Insecurity – Awkwardness
Anxiousness Stages of fear and its existential root
Fear arises from perceived threat or danger. It is therefore a psychological reaction to a lack of security. The subject experiences (mostly unconsciously) a lack of those specific existential preconditions that keep us in being and protect us from the abysmalness of existence, namely protection, space and support (1st FM). If the deficiency reaches the threshold of a vitally felt threat or danger, psychodynamic reactions with physical resonance can develop. If the deficit persists, these psychic reactions grow into disorders and coping reactions become fixed. Depending on which condition of being-capable is weakest, corresponding patterns are formed and characterize the form and intensity of suffering. The full form of anxiety is often preceded by lighter forms of experience. Here their connection with the existential preconditions for being able to be will be examined.
The lecture is intended to make the understanding of anxiety more transparent through its interlocking with the first fundamental motivation and to connect it precisely to the existential prerequisites. From this understanding, therapeutic procedures can be derived more easily and specifically.
What makes anxiety disorders different from other mental trepidations?
Correlations – differentiations – characteristics
Although all mental disorders are accompanied by fear, not all fears are anxiety disorders. So how do fears, in particular those that manifest themselves in a strong form, and the specific fear of the anxiety disorder, which, from the existential analytical point of view is rooted in the basic theme of safety and stability, relate to each other?
This lecture gives an overview and a classification of the specific fears, core emotions and core affects with regard to the basic motivational themes of existence, so that a differentiation of the so-called anxiety disorders from other mental disorders with their accompanying fears, can be made. On a phenomenological level of existential diagnostics, the lecture shows which behaviors and attitudes are inherent in people with anxiety disorders and therefore prevent them from living a successful life. The lecture thus provides some essential reference points for the therapeutic and counseling practice.
Emmanuel J. Bauer
Without “angst” (anxiety)
there is no alert humanity Fear as existential
The concept of anxiety is often understood negatively as a pathological or existentially restricting state. From a philosophical point of view, “angst” is seen as a basic feature of the “awakened human being” and as the “via regia” to existence. It animates people, to take their personhood, i. e. his freedom and responsibility, seriously, to realize his own irreplaceable mission in this world. Anxiety or fear reveals to us what we consider really important to us, but also what claims to be the commandment of our conscience. It sheds light on what is worth protecting and what is morally obligatory. The existential meaning of “angst” is perhaps easier to understand if we don’t speak of fear but of concern (Socrates, Heidegger, Foucault) and give fear the necessary existential counterbalance of trust. Trusting, physically founded self-care is a fundamental way for people not to get lost in the anonymous structures of an absorbing complex social system as a mere functionary.
Being old is a wonderful thing…… The fear of aging as a lead to essential
01.05.2023, 15.25-15.45 Uhr, Plenary/Live-Stream
Growing old means lots of changes, intentionally or not.
Old age in particular is mostly associated with deficits and limitations concerning the quality of life and that is, what we fear. At the same time this lifespan reminds us of the preciousness of the moment and enables a new awareness of life in the here and now. The time widens, when we can experience something valuable such as beautiful moments, encounters, creative activities or leisure hours for mind and soul. Aging in a mindful and conscious way means a process, while we are newly engaging with life and its inner and outer changed conditions. This can lead us to a personal existential growth.
If this active and mindful aging is succesful, our potentials as calmness, inner peace, humor and spiritual depth will be able to unfold.
The lecture serves an extended understanding of the existential questions, phenomena and challenges during this lifespan. It also describes how to maintain a lively inner dialogue with oneself and the world.
Martin Buber: ” Being old is a wonderful thing, if you haven´t forgotten what does it mean to begin….”
Trauma and paralyzing fear, anxiety and helplessness Helping our clients find a way out
Somatic Experiencing® (SE™) is a body-oriented therapeutic approach to the treatment of trauma and other stress related disorders. Trauma can come from many things like war and abuse, but it can also come from a difficult birth, an automobile accident, or even an invisible threat, like Covid-19.
