Emmy van Deurzen

Existential-phenomenological therapy is rooted in philosophical understanding and does not shy away from direct exploration of what matters to people.  It provides clients with a safe space in which to retrieve a sense of purpose and meaning in the world.  This allows existential therapists to delve deeply into clients hidden motivations and aspirations and uncover the inner webs of meaning that can both facilitate and obstruct their existential freedom.  Understanding about paradox and the power of passion will often liberate people from their fears and despondency, sufficiently to help them reconnect to the wider networks of social meaning around them.  Existential therapy does not regard personal, emotional, relational and mental problems as medical issues, but as problems in living and enables people to reconnect to the sources of significance that inspire them.


In this presentation Emmy van Deurzen will briefly outline her philosophical method of existential therapy and will demonstrate how it directly applies to the search for meaning.  A case illustration will show her structural existential analysis in action, revealing a deep engagement with the client’s inner preoccupations and secret quest for meaning.