Existenzanalyse 1/2011

Fundaments of existence as methodical elements for treatment

Self-confrontation, work with resistance, embitterment syndrome

 Alfried Längle

By taking an inner position towards something the human being realizes personal freedom. Hence, its development is vital for existential analytical treatment. It is point of departure for actions and dialog, also for the inner dialog, which is the central element of mental health in existential analysis and so indispensible for recovery.

The contribution discusses three fields of application for inner positioning on the basis of examples: firstly as self-confrontation with symptoms and inner commenting in order to develop the inner dialog; personal positioning of the therapists for the reduction of strong resistances in therapy; and intimate positioning by the patients towards their own existence, exemplarily pointed out as an approach in a case of embitterment syndrome. The discussion is supplemented by alternative procedures in cases of resistance phenomena, as well as by a profound reflection upon the acceptance of being in existence through a therapeutically guided intimate establishment of relationship.

Key words: existence, methods, taking an inner position, self-confrontation, inner comments, resistance


Stormy with sunny periods

Diagnostics and methods in the therapy of a patient with severe post-traumatic disorder 

Lilo Tutsch

Using an example out of the psychotherapeutic practice the author shows symptomatology, theoretical understanding and diagnosis of a severe trauma related disorder. In addition, trauma specific helpful methods in the therapeutic approach are presented: The „inner wisdom and the existential resources team”,  and the “inner landscape”.

Key words: Dissociative Identity Disorder, Inner Wisdom, Inner Landscape, Disorder of extrem stress not otherwise specified, Trauma and Identity


The imagination of a “place of safety” in the therapy of anxiety

David Nowrouzi

The imagination exercise of an “inner place of safety” while involving so-called “inner helpers” applied as standard in trauma therapeutic processes is examined from an existential analytical perspective and then viewed with regard to its applicability for existential analytical treatment of anxiety. It becomes obvious, that this approach largely corresponds to an imagination of the first personal fundamental motivation, making it adaptable for effective employment as a resource mobilizing technique in existential analytical interaction. The integration of “inner helpers” has reference to a long tradition in existential analysis, which is occupied with administrable archetypal images and thus wants to address the person in its depth.

Key words: anxiety, first fundamental motivation, imagination, place of safety, inner helper


Anxiety as a symptom of an inner estrangement

Self-discovery by means of the Personal Position Finding Method (PP)

Alfried Längle

The application of the Personal Position Finding Method on examination fear in the first instance leads to a limitation of the paralyzing and generalizing behavior pattern. In two stages, a deeply ingrained problem then begins to show, rendering understandable the actual cause of the triggering of fear. Its treatment brings about the fears disappearance.

Key words: Personal Position Finding Method, phobia, anxiety


Yearning – We still owe life to our dreams

Anton Nindl

Yearning points towards the other, towards a promise, which allows us fully to emerge in life, auguring self-fulfillment. We dream about crossing limitations and experiencing bliss. Yearning is potential Existentiality for finding happiness and meaning. But what if we encounter the boundaries of our possibilities, what if we are consumed with our longing and searching, and feel sick of yearning? Maybe we could discover the dreams waiting to be lived in us by mourning our missed chances. The lecture given at the GLE-Ö autumn symposium in Goldegg attempts to approach the phenomenon of yearning from a literary perspective, and through psychotherapeutic work by means of two case studies.

Key words: Existential Analysis, case vignette, yearning


Painting against the background of existential analysis

Therese Jones

On the basis of an existential analytical course of treatment, during which therapy work with painting is closely interwoven with the therapeutic process, the particularities of painting are captured and demonstrated. The client is a 65-year-old man feeling fated and trapped by life, who finds towards an inner and outer freedom through the therapeutic process.

Key words: case vignette, painting therapy 


On the way to you, I see your creation

The phenomenological approach toward creative work

Helene Drexler

In a creative oeuvre, a painting, a melody, a sculpture, the person shows itself in a spontaneous manner. Experiences, fears, traits, hitherto withheld from consciousness, find their expression. Phenomenological approach, which emphasizes sensuous seeing and feeling, can help lift these into speech and bring them to consciousness.

Aspects of this approach towards the person and its oeuvre are pointed out in the article and demonstrated on the basis of practical examples.

Key words: creative methods, non-verbal expression, phenomenological perception, psychotherapy


Humanistic or existential psychotherapy? Reflections upon the localization of Gestalt Therapy

Gabriel Traverso

There are differing opinions considering the question, if Gestalt Therapy is to be seen as a humanistic, existential or transpersonal method, while it’s not the question regarding Rogers therapy, Existential Analysis, or the Grofs therapy. Therefore clarification is first of all required, in order to figure out the differences between the humanistic and the existential paradigms. In the light of these differences, Gestalt Therapy can clearly be classified as one of the existential methods.