The trauma response is a set of defensive bodily reactions (fight, flight, freeze) that we initially mobilize in order to protect ourselves both physically and emotionally, but sometimes this protective mechanism gets stuck, and we can become frozen in the past, unable to be fully present in the here and now, and unable to move forward in life with joy. For some, traumatic experiences may lead to chronic fear, helplessness, anxiety, anger, rebellion, collapse, and depression, as well as various physical symptoms. During this program, Peter Levine will guide us in how the SE approach gently facilitates the release of thwarted survival energy bound in the body, thus addressing the root cause of trauma symptoms, allowing us to better manage stressful times without overload, burnout, or regretful transgressions. During this program, Peter Levine will guide us in how the SE approach gently facilitates the release of thwarted survival energy bound in the body, thus addressing the root cause of trauma symptoms, allowing us to better manage stressful times without overload, burnout, or regretful transgressions.
The many forms of basic anxiety
People experience basic anxiety when they are confronted with instability, groundlessness and incursion of the nothing. The phenomenon of basic anxiety is multifactorial and can manifest itself in different clinically relevant disorders. The structural differences and the degree of severity of the basic anxiety modulate the existential-analytical therapeutic approach to afflicted people concerning the focus of the therapeutic interventions and the structure of the therapeutic process. In case vignettes, the different approaches to some clinical pictures underpinned by basic anxiety are shown.
Anticipatory fears and their importance for the realization of existence
According to existential analytical understanding, we humans strive to come into existence. By this we mean a life that is designed authentically and meaningfully within the given conditions, integrated into the awareness of responsibility both for ourselves and for the world around us. We consider a successful realization of existence as an expression of mental health, while existential failure can lead to mental suffering. Anticipatory fears are of essential importance in the realization of existence. They can appear if we plan our lives with foresight and draw our attention when values and thus our realization of existence is in danger. The affect fear gives weight to the actually or supposedly threatened values. Fear therefore points to what is essential and thus to the task of shaping our life in an essential way. If it gets the upper hand, it can render us passive and thus prevent us from being able to exist. The lecture will examine the simultaneous importance of fear for successful and failed realization of existence using practical examples.
What if I’m scared?
Fears of psychotherapists in the therapeutic process
One of the first tasks that we as therapists have to fulfill for our clients is to create a footing for them to stand safely. Creating a space where they can feel protected and supported. Only then can we embark on the journey together, because perception, understanding and development require safeness. But what if I no longer feel safe as a therapist? Physically no longer safe, existentially no longer safe, no longer safe in my concomitant path? Who creates the foundation for me on which I can stand safely as a therapist?
This lecture will explore the question of which factors can trigger fear in us psychotherapists – and an attempt will be made to find answers on how we can deal with this fear.
There is a crack in everything!
Self-improvisation with fear
Humans are beings of potentiality. Fear is born of eventualities. It is she who shows us what we actual want to live and thus points the way to the heart of existence. But it is also what, if it becomes too big, too sinister, can catapult us into the periphery, into the inauthentic. Fear then inhibits the life that it otherwise seeks to protect and feeds the various forms of psychopathological disorders. This is what we deal with in the psychological/psychotherapeutic practices.
No essential life without fear. There is no escape. And yet there are experiences of the reason of being, of a hold in the middle of the abyss. Seen from an existential point of view, the improvisations of the self and society arise from this “abysmal ground”. Not out of resignation of the inevitable, but out of the feeling of being, the affirmation of being in nature, of being in the body. They open the space for the venture of “being yourself”, even if it takes the form of improvisations or unfinished attempts. These improvisations of the self are an existential-poetic form of life-art that enable dealing with the fragility of existence.
The male fear of psychotherapy and the fear of existential analysis relating to gender
Psychotherapy is the antithesis of traditional masculinity: showing weakness vs. being strong, dealing with pain vs. denying pain, expressing feelings vs. stoicism. It is no surprise that many men fear psychotherapy. The breaking up of traditional masculinity towards a plurality of masculinities allows more and more men to enter psychotherapy. At the same time, the softening of the male norm unsettles many clients and confronts them with the question: What kind of man do I want to be? Not only men are afraid of psychotherapy, existential analysis also shies away from delving deeper into masculinity and gender related questions in general. The genderless person shapes the existential analytical model and complicates the encounter between therapist and client with all its transferences, sexual attractions and power dynamics. This lecture argues that existential analysis, with its focus on the free and creative, is predestined to accompany people in questions of their gender identity and would like to encourage therapists to be present in their gender.