Tag Archives: nondiagnostic therapy

The Failure of Categories

Experience does not neatly fit into a category. If you tell me that you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, that communicates a list of potential criteria – mood swings, cycling, etc., but it does not tell me anything at all about your experience. When someone focuses exclusively on diagnostic criteria – your ‘symptoms’ – you become nothing more than a pathological entity. You are not merely a bundle of ‘symptoms.’ These diagnostic categories serve the pharmaceutical industry and the insurance industry, not you. Continue reading

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Experiential Psychotherapy

Whether we can know anything outside the world as we experience it is an interesting philosophical question, but it has profound implications when we try to understand another person. This is particularly true in the context of psychotherapy and trying to help another person heal. Continue reading

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Finding Meaning: Existential Psychotherapy

The existential approach to therapy is based on helping people find meaning in their lives, and avoids trying to apply external objective criteria and schemas. In fact, the struggle for all of us is to put our lives and life histories in a meaningful context. This may be primarily an unconscious emotional endeavor for some, but for others it may also be important to find an articulable structure or credo. Without a meaningful way of making sense of things, we are almost by definition left with a deep sense of emptiness and a feeling of an inner void. From there we are often left with nothing to do but despair and feel hopeless. Continue reading

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