A Quick Guide to Existential and Humanistic Therapies

Existential and humanistic therapies: A brief guide

Table of Contents



Existential and humanistic therapies focus on understanding human experiences and the person, not just the symptoms. The approaches believe that people can be self-aware and make their own choices and aim to increase the individual’s self-understanding and self-awareness. Existential and humanistic therapies are helpful for people looking to overcome substance abuse and other mental health disorders.

What is existential therapy?

Existential therapy[1] focuses on an individual’s responsibility and freedom, and an existential therapist helps people find a purpose in life. Existential therapy says that problems arise due to anxiety and that creativity, authenticity, love and free will are potential opportunities for transforming oneself.

This approach focuses on six principles, which are:

  1. Everyone can develop self-awareness.

  2. All humans are free and must understand that responsibility and freedom come together.

  3. We learn about each person’s identity as they interact with other people.

  4. Everyone must continually learn and evolve.

  5. We cannot eliminate anxiety as it is a part of human nature.

  6. Death is a part of the human experience; in a way, it adds meaning to life.

What is humanistic therapy?

Humanistic psychology assumes that nature is good and that people have the potential to maintain healthy and meaningful relationships. It also states that people make decisions in their own best interests and those of others.A humanistic therapist focuses on helping people free themselves from negative assumptions and live life to their full potential. The therapy also has a holistic approach toward the individual rather than symptom control.

Characteristics of humanistic therapy

Some characteristics of humanistic therapy are:

  • Empathetic understanding of the individual’s experiences and reference frame

  • Respect for the individual’s values and freedom of choice

  • Exploring problems through collaboration and authenticity and helping the individual develop insight, courage and responsibility

  • Exploring the person’s goals and expectations

  • Assessing and enhancing the individual’s motivation

Benefits of existential and humanistic therapies

Existential and humanistic therapies[2] are helpful for people with substance abuse disorders and other mental health disorders. The humanistic approach is especially suitable for those with low self-esteem, feeling lost, and those looking to improve their well-being. Existential therapy may prove most effective when a person has access to their emotional experiences or needs to overcome obstacles to recovery. Existential-humanistic therapists help people discover their uniqueness by becoming aware of their individuality and the world around them. The therapist teaches individuals to identify their weaknesses, and they can freely explore the aspects of their lives they want to work on improving. This approach avoids labelling and diagnosing a condition, so the focus is on self-improvement and searching for the meaning of life.

How to begin humanistic and existential therapy

The therapist establishes a relationship with the individual. Following this, the expert will provide unconditional positivity, show acceptance, and support the only allowing. They allow the person to share their subjective experience, giving them the freedom to share feelings and emotions.Expert mental health professionals conduct therapy sessions focusing on the individual’s well-being. They provide empathy and support to the individual so they can deal with their emotions, share their feelings and establish a genuine relationship.

How to find an existential or humanistic therapist

A licensed existential and humanistic therapist can be found online for psychotherapy, talk therapy, bereavement therapy, gambling therapy, and substance abuse therapy. Our professional team of wellness experts, psychologists, and life coaches on our platform will help you cope with anxiety, depression, learning disabilities and ADHD. One can seek help for phobias, social issues, grief and loss, self-image distortion or body shaming. A guided behavioural therapy program will help deal with parenting and family challenges.

If you’re looking for an existential or humanistic therapist, visit United We Care today!


Existential and humanistic therapies help people relieve anxiety and depression and help them achieve their full potential. Existential therapy helps people overcome negative thoughts through counseling. According to the principles of existential therapy, problems arise due to anxiety. It also states that creativity, authenticity, love, and free will are potential opportunities for transforming oneself. Humanistic psychology assumes that nature is good and that people have the potential to maintain healthy and meaningful relationships. It also believes that people make decisions in their best interests and those of others.


  1. Centre for Substance Abuse Treatment. (1999). Brief Interventions and Brief Therapies for Substance Abuse. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US).
  2. M. Cooper. Existential Therapies. SAGE Publications, 2016.


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