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experiëntiële
psychotherapie
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Existential empathy: on experiential and existential presence

ARTICLESiebrecht Vanhooren - 57–1 (2019)

SUMMARY

While two thirds of our clients have existential questions, psychotherapists often have a hard time in encountering these themes. However, with existential empathy we are not only contacting the client’s individual life world. We also resonate with the existential layer that transcends the precise life situation. Empathy becomes compassion for humanity and reveals its existential layer.
As a concept, existential empathy is based on Gendlin’s experiential, existential and phenomenological philosophy and rooted in his Jewish-spiritual background.
Existential empathy demands of the therapist to experientially encounter existential concerns as travel companions who continuously surprise and spice up our lives.

KEYWORDS

focusing, existential, empathy