EHI Certificate in the Foundations of Existential-Humanistic Practice

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 continue to offer this unprecedented certificate program leading to a Certificate in the Foundations of Existential-Humanistic Practice.


Leading therapy researcher Bruce Wampold suggests that "an understanding of the principles of existential therapy is needed by all therapists, as it adds a perspective that might ... form the basis for all effective treatments" (Wampold cited in PsycCritiques, February 6, 2008, p.6).

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Wampold’s findings along with others place E-H therapy not on the fringe but squarely at the center of psychological theory and practice as the field formulates new assumptions about what constitutes the core of practice. The intention of the certificate program coursework is to provide students with such a foundational core by integrating both theory and practice into each course.

The theoretical part focuses on existential-humanistic therapy in general and on three of its founders, Rollo May, James Bugental, and Irvin Yalom, in particular. An overarching assumption of existential-humanistic therapy is that it is the client’s in-the-moment experiencing that forms both the underlying and actual process in therapy. This assumption anchors the existential therapist in the principles of practice that focus on experience over explanation and process over content.

Thus the skill-development part focuses on learning to: (a) identify meaning-making processes unfolding in the present moment, (b) illuminate these “actual but often unrecognized” processes by cultivating intrapsychic and interpersonal presence, (c) develop a safe and intimate therapeutic relationship, (d) recognize and work with existential life issues which may be present but disguised, and (e) recognize and work with transference and counter transference issues within an existential framework.

"The program showed me a doorway within myself into territory that I was aware of but had yet to fully conceptualize."
~ Jenelle

By gaining competency in these fundamental principles, the student will have a solid core of practice and have a foundation from which additional modalities such as a cognitive-behavioral approach can be employed. The program is intended as a mentoring experience that emphasizes the development of the trainee as a whole person, appreciating that psychotherapy is an art as much as a science.

Program Description and Certificate Requirements

Approximate Length: One Year, Forty Three Hours of Experiential Training & Consultation
Three Courses, a Practicum, an Experiential Evaluation and a Year of Personal Therapy

  1. The Theory and Practice of Existential-Humanistic Therapy
  2. This online survey course offers an overview of E-H Therapy, its theory and practice as understood by prominent practitioners like Rollo May, James Bugental and Irvin Yalom.

  3. Existential-Humanistic Therapy: New Combined Experiential I & II
  4. This six-day/five-night residential retreat will offer 33 hours of skill development training (with a total of 45 hours of programming) in the Spring of 2018.

    Schneider and Krug’s APA textbook, Existential-Humanistic Therapy, will be a core resource. Additional readings of Rollo May, James Bugental and Irvin Yalom will be included.

    For the course description with objectives please visit the Course Description page.

  5. A Practicum and An Experiential Evaluation
  6. Forty-hours of experiential practice, designed by the student, and 10 hours of skill development consultation with EHI faculty is also required plus a culminating experiential competency review by EHI faculty.

    The Practicum is done through your current client work. The Faculty Consult is done by video sessions with faculty and a few other students in cohort(5 students max).

  7. A year of personal therapy is strongly recommended, taken either before or during the yearlong program.
  • *International & Out-of-State program participants are only required to attend in-person the Experiential Retreat, that is the only mandatory travel required for this program. The other requirements are completed remotely.

The Experiential Residential Retreat - The Core of EHI Programs

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

EHI Faculty, 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 residential 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 Training Dates

EHI has scheduled the new single combined-training in May, 2019 for our programs. Students will receive the complete training in one intensive retreat. Approximately forty-five hours of programming are scheduled in this experiential. This combined training allows us to reduced the amount of overlapping training that would occur when holding two consecutive training retreats in the program year.

  • 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. We recommend arriving in the area a day early so you can arrive to the first session after breakfast, 9:00 am, on the first day. The first day is a full day of sessions and we ask that everyone is on time. 2018 was the first year this combined experiential was held and if you are driving up from the city of San Francisco on the morning of you will want to leave by 7:25 am. So we recommend looking for a place nearby.


The certificate program is open to licensed professionals who seek to enhance their clinical skills, and to full or half time students in a masters or doctoral psychology program. It is also open to persons who currently hold at least a masters degree in counseling or psychotherapy.

If you have questions about whether you might qualify please write us at info[@]

Program Fees and Registration - New Early-Bird Discount Available!

Cost of Program1:

  • Program Tuition Cost: $3,150*
  • Appx 45 hours of experiential hands-on training at the residential Experiential Training Retreat.
  • 10 hours of Video Consult with EHI Faculty [5 two-hour sessions;1 per month after Training Retreat].
  • Online survey course: Theory and Practice of E-H Therapy [Set your own pace based on your schedule].
  • Tuition discount is available: 10% Full-payment discount option on program tuition costs, minus the $500 tuition deposit, for tuition paid within 30 days of acceptance into the program (a savings of $265.00).
  • "Early-Bird" Tuition Discount Available Until Nov 20th: Option a. $415.00 discount off of the $3150.00 tuition if full payment is made by Tuesday, November 20, 2018.
    Option b. $150.00 dicount off the $3150.00 tuition if half-payment is made by Tuesday, November 20, 2018.
    We can fast-track applications for new applicants to the program so you can get this discount! Email Michelle at if you have questions.
  • Separate Experiential Food and Lodging Costs: $1051 for 6 days food and 5 nights lodging, billed separately, due February 15, 2018.
  • Due to contractual obligations many months in advance this fee is both non-refundable and non-transferable.
  • We hold our experientials at a beautiful retreat center, Westerbeke Ranch, in the heart of Sonoma County. The cost includes modern, cabin-style shared lodging, superb family style meals and the use of all the facilities at Westerbeke such as the pool, hot tub and walking trails.

Westerbeke Ranch as a retreat center has historic significance for our community, as it was the meeting place for many of the seminal writers in E-H theory and practice such as Rollo May and James Bugental.

*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.

Registration process:

Once accepted by EHI you will be registered for the required courses as soon as we receive your non-refundable deposit of $500 and a completed payment agreement form. The program deposit is due upon acceptance into the program.


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 an EHI 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. Please Save the application to your computer to send as an attachment.
  • 3. Email application as an attachment to our admin, Michelle: admin[@]
  • 4. Submit the non-refundable $100.00 application fee.
  • What is the deadline for applying?

    Applications will be accepted year-round until the year's cohort maximum of 19 attendees is reached. Apply as soon as possible to secure a position in the program.

    What happens after I apply?

    Once received, your application and paperwork will be reviewed by faculty members and responded to within a 2-week period. If accepted, a letter of acceptance will be sent to you.

    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