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The therapeutic relationship in the existential-humanistic approach

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Evgenia T. Georganda (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3403-8835)
Evgenia T. Georganda

Abstract


This article intends to highlight the importance of the psychotherapeutic relationship and the way with which it is viewed by the Existential-Humanistic approach to psychotherapy and counseling. The introduction includes a brief overview of the various existential approaches and the common way with which they all view therapy. The article continues by relating the basic premises of the Existential-Humanistic approach as well as its understanding of human beings and of the process of psychotherapy. Furthermore, the factors that contribute to the establishment of the psychotherapeutic relationship are being analyzed. The Existential-Humanistic approach to psychotherapy gives emphasis to the value of a true dialogue between two human beings who are there serving the interests of the one. In order for the therapeutic relationship to be effective there needs to be a clear framework that helps the members feel safe. In this “sanctuary” the two individuals have an “I-Thou” encounter. The “presence” of both parties serves as the catalyst for change through this mutual and honest way of relating.

Keywords


existential theory, humanistic approach, phenomenology, presence, therapeutic relationship

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