The Existential Moment logo

The Existential Moment: The Goal of Therapy

Happy New Year!

The ringing in of the New Year is a time for new beginnings. The celebration of a new year dates back to the Babylonians, and current cultures the world over continue to embrace comparable rites and rituals.

The New Year’s resolution is a celebrated example of ringing in the new in the US. We commit to a change, make a promise to do something different in our lives in a process of growth (sometimes, sadly, a fleeting process). Notably, the promise of the resolution presumes a before and after, an old and new. The new is our goal.

What is the goal of therapy as we endeavor new beginnings with our clients?

According to E-H theory, one answer to that question is similar to that for all clinical psychology: symptom relief and the promotion of well-being. Irv Yalom puts it succinctly, “My therapy goals…are ambitious: in addition to symptom removal and alleviation of pain, I strive to facilitate personal growth and basic character change.”

But what underlies healing and growth? The answer, for E-H theory, is presence. It is the foundational criteria opening the new and, thus, fostering transformation.

Being present with ourselves, others, and life, with what is, allows us to face reality. Healing then occurs in a new relationship with ourselves and, ultimately, in the awareness of our inherent wholeness. Growth happens in the pause of presence and the expression of choice. The expansion of the capacity of freedom, importantly, feeds on itself, fostering further potential.

  Links to Related Resources and Blog Posts:

The Existential Moment: Presence

Read all the Existential Moment series posts.

Share this post

Related Posts:

The Existential Moment

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.

Read More »
The Existential Moment

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.”

Read More »
  • Search EHI

    Upcoming Events

    Get Updates

    Join our mailing list and get the latest in news and events.

    Blog Archives