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Existential Psychotherapy

  1. Kirk J. Schneider

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy2005

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Schneider, K. J. 2010. Existential Psychotherapy. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. Saybrook Graduate School, San Francisco, CA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Existential psychotherapy derives from the philosophical and literary writings of such thinkers as Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, and Jean Paul Sartre; and from the phenomenological formulations of investigators such as Edmund Husserl, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and William James (Cooper, 2003; May, Ellenberger, & Angel, 1958). Phenomenology is the art and science of discovering intimate “lived” experience. While the phenomenological basis of existential psychotherapy varies some throughout the world, here our focus will be on the American perspective, which has partly drawn on humanistic psychology (Cooper, 2003).


  • existential psychotherapy;
  • existential-integrative psychotherapy;
  • phenomenology;
  • experiential;
  • meaning