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Educ 323 Ch 6.docx

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Department
Education
Course
EDUC 323
Professor
Alex Abdel- Malek
Semester
Spring

Description
Educ 323 Ch 6- Existential therapy (Irvin Yalom) • Background: o ET more philosophy than pragmatic, more attitude than specific theoretical orientation o Roots in existential philosophy (study of being and phenomenology) o Techniques/ideas employed by many therapists of all approaches, sometimes w/o conscious recognition they’re doing so o Frequently ill defined and widely misunderstook o Yalom said EAT- dynamic approach to therapy which focuses on issues/concerns that are rooted in the indiv’s existence o 2 general orientations- Continental (E=uropean) rooted in analytic orientation that tends to emphasize limiationsa and tragedy of human condition  Second arose in US and emphasizes human ptl and encounter (closely related to humanistic (Rogers, Maslow) • Humans are basically good- and evil: Views from 2 existentialists o Rogers praised Rollo May’s contributions to humanistic movement, and pointed out question of human nature inherently including evil?  Rogers said ppl inherently good, always choose to actualize self, evil not consistent w/goal of self actualization • Said cultural influences promoted evil (ppl constructive in nature, damaged by experience)  May said culture made up of indivs, to assign blame for evil to group is to ignore conscious actions of indivs in group • May said important for client to take a stand against therapist, said person centered therapy took away this opportunity by overemphasizing good of client and counsellor (too nice) • Failing to accept and confront reality of evil was error of humanistic movement and denial that it could have ptly dire consequences for world • Excerpt from Frankl’s “Man’s search for meaning” o Tragic optimism (remaining optimistic despite tragic traid)  Traid conssits of aspects of human existence which may be circumscribed by pain, guilt, death  Allows for turning suffering into human achievement and accomplishment, deriving from the guilt the opportunity to change oneself for the better and deriving from life’s transitoriness an incentive to take responsible action  Can’t force self to be optimistic indiscriminately, need reason • Basic philosophy: o Humans are free, responsible for own lives and have ptl for self actualization o No purpose of life given, must be selected by each indiv thru conscious acts of willfuness tempered by responsibility and ultimately face life alone o Recognize human capacity for creativity and love • Human motivation: o Principle motiv is search for meaning (tho some disagreement about meaning)  Frankly- meaning is inherent in each indiv, each w/ultimate true calling and is the task of the indiv to discover it • Discover life thru 3 routes: Creating work/doing deed, experiencing gsomething/encountering someone, attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering  For other ET ppl, meaning is created, no discovery involved  Accept idea of unconscious and dynamic nature of psychological functioning, content of unconscious not instinctual drives, rather is true nature of existence (we are finite beings alone in meaningless world) • Central constructs: o Modes of being: ET [] on BEING of humans  Distinct ways of being: • Umwelt- being in physical world • Mitwelt- being in relation to others (social/interpersonal world) • Eigenwelt- inner psychological world (inner subjective experience)  Truly authentic being is attending to all realms, typically however we have one or 2 ways of being that we’re most comfortable with o Anxiety- everyone experiences anxiety (arises from personal need to survive, preserve our being and to assert out being)  Certain kinds of anxiety normal (ie awareness of one’s finiteness) and are critical in determining psychological life (Existential anxiety)  Normal vs neurotic anxiety • Normal- anxiety fits events and makes sense, not threatening enouh to engage repressive processes o Serves as signal that we need to attent to some situation that evoked it o Ie Existential anxiety • Neurotic anxiety- exaggerated from situation, destructive and paralyzing, tends to be repressed o The ultimate concerns: Yalom’s 4 existential themes of human existence  Death- ultimate concern, much of psychological life build avoid avoiding truly facing our fates • Awareness of death gives meaning to life  Freedom: essential aspect of human existence, notion that “indiv is entirely responsible for own life design/world/choices/actions” • Scary to accept that we’re totally responsible, we have ability to choose  Meaninglessness: human existence doesn’t come w/built in meaning (according to most ET ppl), tho each indiv w/unique meaning  Isolation: we are always and ultimately alone, if accept mortality/freedom/responsib to creat meaning realization of our isolation is unavoidable • Dif ways to cope w/bone alone o Defenses: awareness of ultimate concerns is possible no matter how hard we try to avoid it  Result of anxiety is defense (2 major) to ward off awareness of death: • Specialness and Notion of ultimate rescuer o If special death doesn’t apply to us, if we have magical rescuer they will save us • Theory of the person and indiv dev: o Not interested in personality theories b/c orientation toward essential issues of human existence  Each indiv has choice to determine who they are, theories of personality contrary to ET b/c based on normative patterns and don’t capture unique experience of indiv client  More interest in client present than pst o Some recognize developmental sequence from attachment to separation or individuation as inherently tied to existential dilmma of aloneness • Health and dysfunction: o Authentic (health)= involves courage and determination, willingness to face anxiety about nonexistence  Live w/as little neurotic anxiety as possible, deal w/unavoidable anxiety o Dysfunction: major source is awareness of death  Surfacing drives leads to anxiety-defense- dysfunction • Awareness of ultimate concerns (particularly death) raises anxity which then trigg
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