On the basic coordinates of existential psychotherapy

Volume 3, Number 2, 2018, P. 91–95


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The article deals with the essence of the basic starting points of existential psychotherapy: death, freedom, isolation, meaninglessness. Death is considered as the inevitable finale of human existence that causes the greatest anxiety. And it is death, the proximity of death, namely the imminent death of a person that brings many neurotic situations to life. The problem of death and a person’s attitude to it is considered nuclear in existential therapy. Freedom, another existential coordinate, is also considered as a significant problem in the human existence. Freedom in existentialism is understood as the openness of a man to the external world, completely chaotic and existing outside the human will. It creates the potential for the realization of an individual project of the individual, but, unfortunately, not everyone is aware of what he needs to do with freedom in the world where there is no order of life processes. Isolation is the initial state of human loneliness in the world. A man is born alone and dies alone. He is always and everywhere in complete isolation from the world, despite the fact that people can constantly interact with the external environment. Isolation is not just a detachment from external events and people. This is fundamental, basic insulation. Sense is one of the essential worldview and existential coordinates. If we are alone, free, and mortal, then we must devote our lives to the higher idea, that is, to the pursuit of meaning. The meaningfulness of life is one of those tasks on whose solution the fact of human existence depends. Based on the consideration of the above categories, the author concludes that the specific attitude of the individual to these categories sets the general trajectory of the individual’ life, and also forms the basis for psychotherapeutic work.


existential psychology, existential psychotherapy, freedom, death, isolation, abandonment, meaninglessness


Alexey V. Vasenkin, Candidate of Philosophical Sciences, Associate Professor of History and Philosophy Department of Economics and Management Institute, Irkutsk National Research Technical University, Irkutsk, Russia

For citation:

Vasenkin A.V. On the basic coordinates of existential psychotherapy. Social Competence, 2018, vol. 3, no 2, pp. 91–95. (In Russian).


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