Track 1. Certificate Program
EHI Certificate in the Foundations
of Existential-Humanistic Practice
Director of Clinical Training: Nader Shabahangi, PhD, MFT
The Existential-Humanistic Institute is pleased to continue to offer this unprecedented existential-humanistic 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).
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 portion of the program 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.
The skill-development portion 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
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.
Approximate Length: One Year, Appx Fifty Hours of Experiential Training & Consultation
Three Modules, A Practicum and an Experiential Evaluation
*International & out-of-state program participants: Students are only required to attend in-person the Experiential Training, that is the only mandatory travel required for this program. The other requirements are completed by you remotely at your own pace and is facilitated by faculty.
Experiential Training Course
Existential-Humanistic Therapy: Principles of Practice
The mandatory 6-day, 5-night residential training course is the heart of EHI’s programs. It allows licensed professionals and graduate students in psychology, counseling and therapy 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.
Kirk Schneider Introduces the Experiential Course
EHI instructors, 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.
2021 Experiential Training Course
EHI has scheduled the 2021 training course for our programs; the training will take place in October, 2021 at Westerbeke Ranch. Approximately forty-five hours of programming are scheduled for this experiential.
Dates: October 10th - 15th, 20201
The residential starts at 4pm on the first day and ends at 1:00pm on the final day.
Westerbeke Ranch is a beautiful retreat center on acres of land in the heart of Sonoma. Built in the 30’s, the Ranch is a contemplative environment, nourishing to both body and soul.
Westerbeke as a retreat center has historic significance for our community, as it was the meeting place for many of the seminal writers in Existential Humanistic theory and practice such as Rollo May and James Bugental.
See this short video of Westerbeke Ranch from YouTube
What will be different about staying at Westerbeke Ranch in 2021?
- Exclusive use: We will be the only group there for the week.
- Rooming: At this time, given current conditions, we are assigning each attendee their own room with attached bathroom. (Historically shared rooms)
- Meals: The family style buffet will have staff serving from behind shields. They are slightly limited in their ability to provide very specialized diets, though they will always be careful with regards to allergy safety
The certificate program is open to licensed professionals who seek to enhance their clinical skills, and to full/half time students in a masters or doctoral psychology, counseling, social work or therapeutic arts program. It is also open to medical professionals and persons who currently hold at least a master’s degree in therapeutic arts or human services.
If you have questions about whether this program might be a good fit for you please reach out.
If you have any questions or need further assistance, please reach out to us. We look forward to talking with you more about the program!
Director of Clinical Training
Nader Shabahangi, PhD, LMFT
Clinical Training Coordinator
Stephanie Weissman, PsyD