Psychotherapy Services in South West London

Existential Therapy

Writers such as Jean-Paul Sartre have had a huge influence on some psychologists. A psychologist with existential beliefs does no agree with labelling patients, since humans are ever changing being who cannot be defined in such a categorical manner. Sartre did not agree that emotions were merely disagreeable feelings which should be repressed, but rather believed that our emotions are a source of valuable information about the world. Uncomfortable with being responsible for one’s own freedom, man attempts to avoid such responsibility by believing in a determined self. Sartre maintains, however, that man is what he chooses to do. Although one cannot alter the past, one can choose what meaning is assigned to it. By blaming the misfortune of one’s present life on the occurrence of a past event, man is acting with what Sartre termed bad faith and deceiving himself by ignoring responsibility. One thing which Sartre does stress is that we are not free not to choose, so we are condemned to be free

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