Comments on the State of Psychotherapy Research (As I See It)

David Orlinsky

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

Gerhard Stumm

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

Erika Luginbühl-Schwab

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

Silvia Längle

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

Christine Koch

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

Astrid Görtz

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

Rudolf Leuenberger

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

Daniela Grabner

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

Existence Scale

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

Karin Parschalk

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.