Much of what we commonly think of as psychotherapy has come to be dominated by what we might call the toxicity of everyday life.
People are stressed and upset and depressed not because they have suffered some terrible trauma, but because they are not finding a way to make meaningful choices in a world marked by anomie yet defined by instant gratification.
Much of what we talk about when we talk about humanistic and existential psychology addresses these needs, and takes a stand against the idea that people need to drug themselves just to be happy.
But as New Existentialist Daniel B. Pitchford notes: people really do suffer from debilitating traumas, and existential therapy has a great deal to offer them as well.
In a paper he’s now made available to the New Existentialists’ library, Pitchford walks readers through the impact that the work of Rollo May had on his work with traumatized patients, and the existential approaches he developed.
It’s well worth a read, and reminds us that while existential psychology is primarily concerned with the choices we make every day, that it has every bit as much to say about our reactions to life-changing events.
The Existentialism of Rollo May – An Influence on Trauma Treatment
- The Existentialism of Rollo May: an influence on trauma treatment – Daniel B. Pitchford
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