Theoretical paper

Aspects of Existential Psychotherapy in the Cognitive Behavioral Approach

Author: Loredana Elena Proţi
Titu Maiorescu University, Bucharest, Romania

The therapeutic process aims the improvement of individuals’ mental health and overall well-being through the acquirement of new relationship skills with self and the outer world. The purpose of psychotherapy is that of meeting the client’s expectations as well as possible and to guide him in the direction of his choice and desire and needs, using psychological tools. Currently there are numerous forms of psychotherapy such as psychoanalysis, schema therapy, existential psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral psychotherapy (CBT), rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), person-centered therapy (PCT), integrative psychotherapy, transactional analysis, core process therapy etc. Are there any major differences between all these forms of therapy? Which could be the best way to meet the expectations of the people who cross the thresholds of psychology cabinets? This subject can be amply debated. The present article shortly examines aspects of existential psychotherapy in the cognitive behavioral therapy, encouraging an eclectic approach. The human being is a unique complex, and this is why the best approach encouraged by researchers is the one of being opened to the client’s needs and to integrate in the therapeutic process not only specific strategies used in the forms of therapy in which the psychotherapist is specialized, but also complementary forms in order to be prepared for any challenge that can appear in the process. This way, we can serve the clients’ needs in the most complete way possible (Strieker, 1996; Gersons et al., 2000; Norcross & Goldfried, 2005).

Keywords: cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, existential psychotherapy, integrative approach, eclectic view