Comments on the State of Psychotherapy Research (As I See It)
This essay was written in response to an invitation by Chris Muran, current president of Society for Psychotherapy Research North American chapter. I was requested to contribute my views on the current state of psychotherapy research for the past-president’s column of the chapter’s Newsletter, and it appeared (sans references) in the January 2006 issue of the NASPR Newsletter. I hope it will be understood as a constructively intended critique of current therapy research and not as an attack on scientific research on psychotherapy (to which I have devoted many decades of my life). My argument is that our research needs to become more realistic and thus more truly scientific.
The Person-centered Approach from an Existential Perspective
Keywords: Existentialism, Existential therapy, Person-Centered Approach
This paper deals with the question of how far existential issues are considered in the Person-centered Approach. Starting with the topic of existentialism and a short summary about its most inspiring promoters, a brief introduction is given to five approaches in existential therapy and their affinities with person-centered aspects. Thereafter the Person-centered approach in its classical tradition will be compared to and contrasted with existential perspectives, first outlining some parallels and then stressing the differences between the two orientations. The paper concludes with a discussion of the extent to which the Person-centered Approach has integrated existential concepts and also, vice versa, what Person-Centered Therapy has to offer for an existential approach to therapy.
From the impression to an expression
Existential analysis of a depressive decompensation
Key words: depression, case study
The following article presents the case of a young woman who sought therapy because of a depressive downturn and panic attacks. Her case study is to explain the existential-analytical understanding of the development of the patient’s pathology as well as the therapeutic procedure derived from this understanding.
Smoking doesn´t fit into my life
Key words: casuistics, phenomenology, Personal Existential Analysis, existential fundamental motivation
A low frequency case study is presented of a patient who wants to stop smoking. An intensive phenomenological analysis of her smoking habits reveals a background of an inconsistent self-relationship on the basis of an insure fundamental value. Foreign parts are identified and replaced by authentic positioning. The presentation follows the therapeutic process and is completed by a methodological reflection of the proceedings.
A dream is life
Key words: question for meaning, basic existential motivations, personality disorder
Using the example of the life of a particular client, an attempt is made to describe the special characteristics of a „personality disorder“ in its psychopathology and psychopathogenesis, as distinct from other personality disorders. The description of the psychotherapy and the therapeutical relationship illustrates the problems.
Virtually every human being, whether or not he is suffering any psychological / mental disorder, asks himself the question about meaning, even if he is not aware of it.
Only in connection with serious deficiencies in basic personal-existential motivation and the development of compensating coping strategies, the question for meaning can become a contributing factor in a personality disorder.
Therapeutic work with the TAT with adolescents
Key words: projective tests, psychotherapy with adolescents
Our last edition presented the thematic apperception test (TAT) by Henry A. Murray, a projective personality test from the 1950s (cf. Görtz, 2007). Projective procedures are well suited for the therapeutic work with young people, because they usually have difficulties articulating concrete difficulties or expressing feelings in general, since their reflective powers are still developing, particularly in the onset of puberty. Working with TAT offers an entry into talking about their difficulties without proceeding in a too confrontative or uncovering manner.
The EMDR-Method in Relation to the First Fundamental Motivation in EA
Key words: EMDR method, existential analysis, fundamental motivation, trauma
This thesis should demonstrate that existential analysis can make a substantial contribution to the psychological as well as philosophical understanding of the EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprozessing) method of treating mentally traumatized patients with a PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), and thus extends beyond the common, and to some degree hypothetical, neurobiological attempts at explaining this method. The study is based on the experiences collected over a period of four years in the practice of a general practitioner who used the EMDR method in the treatment of patients suffering from PTSD. According to the verbal statements of patients made before, during and after treatment, it can be concluded that of the relevant deficiencies in the areas of the four fundamental motivations of existential analysis, those having to do with the first fundamental motivation bear the most significance. On the basis of 23 medical histories the effective factors of the EMDR method will become understandable from an existential-analytic point of view by using the concepts of the first fundamental motivation.
Paula: The Rebirth of the Person
María Laura Asid Cardigni
Key words: Existence Scale, Fundamental Existential Motivations, Personal Existential Analysis, Self
From an existential point of view, to reach the level of a fulfilled existence involves inner consent. In a psychotherapeutic context the method used for this purpose is „Personal Existential Analysis“. This is a method directed towards helping to find personal resources and an authentic way to express oneself in a defined situation. This paper gives further insight into it by presentation, analysis and discussion of the therapeutic process.
The Application of the Test for Existential Motivation (TEM) within a Psychotherapeutic Institution
Key words: affective disorder, Existential analysis, fundamental existential motivations, personality disorder, schizophrenia, Test for Existential Motivation (TEM)
In this pilot study clinical pictures of mental disorders were investigated, if and how they can be attributed to the anthropological model of the four fundamental motivations of human existence. For this purpose patients of a psychotherapeutic ambulance of a municipal health system were tested. They comprised schizophrenic patients, patients with personality disorder and with an affective disorder and were compared to the normal population.
The survey is based on the hypothesis of existential analysis, that mental disorders can be understood as dysfunction of the fundamental motivations of human existence.
With regard to methodology the „Test for Existential Motivation“ (TEM) was applied, which allegedly measures existential dimensions. The results found are largely in accordance with the theory of existential analysis about the specificity of mental disorders with respect to the fundamental motivations.
Reliability and Validity of the Shortened Hungarian Version of the
Barna Konkolÿ Thege, Tamás Martos
Key words: Existential fulfilment, Existence Scale, shortened version, reliability and validity
The aim of the current study was to present the adaptation process of the Hungarian version of the Existence Scale (ES) and to demonstrate the psychometric properties of a shortened version (ES-S). The design of the 8-item ES-S was based on the data of 166 Hungarian young adults who completed the full version of the ES (study 1). In the next step reliability and validity of the ES-S were examined with the participation of 392 respondents (study 2). For the construct validity analysis, the Purpose in Life Test, the Satisfaction with Life Scale and a shortened version of the Beck Depression Inventory were used. Both internal reliability and convergent / divergent validity of the ES-S were found to be adequate.
Non-organic voice disorders and „existential fulfillment“
A statistical survey based on existential analysis
Key words: Existential fulfilment, Existential quality of life, Non-organic voice disorders
This study deals with the „existential fulfillment“ of people with non-organic voice disorders, based on the theory of existential analysis. The hypothesis that there is a significant relationship between non-organic voices disorders and personal-existential deficits was confirmed by statistically significant results (alpha=5%), which are relevant for the theory and therapy of non organic voice disorders.