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Pragmatic Existential Counseling and Psychotherapy
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Pragmatic Existential Counseling and Psychotherapy
Intimacy, Intuition, and the Search for Meaning



December 2015 | 384 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
“This is a masterful primer on existential therapy that has been forged from the pen of a highly seasoned theorist, researcher, and practitioner.   In Pragmatic Existential Counseling and Psychotherapy: Intimacy, Intuition and the Search for Meaning, we gain the insight and personal experience of one who has lived and breathed the field for over 50 years—alongside some of the greatest practitioners of the craft, most notably Viktor Frankl.  This volume is superb for students interested in a broad and substantive overview of the field.”  
—Kirk Schneider, Columbia University  

Pragmatic Existential Counseling and Psychotherapy integrates concepts of positive psychology and strengths based therapy into existential therapy. Turning existential therapy on its head, this exciting, all-new title approaches the theory from a positive, rather than the traditional deficit model. Authored by a leading figure in existential therapy, Jerrold Lee Shapiro, the aim is to make existential therapy positive and easily accessible to a wide audience through a pragmatic, stage wise model. Shapiro expands on the work of Viktor Frankl and focuses on delivery to individuals and groups, men and women, and evidence based therapy. The key to his work is to help the client focus on resistance and to use it as a means of achieving therapeutic breakthroughs.  Filled with vignettes and rich case examples, the book is comprehensive, accessible, concrete, pragmatic and very human in connection between author and reader.
 
Chapter 1: Context: The Author's Life as an Existential Experiment
The Personal: How I became an Existential Therapist  
Post-Grad Existential Experiences: Renewed Contact with Dr. Frankl  
Finding Meaning in a Chance Meeting in Guam  
Another Strange Site for Insight  
True Existential Moments  
The More Things Change...  
The Professional Context  
The Reach of Existential Approaches to Counseling and Psychotherapy  
An Existential Orientation  
Our Journey  
 
Chapter 2: How Philosophy Becomes Therapy
Existential Philosophy  
Philosophy Becomes Therapy  
Divergent Existential Therapies  
European Schools  
European and American Existentialism  
The Pragmatic Existential Orientation of this Book  
 
Chapter 3: Essential Concepts/themes in Existential Theory and Therapy
Roots  
Related Influences  
A Brief Introduction to a Pragmatic Existential Therapy  
 
Chapter 4: Existential Counseling and Psychotherapy: Strategies, Qualities, and Methods
Anxiety: The Engine of Change  
Ahistorical Focus  
Turning Report into Reality  
Asocial Interventions  
Working from Within  
The Benefits of a Positive Psychology  
Maximizing Therapeutic Effects  
Existential Methods  
 
Chapter 5: The Centrality of Resistance in Counseling and Therapy
A Brief History of Resistance and Healing  
Resistance Across Theories  
Resistance Between and Resistance Within  
A Pragmatic Model of Dealing with Resistance in (Existential) Counseling and Therapy  
Resistance Styles  
The Cognitive External Style  
The Affective External Style  
The Cognitive Internal Style  
The Affective Internal Style  
The Cognitive Away Style  
The Affective Away Style  
Joining Must be Authentic  
It Seems Counter-Intuitive. Why Does this Work?  
Think France in the Early 1940's: Join the Resistance  
 
Chapter 6: Using All the Data: How Do Therapists Know What They Know?
The Nature of Human Communication  
Meta-Communication  
Communication and the State of the Receiver  
The Therapy Context and Communication  
Therapists' Processing Systems: The Use of Self  
Linear Sources (Empirical/Observable Data)  
Non-Linear (Intuitive) Sources of Data  
The Value and Dangers of Self-Data  
The Aware Therapist  
 
Chapter 7: The Four Epigenetic Phases of Psychotherapy
Intra-Session Arc  
The Trajectory of Therapy  
A Four Phase Developmental Sequence  
 
Chapter 8: Show Me the Evidence! What is the Proof that Existential Therapy Works?
Some Realities for Clinicians  
Preaching to the Choir: The "Hegemony" of CBT  
"Include Me Out"  
A Lack of Fit between Efficacy Studies and Existential-Humanistic Therapy  
Psychotherapy: Art, Science or Hybrid  
What is the Evidence for Existential Approaches?  
A Curmudgeon's Perspective on Outcome Research  
The Nose in Front of My Face  
Implications  
 
Chapter 9: Beyond the I-thou Dyad: Group, Couple, and Family Therapy
Unique Advantages of Multi-person Therapy  
Unique Therapeutic Interventions  
Characteristic Methods  
Interactional Intimacy  
When Groups are of Strangers  
Effectiveness of Existential Multi-person Therapy  
Why Existential Couple, Family and Group Therapy  
 
Chapter 10: Gender and Culture in Existential Therapy
Ethnicity, Culture, and Gender Differences  
Counseling the Culturally Diverse  
Religion as Culture  
Socio-economic Status  
When Cultures Clash  
Gender and Sexual Orientation  
Emic Redux  
Is Existential Counseling and Psychotherapy Multi-Cultural?  
Human Universals Across Cultures  
Ideographic and Nomothetic  
 
Chapter 11: Life Transitions and Existential Psychotherapy
Developmental Stages  
The Baby Boomer Generation: Finding Meaning, Facing Fears  
Boomers in Therapy  
Transition Issues  
Transitions  
 
Chapter 12: An Existential Case Study
Dana  

“This is a masterful primer on existential therapy that has been forged from the pen of a highly seasoned theorist, researcher, and practitioner.   In Pragmatic Existential Counseling and Psychotherapy we gain the insight and personal experience of one who has lived and breathed the field for over 50 years—alongside some of the greatest practitioners of the craft, most notably Viktor Frankl.  This volume is superb for students interested in a broad and substantive overview of the field.”

Kirk Schneider
Columbia University

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 3

Chapter 5


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ISBN: 9781483368993
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