HumanisticExistential Therapy


HumanisticExistential Therapy

It is the client who knows what hurts, what directions to go, what problems are crucial, what experiences have been deeply buried.

Carl Rogers, from On Becoming a Person

This client-centered perspective is the cornerstone of humanistic-existential therapy, which requires therapists to attempt to receive clients with curiosity and openness, endeavor to grasp their subjective world, and believe that clients are the experts on their own experience (Wheeler, 2014, p. 373). As the psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner, it is important to understand that the effectiveness of this approach is dependent on your relationship with clients, as well as your beliefs on holism and human nature.

This week, you compare humanistic-existential therapy with other approaches and justify its use with individual patients. 

Wheeler, K. (Ed.). (2014). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice (2nd ed.). Springer Publishing.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Distinguish between      humanistic-existential psychotherapy and other types of psychotherapy
  • Justify the use of      humanistic-existential psychotherapy approaches with individual patients


Learning Resources

Nichols, M., & Davis, S. D. (2020). The essentials of family therapy (7th ed.). Pearson.

  • Chapter      7, Experiential Family Therapy

Wheeler, K. (Ed.). (2020). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice (3rd ed.). Springer Publishing.

  • Chapter      6, Humanistic-Existential and Solution-Focused Approaches to      Psychotherapy

Optional Videos

Optional Reading

The Psychology Podcast. (2021, Aug 30). Irvin Yalom- Existential psychotherapy. [Video]. YouTube.  


Assignment: Comparing Humanistic-Existential Psychotherapy with Other Approaches

Photo Credit: motortion / Adobe Stock

Understanding the strengths of each type of therapy and which type of therapy is most appropriate for each patient is an essential skill of the psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner. In this Assignment, you will compare humanistic-existential therapy to another psychotherapeutic approach. You will identify the strengths and challenges of each approach and describe expected potential outcomes.

To prepare:

  • Review the      humanistic-existential psychotherapy videos in this weeks Learning      Resources.
  • Reflect on      humanistic-existential psychotherapeutic approaches.
  • Then, select another      psychotherapeutic approach to compare with humanistic-existential      psychotherapy. The approach you choose may be one you previously explored      in the course or one you are familiar with and especially interested      in. 

The Assignment

In a 3-page paper, address the following:

  • Briefly describe      humanistic-existential psychotherapy and the second approach you      selected. 
  • Explain at least three      differences between these therapies. Include how these differences might      impact your practice as a PMHNP.
  • Focusing on one video you      viewed, explain why humanistic-existential psychotherapy was utilized with      the patient in the video and why it was the treatment of choice. Describe      the expected potential outcome if the second approach had been used with      the patient. 
  • Support your response with specific      examples from this weeks media and at least three peer-reviewed,      evidence-based sources. Explain why each of your supporting sources is      considered scholarly. Attach the PDFs of your sources.

Note: The School of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references. The Sample Paper provided at the Walden Writing Center provides an example of those required elements (available at http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/templates ). All papers submitted must use this formatting.


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