Many of us will recognise the inherent challenge of simply being. Existential approaches take a uniquely philosophical and deeply relational way of examining the paradoxes and challenges of human existence, ensuring to applaud human capacities and aspirations, while simultaneously acknowledging human limitations.
The view that suffering can be embraced as part of the human existence is not an encouragement of suffering, only recognition of the fact that it is an inescapable part of being human. What existential therapy does do is encourage people to embrace the reality of suffering in order to work through and learn from it. People who participate in this form of therapy are interested in ideas of meaning, authentic living, choice and responsibility, and guided to accept their fears and given the skills necessary to overcome them through action. By gaining control of the direction of their life, people often come to feel both a sense of liberation and the ability to let go of the despair associated with insignificance and meaningless.
Thus, existential psychotherapy involves teaching people in therapy to grow and embrace their own lives and exist in them with wonder and curiosity. Individuals who respond to treatment tend to find meaning and purpose in their lives and often experience heightened self-awareness, self-understanding, self-respect, and self-motivation. The realisation that they are primarily responsible for their own recovery often increases the likelihood that people in treatment will see beyond the limits of a therapy session and view recovery as a therapeutic process.