Key words: existential psychotherapy, Gestalt Therapy, humanistic therapy


A creative dialogue

Existential analytical application of Progressive Therapeutic Mirror Image (PTS)

Renate Lang

The contribution starts with personal points of contact with the method of Progressive Therapeutic Mirror Image (PTS) by Benedetti and Peciccia, describes their procedures and outlines their transferability into existential analytical context.

The integration of this method in the treatment of a patient is described on the basis of extracts from an existential analytically conducted therapeutic process.

Key words: work with images, dialogue, case study, creative method (PTS)


Writing about the soul

Or: What you can not speak about, you have to write about 

Marlies Blersch

Poesietherapy is not a self-contained therapy, but it can be integrated in different kinds of therapies. The methods of biographical and creative writing support in naming the nameless, arrange chaotical feelings, help in discovering unknown things and coach emotions. Writing lends security and coherent perception and enables to connect and to communicate with the other. What we have written can be looked at, we can take distance, we can give our opinion and we can change it.

Key words: Biography, dialog, creative method, selfdistance, give ones attitude


Pathology of laziness

Existential analytical comprehension of its main features

Caroline Balogh

The present contribution regards laziness and its pathology from an existential analytical point of view. On the basis of introspection and the analysis of a case history, five characteristic dichotomies define the differences between laziness as doing-nothing due to passivating inability and leisure as doing-nothing due to mobilizing commitment and openness. Laziness as suffering and leisure as fulfillment strongly resemble one another from the external perspective, from the internal perspective on both phenomena the pathology of laziness as lacking ego structure is revealed.

Key words: lack of relationship, coping reaction, laziness, leisure, phenomenological perception


The effect of sporting activity on the existential quality of life

Together with an additional reflection on the phenomenon of competitive sports by means of the four fundamental motivations

Sandra Jerard

Background and purpose: In this study the influence of physical activity on the existential quality of life was investigated. It is a broad concept of mental health, including the dimensions of meaning that has been developed based on four basic motivations of the existential analysis.

Methods: The quasi-experimental study was carried out in the cross sectional design with a unique format of the questionnaire to the existential quality of life (Görtz 2003). Subjects   were compared with each other within five natural groups: non-athletes, occasional sports, leisure and recreational athletes without a competitive activity, leisure and recreational athletes with competitive activity and performance and high-performance athletes. On a percentage of the sample were further interviews performed for expansion and differentiation. They were subjected to content and phenomenological analysis.

Results: Athletes showed a significantly higher average in the dimensions of life feeling, personal activity and existential fulfilment as non-athletes, occasional sports or leisure and recreational athletes without a competitive activity. The content analysis also found that with regular physical activity, physical and mental well-being improved, and provides for relaxation and balance. The phenomenological analysis drew a detailed picture of the phenomenon of competitive sports.

Conclusion: Physical activity has fundamental and comprehensive potentials. The competitive sport is a valuable development and self-development field, but can have negative consequences if carried out for the wrong reasons.

Key words: existential quality of life, competitive sport, phenomenological analysis, physical activity


Standardization of the Existence Scale in Russia

Irina Maynina, Aleksey Vasanov

The Existence Scale (ES) is a questionnaire designed to estimate of the existential fulfillment of the person. The test is based on Frankl‘s concept of existential meaning and Längle‘s expanded definition of it. It includes 4 subscales: Self-distance, Self-transcendence, Freedom and Responsibility. After standardization for Russian language speakers the item number of 46 was reduced to 43items. More than 1000 respondents participated in the test validation procedure. To cross-test the validity, the Personal Orientation Inventory test (POI), the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16 PF) and the Eysenck Personality Inventory test (EPI) were used.

Key words: existential fulfillment of the person, self-distance, self-transcendence, internal freedom, responsibility, self-actualization, neuroticism


Diagnostics and counseling in burnout-prophylaxis with the aid of the TEM

Irena N. Efimowa

In this contribution an individual counseling for burnout-patients structurally based on TEM-questions is introduced. Possibilities for the diagnostics of burnout-patients with the aid of the TEM are further presented.

Initial point is an examination of 49 employees in a children’s centre in Moscow, who had firstly been checked for the presence and severity of eventual burnouts with the aid of the burnout-questionnaire by Boyko. These results were then correlated with the also enquired TEM-test-values of the probands. Thereby only low correlation was found. Nonetheless, TEM-questions proved to be very useful in the counseling of those employees by whom a burnout had been detected.


Key words: burnout, existential motivation test (TEM)view, copingreactions and self-reference are helpful here. They allow different