Humanistic existential psychotherapy

In a 2- to 3-page paper, address the following:

  • Briefly describe humanistic-existential psychotherapy and the second approach you selected.
  • Explain at least three differences between these therapies. Include how these differences might impact your practice as a PMHNP.
  • Focusing on one video you viewed, explain why humanistic-existential psychotherapy was utilized with the patient in the video and why it was the treatment of choice. Describe the expected potential outcome if the second approach had been used with the patient.
  • Support your response with specific examples from this week’s media and at least three peer-reviewed, evidence-based sources. Explain why each of your supporting sources is considered scholarly. Attach the PDFs of your sources.

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    Walden University

    College of Nursing-PMHNP, Walden University

    NRNP 6645: Psychotherapy with Multiple Modalities

    Week 7: Comparing Humanistic-Existential Psychotherapy with Other Approaches


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    Comparing Humanistic-Existential Psychotherapy with Other Approaches

    The whole idea behind existential-humanistic psychotherapy is to enable clients

    discover their individual uniqueness by being aware of themselves and their world. The role

    of a therapist in this endeavor is to assist the clients by coaching them to perceive their

    struggles so that they can live a more meaningful life. Existential and humanistic therapies

    relate in various fronts as their emphasis is on clients rather than the symptoms (Krug, 2019).

    Therefore, the focus of these interventions is on boosting clients’ self-understanding and self-

    awareness levels.

    Existential and humanistic approaches share the notion that people have the capacity

    to choose and exhibit self-awareness. The humanistic perspective states that humans are

    fundamentally good, with the aptitude to make choices in favor of self and that of others, and

    ensure healthy and positive relationships (Hoffman et al., 2019). Its purpose is on looking at

    the whole individual and stresses concepts including self-efficacy, self-actualization, and free

    will. Consequently, based on this perspective, the therapists’ focus is on growth and self-

    actualization. When attending to the client, they will lay emphasis on conscious process and

    not the unconscious processes or past causes.

    Existential concept focuses on the stresses that occur when a client battles the conflict

    inherent in life (Schneider, 2019). The therapist serves to ensure the client begins to

    concentrate on their responsibility for making personal decisions, and the therapist may

    utilize various humanistic approaches and techniques. As a PMHNP, the use of these

    strategies will give a positive bearing to how I approach my clients’ problems, such as

    through enhancing their creativity, free will, love, and authenticity. These will go a long way

    in enabling them to live satisfying and meaningful life in spite of their uncertainty and misery

    (Schneider, 2019). Throughout the therapy, I will overlook outside forces but analyze how

    people can boost their quality of life.

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    Another strategy that suits this comparison is the behavioral approach, whose focus is

    on reversing unwanted behaviors. It applies the concept of the learning theory and can be

    achieved through reinforcement, reward system, or desensitization. The behavioral approach

    is based on the notion that past experiences play a role in making people to learn behaviors

    (Eelen, 2018). The overriding viewpoint of the behavioral technique is that behavior is an

    outcome of learning. The strategy is appropriate for alleviating phobias, obsessive and

    compulsive behavior, or even addictions. Individuals are deemed both as shapers and

    products of their environment.

    For a PMHNPs utilizing this approach in their treatment plan, there should be an

    explicit and neutral evaluation of therapeutic outcomes, development of individualized

    treatment strategies, and detailed description of therapy goals (Eelen, 2018). Additionally, the

    PMHNP will help to facilitate and reinforce behavior change and also provide opportunities

    for consultation. The major concern will be the eradication of adaptive behaviors and the

    acquisition of effective ones.

    Live Case Consultation Psychotherapy Video

    The narrators in the video give an account of a client who was experiencing a tough

    time. His concern was that he never felt “alive” about his life. Even after undergoing therapy,

    he could not hold back anger and this seemed to adversely affect his perception of his own

    life. For this case, the humanistic-existential approach was obligatory because its focus is on

    self-actualization and growth, which seemed to lack in the client Eelen, 2018). But again,

    even in an event that the behavioral approach was utilized, the outcome would still be

    positive because it would serve to reverse the client’s attitudes toward life.

    Conclusively, PMHNPs need to comprehend their clients more deeply and understand

    their social contexts to be able to provide holistic care. Gaining the knowledge of individuals

    based on their personal accounts offers circumstantial details that constitute them as

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    individuals. Whether applying the existential-humanistic or behavioral approaches, the

    PMHNP should respect the client’s perception of their problem as this will help to give a

    more personalized and objective therapy.

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    Bugental, J. [PsychotherapyNet]. (2009). Live case consultation psychotherapy video.



    Eelen, P. (2018). Behaviour Therapy and Behaviour Modification Background and

    Development. Psychologica Belgica, 58(1), 184

    Hoffman, L., Serlin, I. A., & Rubin, S. (2019). The history of existential‐humanistic and

    existential‐integrative therapy. The Wiley World Handbook of Existential Therapy,


    Krug, O. T. (2019). Existential‐humanistic and existential‐integrative therapy: Method and

    Practice. The Wiley World Handbook of Existential Therapy, 257-266

    Schneider, K. J. (2019). Existential‐humanistic and existential‐integrative therapy:

    Philosophy and theory. The Wiley World Handbook of Existential Therapy, 247-256.

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