Comparing Existential-Humanistic Therapy to Other Types of Therapy

Comparing Existential-Humanistic Therapy to Other Types of Therapy

  1. Post a summary of the psychotherapy that you selected and explain why it resonates with you the most at this time.
  2. Then compare the psychotherapy you selected with existential-humanistic therapy.
  3. What are the strengths and challenges of each type of psychotherapy?




Comparing Existential-Humanistic Therapy to Other Types of Therapy




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Comparing Existential-Humanistic Therapy to Other Types of Therapy

In a globe filled with sundry therapeutic perspectives, one stands out for its extreme prominences on personal meaning, one’s freedom, and the search for authenticity-existential-humanistic therapy. Existential-humanistic therapy is conspicuous among other types of therapy because of its distinctive perspective on comprehending and addressing human experience and concerns. Unlike conventional therapeutic models like cognitive-behavioral or psychodynamic therapy, existential-humanistic therapy strongly emphasizes the individual’s subjective encounters with existence, freedom, and personal accountability (Daei Jafari et al., 2020). This therapeutic perspective recognizes and explores the essential questions of human existence, involving the search for meaning, the imminent suffering, and the ultimate responsibility for one’s decisions and actions. Existential-humanistic therapy motivates self-awareness, self-reflection, and personal development by aiming at the present moment and the individual’s distinctive approaches. It fosters authenticity, acceptance, and the exploration of individual values, permitting individuals to establish a more robust recognition and purpose in life. Rather than pathologizing symptoms or focusing on symptom lessening, existential-humanistic therapy focuses on improving the individual’s well-being and facilitating self-actualization. By promoting a more profound comprehension of oneself and the world, this perspective can bring about extreme life-changing encounters and empower individuals to live more fulfilling and meaningful lives. This essay will summarize cognitive therapy, explain why it resonates, compare cognitive and existential-humanistic therapy, their strength and weakness, and lastly, a fictional client for cognitive and existential-humanistic therapy.

Cognitive Therapy and Why it is Resonates

Cognitive therapy, also termed as cognitive-behavioral therapy, is a psychological perspective that aims at recognizing and challenging pessimistic throughout patterns and beliefs to foster healthier emotions and behaviors. It spotlights the notion that our thoughts shape our feelings and actions, and by changing our thoughts, we can change our overall well-being. Cognitive therapy entails working cooperatively with a therapist to recognize and reframe pessimistic thoughts and beliefs, develop healthier coping strategies, and practice new behaviors (Kelly, 2019). This perspective can resonate with an individual as it empowers individuals to take an agile role in their mental health and provides practical equipment to address and overcome difficulties. It highlights the necessities of self-reflection and self-awareness, which can result in long-lasting emphatic changes in thinking and behavior. In addition, cognitive therapy’s based and goal-oriented nature aligns well with the individual’s current need for practice strategies to manage stress and improve the individual’s overall mental pliability.

Comparing Cognitive Therapy with Existential-Humanistic Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy and existential-humanistic therapy are two different perspectives of psychotherapy that vary in their underlying philosophies and therapeutic methods. Cognitive behavioral therapy is based on goal-oriented therapy that examines and changes dysfunctional thoughts, emotions, and behaviors (Chou et al., 2020). It highlights the impact of the cognitive procedure on an individual’s feelings and actions and focuses on challenging and replacing pessimistic or distorted thinking patterns with more adaptive ones. Cognitive behavioral therapy mainly uses cognitive restructuring, behavioral experiments, and homework assignments to facilitate change. On the other hand, existential-humanistic therapy is based on the belief that individuals have an inherent capacity for self-awareness, meaning-making, and individual development. It reconnoiters the critical questions of human existence, like the search for meaning, prerogative, accountability, and the encounter of being on the globe. This therapy highlights the therapeutic relationship, empathy, and authentic connection between therapist and patient. It motivates individuals to assault their anxieties, assault existential dilemmas, and establish a more profound comprehension of themselves and their values.

While cognitive is mainly aimed at symptoms lessening and addressing specific psychological disorders, existential-humanistic therapy focuses on facilitating individual growth, self-acceptance, and a higher sense of purpose and authenticity. Cognitive behavioral therapy tends to be more structured and ruling, with specific interventions and methods, while existential-humanistic therapy is more exploratory and reflective, motivating individuals to assess their beliefs, values, and choices in life (Morrill, 2021). Both perspectives have their strengths and restrictions, and the choice between cognitive behavioral therapy and existential-humanistic therapy frequently depends on the individual’s preferences, highlighting concerns, and therapeutic goals. Some individuals may gain more of the valuable equipment and strategies of cognitive behavioral therapy, while others find the existential exploration and highlight of personal meaning in existential-humanistic therapy more resonant and life-changing. Effectually, the effectualness of therapy lies in the therapist’s skill, the therapeutic connection, and the willingness of the individuals to involve ardently in the therapeutic procedure.

