1802 Northwood Rd Austin, TX 78703 512.905.1463
1802 Northwood Rd Austin, TX 78703 512.905.1463
“Our lives have no inherent meaning or purpose, but rather it is the purpose we create for our lives that gives them a sense of meaning”
Do these feelings seem to be arising simultaneously with a time of change? As you are entering this new stage in your life do you sense your stability being challenged? If so, you may be experiencing existential issues. Symptoms might include a deep sense of distress about the meaning of life and preoccupation with future unknowns. Questioning your existence to see whether your life has meaning, purpose of value, is a common human experience. Without confronting your existential dread your contemplation can begin to negatively impact you.
You don’t have to be in any specific stage of life’s natural progression to begin working through issues life presents and the challenges underlying our existence. It can be daunting and uncomfortable to approach subjects of free will, self-determination, and the search for meaning—which often center on you rather than on your symptoms. It may be difficult to find someone who will sit and work through these issues even though we all are grappling with them.
Consider for a moment that . . .
You are not broken, disordered, diseased, incapacitated and probably not even diagnosable.
Could your sense of unease, anxiousness, and dread be the shared experience of being human? You are experiencing being human.
It is easy to idealize the therapist and forget that we are not invulnerable from the human condition. We grapple with the same issues as our clients. Most all of us have a capacity to make rational choices and to develop to our maximum potential. You don’t need therapy to become. You are well-equipped and able go it alone. Nevertheless, we are glad you have searched us out for help. There is value in taking journeys alongside fellow sojourners and the journey is greatly improved by it. Together it is better.
You can begin to work independently with these helpful tips as you firm up your decision to engage and register for an appointment.
On this page you can learn more about what to expect from existential therapy, its benefits, and possible interventions use in session. If you are ready to journey together ...
As we move through therapy you will have an opportunity to learn that all people have the capacity for self-awareness. Each of us has a unique identity that can be known only through our relationships with others. We must continually re-create ourselves as life’s meaning is constantly changing.
You will be able to view anxiety and other uncomfortable emotional states not as a pathology but an integral part of the human condition. Psychological problems are a result of inhibited abilities towards generating authentic, meaningful, and self-directed life choices. Interventions you will encounter during therapy aim at increasing your self-awareness and self-understanding. In order to alleviate the discomforting symptoms, it is important to first understand them.
This type of therapy is effective for a variety of issues including excessive anxiety, apathy, alienation, nihilism, avoidance, shame, addiction, despair, depression, guilt, anger, stress, rage, resentment, embitterment, purposelessness, psychosis and violence.
Therapy isn’t only for the troubled and unwell. It is beneficial also for those who sense an opportunity for their improvement. It often focuses on life-enhancing experiences like relationships, love, caring, commitment, courage, creativity, power, will, presence, spirituality, individuation, self-actualization, authenticity, acceptance, transcendence, and awe.
When working with existential issues we can use a range of approaches, the major themes, however, will focus on your responsibility and freedom. We will help you find meaning in the face of anxiety by choosing to think and act responsibly and by confronting negative internal thoughts rather than external forces like societal pressures or luck. We will foster creativity, love, authenticity, and free will in hopes that these are avenues that help move you toward transformation.
This practice—due to its focus on existence and purpose—is sometimes perceived as pessimistic, but it’s meant to be a positive and flexible approach. At its best, according to 20th-century philosopher Paul Tillich, existential psychotherapy fairly and honestly confronts life’s "ultimate concerns," including loneliness suffering, and meaninglessness. Specific concerns are rooted in everyone’s experience, but contemporary existential psychotherapist Irvin Yalom says that the universal ones are death, isolation, freedom, and emptiness.
Our therapy will focus on anxiety occurring where you confront these inherent conflicts, and our role is to foster personal responsibility for making your decisions. Yalom, a psychotherapist from who much of our work is modeled, for example, describes the therapist role as a "fellow traveler" through life, and he uses empathy and support to elicit insight and choices. People exist in presence of others.
At the end of the day, we’re here to help you clarify what your own goals are. And because we know everyone’s values are different, we’ll define what value-based living looks like to you. Then we’ll ask the question, “What would it look like if you were living more consistently with your values?” Instead of feeling powerless in your situation, we’ll explore what’s within your control. We’ll identify what you can do to make changes that support your goals. Finally, we’ll help you to establish maintenance practices for preventing and preparing for future life challenges independently.