Existential therapy is a unique form of psychotherapy that looks to explore difficulties from a philosophical perspective, rather than taking a technique-based approach. Focusing on the human condition as a whole, existential therapy applauds human capacities and encourages individuals to take responsibility for their successes.

Emotional and psychological difficulties are viewed as inner conflict caused by an individual’s confrontation with the givens ( the inevitability of death, freedom and its attendant responsibility, existential isolation, meaninglessness) of existence. Rather than delve into the past, the existential approach looks at the here and now, exploring the human condition as a whole and what it means for an individual.

This methodology primary aims of existential therapy is to help people face the anxieties of life head on and to embrace the freedom of choice humans have, taking full responsibility for these choices as they do so. Existential therapists look to help individuals live more authentically and to be less concerned with superficiality. They also encourage clients to take ownership of their lives, to find meaning and to live fully in the present.

Individuals who are interested in self examination and who view their concerns as issues of living rather than symptoms of a psychiatric illness are more likely to benefit from this approach to counselling. Existential therapy is also well suited to those facing issues of existence, for example those with a terminal illness, those contemplating suicide, or even those going through a transition in their life.

These days men’s social norms play an important role where men have a greater tendency not to recognise or respond to their own negative emotions or distress, partly due to the stigma associated with ‘mental health’, which in turn may result in clinical depression. Through tackling the rate of depression and anxiety in men, and reducing stigma, facilitating a change in men’s behaviour and challenging perceptions of masculinity, in particular using existential methodology, a reduction in the male mental health rate can be achieved in the medium to long term.

beyondblue encourages all men to take action against depression and anxiety, through:

* learning and understanding the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety
* recognising anxiety and depression are serious health problems that impact on physical health
* learning about the experiences of others, and challenging your perceptions of anxiety and depression
* taking action through a range of lifestyle changes and treatment options, earlier rather than later, when you are experiencing signs and symptoms
empowering others to learn more and take action

The process of taking action and seeking support is not only courageous, but a responsible course of action, for which you hold the key. Through a collaborative effort of your family, friends, colleagues and health professionals, taking appropriate action to tackle your symptoms of depression and anxiety can result in significant improvements in your health and wellbeing, and therefore your capacity to support your family and social networks, and to perform at your maximum capacity in life.

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