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Posted: August 20th, 2023

Humanistic-Existential Psychotherapy

To prepare:
• Review the humanistic-existential psychotherapy videos below
• Then, select another psychotherapeutic approach to compare with humanistic-existential psychotherapy
• In a 2- to 3-page paper
• Briefly describe humanistic-existential psychotherapy and the second approach you selected.
• Explain at least three differences between these therapies. Include how these differences might impact practice as a Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.
• Focusing on one video you viewed explain why humanistic-existential psychotherapy was utilized with the patient in the video and why it was the treatment of choice. Describe the expected potential outcome if the second approach had been used with the patient.
• Support your response with specific examples from this week’s media and at least three peer-reviewed, evidence-based sources. Explain why each of your supporting sources is considered scholarly. Attach the PDFs of your sources.

Link to video
Grande, T. (2019, January 9). Theories of counseling – Existential therapyLinks to an external site. [Video]. YouTube.
Optional Video
• The Psychology Podcast. (2021, Aug 30). Irvin Yalom- Existential psychotherapy. [Video]. YouTube.

Humanistic-Existential Psychotherapy:
Humanistic-existential psychotherapy is an approach that emphasizes individual growth, self-actualization, and personal responsibility. It combines humanistic psychology, which focuses on self-awareness and personal growth, with existential philosophy, which explores the meaning and purpose of human existence. This therapeutic approach emphasizes the importance of subjective experiences, personal values, and the individual’s unique perspective.

Another Psychotherapeutic Approach: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a widely used psychotherapeutic approach that focuses on the relationship between thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It is based on the premise that our thoughts influence our feelings and behaviors, and by identifying and changing negative or distorted thinking patterns, we can alleviate emotional distress and promote positive behavioral change.

Differences between Humanistic-Existential Psychotherapy and CBT:

Focus: Humanistic-existential psychotherapy places a greater emphasis on self-awareness, personal growth, and subjective experience, while CBT focuses on identifying and modifying dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors.
Time Orientation: Humanistic-existential therapy often explores the past, present, and future experiences of the individual, aiming to foster self-understanding and personal meaning. In contrast, CBT primarily focuses on the present and the identification of current patterns and thoughts.
Therapeutic Relationship: Humanistic-existential psychotherapy prioritizes the therapeutic relationship, emphasizing empathy, unconditional positive regard, and the therapist’s role as a facilitator of personal growth. CBT focuses more on structured interventions, active collaboration, and the therapist as a teacher or coach.
Impact on Practice as a PMHNP:
As a PMHNP, understanding these differences can influence your practice in several ways. Firstly, recognizing the therapeutic orientation of each approach can help you align your treatment interventions with the specific needs and preferences of your clients. Secondly, being aware of the time orientation of these therapies can guide you in exploring past experiences and future goals with clients, or focusing more on immediate concerns and problem-solving. Lastly, understanding the emphasis on the therapeutic relationship versus structured interventions can help you adapt your communication style and intervention strategies to best meet your clients’ needs.

Utilization of Humanistic-Existential Psychotherapy in a Video Case Study:
Unfortunately, I cannot access the specific video you mentioned, but I can provide a general response. Humanistic-existential psychotherapy might be utilized in a video case study when the client’s concerns involve a search for personal meaning, self-exploration, or a desire to enhance personal growth and self-actualization. This approach would be chosen because it aligns with the client’s values and emphasizes the importance of subjective experience and personal responsibility.

If the second approach, CBT, had been used with the same patient, the expected potential outcome might be different. CBT’s focus on identifying and modifying dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors could help the patient gain insight into negative thinking patterns and develop more adaptive coping strategies. However, the emphasis on structured interventions and the present-focused nature of CBT might not address the client’s deeper existential concerns and the need for self-exploration and personal meaning.

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