Advanced Certificate Program Awarding Certification as an Existential-Humanistic Therapist

EHI Program Director of Clinical Training and Education and Faculty, Saybrook University: Orah T. Krug, PhD
Co-author of Existential-Humanistic Therapy and Supervision Essentials for Existential-Humanistic Therapy.

EHI Clinical Director: Troy Piwowarski, PsyD
Co-author of a chapter in Handbook of Humanistic Psychology.

The Existential-Humanistic Institute is pleased to announce a new and unprecedented Advanced Certificate in Existential-Humanistic Therapy Awarding Certification as an Existential-Humanistic Therapist. This program is open to students who have completed the certificate program in "Foundations of Existential-Humanistic Practice".


The intention of this Advanced certificate program is to build on the educational foundation laid in the “Foundations” certificate program. This Advanced certificate program is envisioned as a two or three year program, awarding the candidate certification as an Existential-Humanistic Therapist.

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By adding this advanced level to the introductory Foundations program, EHI now offers students interested in specializing in Existential Humanistic Therapy a comprehensive and intensive three or four year educational program, unlike anything that presently exists in the United States. It is akin to the training programs in London headed by Emmy van Deurzen and Ernesto Spinelli respectively.

To be awarded the advanced certificate, candidates need: (a) to possess the Foundations certificate, (b) to complete the advanced program requirements, and (c) to receive EHI faculty approval. For faculty approval the candidate must demonstrate above average proficiency as an Existential-Humanistic (E-H) therapist.

"I gained a deeper understanding of my own context and how that has directed and influenced so much of my existence. I have always had an understanding certainly that what is experienced in the early, formative years is paramount in shaping our belief systems and personality, but somehow I have never before been able to feel this in such a palpable way."
~ Ada

Goals and Learning Objectives

The goals of the advanced program are to deepen and expand on the foundational learning begun in the “Foundations Certificate Program.” The theoretical, on-line courses will expose students to key existential philosophers, and theorists and also allow them to explore subjects of particular interest to them related to E-H therapy through independent study courses. Existential philosophical and literary themes, along selected independent study themes, will be weaved into the fabric of the experiential coursework. Additionally, the experiential coursework will include the following learning objectives:

  1. Learn to work with challenging “client types.”
  2. Learn to work with challenging clinical issues e.g., aging, sexual abuse, addiction, etc.
  3. Deepen an understanding of how to use the therapeutic relationship and the therapeutic encounter as a “living laboratory.”
  4. Expand a focus on the person of the therapist by exploring the impact of one’s context on meaning making, relational strategies, attachment styles and protective patterns.
  5. Learn how to work with clients presenting with specific existential issues like freedom, separateness, death etc., which may be present but hidden from consciousness.
  6. Learn and practice ways to integrate different treatment interventions like cognitive-behavioral or trauma treatment with the principles of e-h therapy.

Advanced Certificate Program Requirements**

  1. Complete 2 six-day experiential courses taken sequentially. Complete required papers and journals (one reflective paper and journal required per course.) Evaluations of live work with “clients” will be given after the 3rd and 4th experiential course.
  2. Complete three on-line courses, with an option to take a fourth course. Complete all required papers (one or two per course).
  3. Complete two, 40-hour practicums.
  4. Complete a minimum of 10 hours to maximum of 20 hours of group or individual consultation with an EHI faculty, in person, by phone or Skype.
  5. Present a case study, both verbally and in written form to EHI faculty for the final evaluation.

**All students enrolled in the Foundations and the Advanced certificate programs will have fees waived for all EHI conferences and additional EHI trainings offered during the year.

Flexibility in the Advanced Certificate Program

The Advanced program begins each fall. Students in the Advanced program can structure their educational program to suit their financial and educational needs. Students may take this program at their own pace, for example, taking 1/2 of the requirements each year. ** This arrangement extends completion time but also reduces participants’ costs and time commitments. Students need to review their proposed curriculum with Orah Krug each year and receive written approval.

Sample of An Advanced Certificate Program Curriculum


  • First Semester
    Experiential 3 and one online course: Existential Philosophy I
  • Consult Module: Video Consult Group
  • Second Semester
    One online course: Existential Philosophy II
  • [40-hour practicum with minimum of 5 hrs of consultation completed within Year One]


  • First Semester
    Experiential 4 and one online course: Independent Study I*
  • Consult Module: Individual Consult
  • Second Semester
    One online course: Independent Study II* (optional)
  • [40-hour practicum with minimum of 5 hrs of consultation completed within Year Two]

*The independent study courses can be in any area of E-H therapy, philosophy, or literature that is of particular interest to the student such as music, art, movement therapy, or aging, etc.

