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What is the nature of human existence from a Heideggerian perspective, and what relevance may this have to psychotherapy - Essay Example

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It is often considered that the combination of psychotherapy and philosophy is uncooperative at best because of the latter’s preoccupation with theory and the former’s focus on pragmatism in relation to human life. The link however between the two approaches has…
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What is the nature of human existence from a Heideggerian perspective, and what relevance may this have to psychotherapy
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Download file to see previous pages This paper will examine the application of existential philosophy to psychotherapy, particularly focusing on Heidegger’s approach, though other existentialists will be touched upon in order to form a more general overview of Heidegger’s theory as it stands alone and in comparison to other similar theories. Heidegger’s concept of being and his fundamental issue of where being begins will be explored, as well as his notion of dasein and anxiety in application to psychotherapy. It will then be evaluated in order assess its effectiveness and contributions to psychotherapy both actual and potential. It will ultimately argued that Heidegger’s contributions to psychotherapy have the potential to be extremely useful, though they have as of yet struggled to have any major influences on psychotherapy practice. While this is due to the seemingly negative lack of structure when applying existentialism and philosophy in general to psychotherapy, it is possible that after some time the philosophical approach to psychotherapy can gradually develop into a methodical, structured practice.
Heidegger was greatly influenced by philosophers such as Jaspers (1964) and laid the ground for later philosophers such as Binswanger (1963). The central theme of all was the shift from psychiatry to philosophy so that human problems and paradoxes could be better understood. This was of course initially received as an almost impossible task. A number of philosophers have applied existentialism to psychotherapy in several different forms and manners (Frankl, 1967; Szasz, 1965), and the stubbornness with which theories have been proposed suggests that future approaches to psychotherapy will increasingly incorporate existential themes. Heidegger’s existential philosophy concentrates on the supra and inter personal dimensions through its attempts to discover and analyse ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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