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The Existential Moment: Safety and Acceptance

Existential-Humanistic therapy (E-H) is relational and experiential. Safety, transparency, and collaboration work in concert, defining the therapeutic relationship. Safety includes several different components. It also means different things to different clients, though basics arguably apply universally.

Concerning safety, an emphasis on acceptance arguably differentiates E-H from other therapeutic modalities. Acceptance means first openness and suspension of judgment.

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The Existential Moment: Primary Vs Secondary Process

Both primary and secondary process matter in therapy. However, historically, psychotherapy privileged interpretation to enlivening experience. That can be challenging. For instance, it’s easy to “talk about” something and, in so doing, fail to discover, learn, integrate, heal, and grow.

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The Existential Moment: Fellow Travelers

E-H therapy is more a journey of exploration than a classroom or doctor’s office. The journey depends on a different, less hierarchical relationship. Of course, the therapist has a role, specific skills, and expertise. However, the relationship is one of collaboration, co-creation. The therapist and client are more “fellow travelers.”

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