The Strength and Challenges of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a widely used and effectual form of psychotherapy that aims at recognizing and shaping pessimistic thought patterns and behaviors to enhance mental well-being. One of its significance lies in its evidence-based perspective, supported by extensive research and clinical trials, emphasizing its efficacy across numerous mental health conditions (Magill et al., 2023). Cognitive behavioral therapy equips individuals with valuable equipment and methods to identify and challenge distorted thinking, fostering healthier cognitive procedures and emotional regulation. By addressing the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, cognitive behavioral therapy empowers individuals to create coping strategies, problem-solving skills, and adaptive behaviors, resulting in emphatic long-term outcomes. Moreover, cognitive behavioral therapy also encounters particular challenges. Firstly, it needs agile participation and commitment from individuals, as therapeutic continues to rely heavily on their engagement and willingness to execute change in their lives (Beck et al., 2023). This can be demanding for those who struggle with encouragement or have challenges maintaining consistency in their efforts. In addition, cognitive behavioral therapy may not be appropriate for everyone, as some individuals may have complex mental health statuses or deep-rooted beliefs that need more specialized therapeutic perspectives. However, access to trained cognitive behavioral therapy practitioners and affordability of therapy sessions can indicate barriers for individuals pursuing this form of treatment, restricting its widespread availability. Comprehensively, the strengths of cognitive behavioral therapy lie in its evidence-based logic, practical equipment for cognitive restructuring, and its ability to address a wide range of mental health conditions. Moreover, challenges include the need for agile participation, restricted suitability for specific individuals, and possible barriers to access and affordability. Despite such challenges, cognitive behavioral therapy is a valuable therapeutic perspective, equipping individuals with practical strategies for managing their mental health and enhancing overall well-being.

The Strength and Challenges of Existential-Humanistic Therapy

Existential-humanistic therapy is a therapeutic perspective that highlights exploring personal meaning, self-awareness, and accountability of individual choices and actions. One of its strengths is its aim at the individual’s subjective experience, permitting clients to explore their concerns and values (Krug, 2019). This perspective motivates clients to assess their existence, confront their fears, and better understand themselves. By promoting self-reflection and self-acceptance, existential-humanistic therapy fosters personal growth, authenticity, and a sense of purpose. Moreover, this therapeutic perspective also highlights particular challenges. At first, it needs a skilled and experienced therapist who can successfully sail existential and philosophical discussions with clients (Hoffman et al., 2019). Exploring existential concerns, like the meaning of life and the nature of human existence, can be complex and emotionally intense, possibly triggering existential anxiety or crises in clients. Therapists should be prepared to equip sufficient support and guidance throughout this procedure. In addition, existential-humanistic therapy may not be appropriate for individuals in acute crisis or needing more structured interventions. This perspective does not equip specific methods or strategies for addressing specific symptoms or diseases, which can be restricted in some instances. However, some individuals may find the emphasis on personal accountability and exploring existential themes uncomfortable or overwhelming, specifically if they are not ready or willing to be involved in deep self-reflection. In summary, existential-humanistic therapy offers a robust framework for individuals pursuing personal growth and more profound self-understanding. Its strength lies in fostering self-awareness, authenticity, and meaning in life. Nevertheless, its challenges lie in the requirement for skilled practitioners, the possibility of emotional intensity, and its restricted applicability in specific clinical contexts.


when comparing existential-humanistic therapy to other types of therapy, like cognitive therapy, it becomes clear that each perspective has distinctive strengths and challenges. While cognitive therapy aims at rebuilding thought patterns and highlighting the necessity of the cognitive procedure, existential-humanistic therapy delves into more profound existential questions and highlights personal development and self-awareness. The resonating factor is identifying the individual’s subjective encounters and the possibility for growth and self-actualization. Cognitive therapy’s strength depends on its empirical support and success in treating particular disorders, while its challenges depend on possibly overlooking the holistic logic of human encounters. On the other hand, existential-humanistic therapy’s strength lies in its prominence on personal meaning and authenticity, while its challenges lie in the subjective and less standardized nature of its methods. Eventually, the choice between these therapeutic perspectives depends on the patient’s preferences, needs, and goals, emphasizing the necessity of modifying therapy for the individual.












Beck, J. S. (2020). Cognitive behavior therapy: Basics and beyond. Guilford Publications.

Chou, C. Y., Tsoh, J. Y., Shumway, M., Smith, L. C., Chan, J., Delucchi, K., … & Mathews, C. A. (2020). Treating hoarding disorder with compassion‐focused therapy: A pilot study examining treatment feasibility, acceptability, and exploring treatment effects. British Journal of Clinical Psychology59(1), 1-21.

Daei Jafari, M. R., Aghaei, A., & Rashidi Rad, M. (2020). Existential humanistic therapy with couples and its effect on meaning of life and love attitudes. The American Journal of Family Therapy48(5), 530-545.

Hoffman, L., Jackson, T., Mendelowitz, E., Wang, X., Yang, M., Bradford, K., & Schneider, K. J. (2019). Challenges and New Developments in Existential‐Humanistic and Existential‐Integrative Therapy. The Wiley world handbook of existential therapy, 290-303.

Kelly, S. (2019). Cognitive behavior therapy with African Americans.

Krug, O. T. (2019). Existential‐Humanistic and Existential‐Integrative Therapy: Method and Practice. The Wiley world handbook of existential therapy, 257-266.

Magill, M., Kiluk, B. D., & Ray, L. A. (2023). Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Alcohol and Other Drug Use Disorders: Is a One-Size-Fits-All Approach Appropriate? Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, 1-11.

Morrill, Z. S. (2021). Power Dynamics in Psychotherapy: Eminent Therapists’ Experiences Navigating Power from Humanistic-Existential and Feminist-Multicultural Perspectives (Doctoral dissertation, University of Massachusetts Boston).

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