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Existential therapy

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Existential therapy helps the client learn how to deal with uncertainty ns conflict by putting them as a philosophical being first. By focusing free will and an intrinsic search for meaning it helps clients make rational decisions and reinvent themselves due to the constant changes present in life. 

CP Journal icon  Our featured book

Existential Therapies book cover image

Existential Therapies 


This is our most 'accessible' book on Existential Therapy, a notoriously difficult therapeutic approach in Counselling & Psychotherapy. It introduces students to the six key existential therapies with a focus on practical, face-to-face work with clients. It outlines the critical perspectives and key debates and presents implications for practice, reflection and further reading. 

"As always with Mick's work, this is wonderfully clear, accessible and engaging book and an excellent starting point for anyone who is interested in existential therapy. As well as providing historical context and an overview of the existential approach and how it can be applied to therapy, this second edition expertly weaves in newer developments in the field including the existential-phenomenological approach, and time-limited existential therapy. "

- Louis Hoffman, Saybrook University 


CP megaphone icon  Recommended reading 


The counselling and psychotherapy hub is full of useful links, book chapters, interactive videos and more. Here are a few books to add to your collection of resources:


Skills in Existential Counselling & Psychotherapy book cover

Skills in Existential Counselling & Psychotherapy 

This is the definitive practical introduction to a skills-based approach in existential therapy. Accessible for those without a philosophical background, it describes the concrete and tangible skills, tasks and interaction of existential practice. 

Explore the companion website with a range of video resources specifically designed to support your study.



A Concise Introduction to Existential Counselling book cover

A Concise Introduction to Existential Counselling 

This book will be the perfect companion to new trainees looking to embark on their path to thinking and practising existentially. This book:

  • provides a short history of the existential tradition 

  • shows how to work effectively with whatever the client brings to the session 

  • addresses the significance of existential thought in the wider world.

It is an accessible book to students at every level!


Practising Existential Therapy book cover

 Practising Existential Therapy 

This practical book on existential therapy elucidates this notoriously difficult and distinctly different therapeutic approach to counselling and psychotherapy. Seen by existential therapists across the world as one of the most influential books on the topic, this new edition is an essential read for all those training, practising or interested in existential therapy. 

"In a survey of over 1,000 existential therapists worldwide, Practising Existential Psychotherapy was identified as the most influential contemporary text on existential therapeutic practice. In this second edition, Spinelli has deepened and extended his analysis, providing a comprehensive, detailed, and eminently practical guide to existential therapeutic work. This book is now the core text for training and practice in existential counselling and psychotherapy."

- Mick Cooper, Professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of Roehampton and Author of Existential Therapies

Read about the three key principles of existential therapy.

sample chapter