and session protocols of 7 psychotherapies involving 77-89-year-old patients; it also described the setting, nature and content of the therapeutic relationship...
June 2015: Psychotherapie, Psychosomatik, Medizinische Psychologie
Scott T Wright, Pei C Grant, Rachel M Depner, James P Donnelly, Christopher W Kerr
OBJECTIVE: Hospice patients often struggle with loss of meaning, while many experience meaningful dreams. The purpose of this study was to conduct a preliminary exploration into the process and therapeutic outcomes of meaning-centered dream work with hospice patients. METHOD: A meaning-centered variation of the cognitive-experiential model of dream work (Hill, 1996; 2004) was tested with participants. This variation was influenced by the tenets of meaning-centered psychotherapy (Breitbart et al...
October 2015: Palliative & Supportive Care
Corinna N Scheel, Caroline Bender, Brunna Tuschen-Caffier, Anne Brodführer, Swantje Matthies, Christiane Hermann, Eva K Geisse, Jennifer Svaldi, Eva-Lotta Brakemeier, Alexandra Philipsen, Gitta A Jacob
Shame is related to several mental disorders. We assume that facets of shame, namely bodily, cognitive and existential shame, may occur in typical patterns in mental and personality disorders. An excessive level of shame may lead to psychopathological symptoms. However, a lack of shame may also lead to distress, for instance as it may facilitate violation of social norms and thus may promote interpersonal problems. In this study we investigated facets of shame in females suffering from various mental disorders and personality disorders presumably associated with specific aspects of shame...
December 15, 2014: Psychiatry Research
Joël Vos
OBJECTIVE: Many cancer patients report changes in how they experience meaning in life and being confronted with life's limitations, understanding themselves as being vulnerable, finite, and free beings. Many would like to receive psychotherapeutic help for this. However, psychotherapy for these concerns often either focuses primarily on meaning in life (e.g., meaning-centered/logotherapy) or on existential givens (e.g., supportive-expressive therapy). The relationship between meaning in life and existential givens seems relatively unexplored, and it seems unclear how therapists can integrate them...
August 2015: Palliative & Supportive Care
Philippe Huguelet
Promoting recovery has become more and more important in the care of patients with severe mental disorders such as psychosis. Recovery is a personal process of growth involving hope, self-identity, meaning in life, and responsibility. Obviously, these components pertain, at least in part, to a psychotherapeutic care perspective. Yet, up to now, recovery has mainly been taken into account in transforming health services and as a general framework for supportive therapy. Existential phenomenology abdicates a theoretical stance and considers issues such as death anxiety, isolation, responsibility, and meaning...
August 2014: Journal of Medicine and Philosophy
M Manjula, C R Chandrashekar
The tragedy of maternal filicide and extended suicides has occurred throughout history. Maternal filicide-suicide perpetrators most often suffer from depression, suicidality, or psychosis. Interventions in such cases are not commonly reported in the psychiatric settings, and the components of psychotherapeutic approach and its efficacy are also not known. Here we present a long-term therapy carried out with a 36-year-old married lady, with the complaints of low mood, suicidal ideation, severe guilt feelings, and depressive cognitions...
April 2014: Indian Journal of Psychiatry
N S Ignatieva
We present conceptual changes in psychological rehabilitation after severe brain injury. Traditional clinical approach reduces the person's inner life to level of consciousness, considers psychological processes only from the deficit point of view. We consider the experience of coming out of coma (non-existence) from the point of fundamental components of existence, i.e. anchoring with the world, with life, with self, with the future (Langle, 2003). In aspect of experience these components form the matrix of Patient-World and Patient-Self recovery phases...
2014: Zhurnal Voprosy Neĭrokhirurgii Imeni N. N. Burdenko
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