The Existential And Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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In the contemporary, there are numerous approaches to the counselling and therapy. One of the currently popular ones are the existential and the cognitive-behavioural therapies. This essay will compare and contrast the existential and cognitive-behavioural approaches to understanding and working with fear and sadness. Firstly, their history. Secondly, their perceptions on the fear and sadness. Thirdly, their approach to the diagnosis. Then, the therapeutic relation in them. And finally, the processes of therapy of fear and sadness. Throughout the comparison, I will indicate which of the approaches I am more drawn to and why. Both of the approaches were developed by the former psychoanalysts but drawing from different sources. The…show more content…
However, the popularity of its ideas seems to be rising. There are both differences and similarities in how the existential therapy and the cognitive-behavioural therapy understand the fear and sadness. The existential therapy explains them with the ideas about life from the existential philosophy (Langdridge, 2010). The cognitive-behavioural therapy perceives them as a result of the negative meanings that people assign to the events in their life (Salkovskis, 2010). Fear, in the existential therapy, is a manifestation of the existential anxiety. This is an universal phenomenon resulting from the fact that the human life is a situation which we haven’t chosen, in which we have to constantly make free choices - and take the responsibility for this freedom – and we cannot be sure about the outcomes of the choices we make. It is also a result of the awareness of the inevitable death. The cognitive-behavioural therapy claims that fear occurs when a person perceives a danger or a threat. This can be a physical danger, a social danger or related to a person’s role. It can be a real one or only a bare product of interpretation. The negative interpretations can cause reactions that can lead to consequent events and negative interpretations. This forms a vicious circle which is responsible for the development and maintenance of the anxiety. The existential therapy sees fear and anxiety as related to the human existence. In contrast, the cognitive-behavioural therapy relates
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