The Experiential Residential Retreats - The Core of EHI Programs

The mandatory 6-day, 5-night experiential residential is the core of EHI's training each year. They allow licensed professionals and graduate students in psychology or counseling to come together in a safe environment, get to know one another intimately, and experience how E-H therapy is practiced up close and personally.

EHI Faculty, all noted leaders in the field, emphasize the key ingredients of the E-H approach, including empathy, acceptance, and genuineness, to model how trainees can create safe, collaborative and life-changing therapeutic encounters. They demonstrate how the therapeutic relationship, in and of itself is a vehicle for healing and change and how therapeutic "presence" cultivates sensitivity and appropriate responsiveness to clients emotions, relational patterns and inner worlds.These two essential principles: building the therapeutic relationship and working in the "here and now" are the foundational blocks of E-H therapy and EHI training.

The experiential residential training involves a combination of relationship-building, learning of theoretical foundations, and first-hand experiences wherein theory comes to life. At times, this may involve faculty members demonstrating their way of working with clients and inviting commentary; at other times, participants work in dyads with each other, and receive direct feedback from a faculty member as they work.

Through these various ways of learning, participants begin to drop into a deeper, more embodied sense of what E-H therapy has to offer. The experiential training also provides participants a way of deeply understanding how work on themselves mirrors their ability to work with clients.

2018-2019 Experiential Dates

li>New EHI Combined Experiential I &II: Thurs, May 23rd, 2019 - Tues, May 28th, 2019

The Experiential starts at 9:00am on the first day and ends at 1:00pm on the final day.

When planning travel to Westerbeke Ranch please note that EHI does not provide transportation up to Westerbeke Ranch, though we do encourage carpooling and initiate it with an email to all attendees prior to the retreat.

For the 2017-2018 residential experiential training course description with objectives please visit the Course Description page.

When planning travel to Westerbeke Ranch please note that EHI does not provide transportation up to Westerbeke Ranch, though we do encourage carpooling and initiate it with an email to all attendees prior to the retreat.

Program Fees1

Breakdown of Advanced program fees* [2017 Tuition Fees- These will be updated in July, 2018]:
  1. Online courses: $650 per course**
  2. 2017-2018 Experiential Module: 6-day Experiential Residential Retreat Course: $2150***
  3. Consultation Module A: Five Hours of Individual Consults (in person, phone or Skype): $500
  4. Consultation Module B: Five 2-Hour Group Consults (in person or Skype): $350

*Please note: coursework and tuition may be subject to change when necessary. Text books, Travel/Lodging costs, and Continuing Education fees (when available) are not included in tuition costs.
**Comparable Saybrook online course cost for non-matriculated students is about $1500 per course, for matriculated students: $0.
***No equivalent experiential course is currently offered at Saybrook (may receive approximately 33 hours of CE credits for qualifying licenses -please check with us regarding our sponsorship status.)

Substituting a Saybrook or other accredited school’s course for an EHI course must first be approved by Orah Krug, Clinical Director.

Separate Experiential Food and Lodging Cost: appx $977* for the single combined experiential in 2017-2018.

Our experientials are held at a beautiful retreat center, Westerbeke Ranch in Sonoma County, ½ hour north of San Francisco. The cost was $977 for the April, 2018 retreat. This covered the 6 days of meals and 5 nights lodging, billed separately from tuition. The 2019 cost will be slightly higher. We can offer no discount on this cost and due to contractual obligation this fee is both non-refundable and non-transferable.

  • The cost includes modern, cabin-style lodging, superb family-style meals and the use of all the facilities at Westerbeke such as the pool, hot tub and walking trails.

*Appromixate cost for the 2017-2018 Cohort Year[Tuition fees and Lodging Costs will be updated in July, 2018]


We hope the following information will guide you through the application process. If you have further questions or need additional assistance, please email us: admin[at]

How do I apply to the program?

  • 1. Get the EHI Program Application [WORD]

    Download the Application Here!

  • 2. Fill out the application -select the Program you are applying to. You do not have to buy Office to use Word you can use it online for FREE here.
  • 3. Email application as an attachment to our admin, Michelle: admin[@]
  • Contact Us

    If you have any questions or need further assistance, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to talking with you more about the program!

    Orah T. Krug, PhD
    EHI Program Director of Education and Training
    Saybrook Faculty


    Troy Piwowarski, PsyD
    EHI Clinical Director

    Roby Shamas, LMFT
    EHI Clinical Training Coordinator