Humanistic-Existential Therapy Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example

Humanistic-Existential Therapy Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example

Humanistic therapy refers to psychological treatment emphasizing free will, human potential, and self-discovery (Sousa, Pestana & Tavares, 2019). It aims at helping patients explore their values, nature, and capacity to overcome hardship, pain, and despair. There are various approaches to humanistic therapy. They include gestalt, client-centered, and existential therapy. In this case, the essay explores humanistic-existential therapy by comparing it with experiential family therapy. It will further examine the impact of the differences between these two therapies on the roles of PMHNP. The last part determines the use of humanistic-existential therapy in the YouTube video, “James Bugental live case consultation psychotherapy video,” including the outcomes achievable if experiential family therapy was utilized. Psychotherapy approaches like humanistic-existential therapy and experiential family therapy are essential approaches to psychotherapy since they enable patients to deal with their mental health conditions by building their self-esteem, increasing coping mechanisms, and reducing anxiety.(Humanistic-Existential Therapy Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

 Humanistic-Existential Therapy Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example

Humanistic-Existential Therapy

Humanistic-existential therapy is an approach to humanistic treatment which was first adopted in the 1950s to help solve patient issues. Sousa, Pestana, and Tavares (2019) explain that it involves the therapist helping clients by enabling them to recognize their resistance to live more purposefully. The clients can freely examine their lives to determine the aspects that can support them and the ones they should abandon to enable them to live fully. The therapeutic technique seeks to help patients evaluate the meaning and purpose of life, build a sense of personal identity, and become more conscious of death and nonexistence (Correia et al., 2018). These goals enable the approach to effectively improve patients’ self-esteem, increase their coping skills, awareness, and growth, and improve their ability to form beneficial relationships. Despite these strengths, the approach is associated with weaknesses, such as the difficulty in validating the measurement, recording, and studying of humanistic variables like self-actualization and free will.(Humanistic-Existential Therapy Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

Experiential Family Therapy

Experiential family therapy is an intuitive psychotherapy approach utilizing active, multisensory tactics. These methods, which include role plays and drawings, boost the family’s capacity to express emotion and unearth new revelations (Orkibi & Feniger-Schaal, 2019). It mainly uses psychodrama tactics and incorporates techniques like drama, music, art, play, and outdoor therapy fields. According to Orkibi and Feniger-Schaal (2019), the strategy promotes individual liberty and fosters a sense of interconnection or belonging among all family members. It also aids the family in supporting the individuation of every family member. Experiential family therapy works well due to its benefits, such as helping patients recognize and express their feelings and issues (López-González, Morales-Landazábal & Topa, 2021). It also enhances the patient’s emotional well-being by allowing them to relive their painful pasts and decide how to best respond to them. However, it has several flaws, like the inability of clients to relate their issues with the treatment experiences they have had through activities. It also downplays the importance of the family unit consisting of married couples and their children who support one another.(Humanistic-Existential Therapy Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

Differences between Humanistic-Existential and Experiential Family Therapies

The humanistic-existential approach emphasizes dialogue between the therapist and patient to establish a caring, supportive, and empathic relationship between the involved parties (Correia et al., 2018). On the other hand, experiential family therapy emphasizes multisensory techniques to enable patients to explore difficult situations and process their emotions from different perspectives. Besides, the humanistic-existential approach also emphasizes family structure to effectively develop the patient’s coping skills and the family factors supporting their recovery journey. In contrast, experiential family therapy emphasizes strengthening the patient’s family structure, making it challenging for them to associate personal life issues with treatment experiences (Orkibi & Feniger-Schaal, 2019). Moreover, humanistic-existential therapy is less behavior-oriented and focuses more on exploring the problem affecting the patient by grappling with it instead of eradicating them (Sousa, Pestana & Tavares, 2019). It is aimed at understanding, exploring, and describing the problem. On the other hand, Orkibi and Feniger-Schaal (2019) explain that experiential family therapy focuses on the diagnosis and symptom relief for psychological problems. It analyzes, explains, and treats the patient’s distressing symptoms.(Humanistic-Existential Therapy Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

Impact of the differences on PMHNP Roles

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs) are essential in caring for patient’s mental health and well-being, including extending support to families, groups, and communities (Wesemann, 2019). The differences in the approaches between humanistic-existential and experiential family therapy provide therapists with suitable methods of dealing with the patient’s problems. The two approaches differ in the theories and ideas underpinning them, giving the therapist various options to help the patient if one approach is not practical (Beutler et al., 2018). For instance, PMHNPs may find it challenging to identify the most effective therapy approach for their patients due to the variations in patient situations, histories, and therapists’ communication styles. In this case, Wesemann (2019) observes that having different treatment models makes it easy for the therapist to choose an approach that aligns with the patient’s needs and can lead to better treatment outcomes, including blending different approaches if necessary.(Humanistic-Existential Therapy Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

The Humanistic-Existential Therapy in the Video

James Bugental utilized the humanistic-existential therapy approach in the video to focus on the patient’s immediate experience of their existence (Psychotherapy-Net, 2009). The patient does not feel alive and experiences anger-related issues despite receiving therapy two years earlier. In this case, Bugental wanted to convince the patient of the available resources and potential to take advantage. Also, the approach was necessary to encourage the patient to pay attention to their inner feelings, thoughts, and fantasies. Notably, humanistic-existential therapy was the treatment of choice due to its ability to identify patterns of resistance that make it challenging for the patient to live fully and form authentic relationships with others. The type of therapy is necessary for enabling the patient to gain awareness about their experiences and make essential choices about their feelings (Sousa, Pestana & Tavares, 2019). Through this, the patient can create a personal identity as they search for meaning and purpose in their life.(Humanistic-Existential Therapy Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

Consequently, utilizing the experiential family therapy approach would have been ineffective in solving the patient’s problem (López-González, Morales-Landazábal & Topa, 2021). The approach is incapable of identifying patterns of resistance in the patient. In this case, the patient would have continued with the resistance patterns, making it challenging to connect the psychodrama or outdoor therapy techniques with the root cause of their problem.(Humanistic-Existential Therapy Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)


The humanistic-existential and experiential family therapies are necessary for solving patients’ mental health problems since they enable the path to self-actualization, managing anxiety, and building self-esteem. The essay compares humanistic-existential therapy, which emphasizes dialogue, with experiential family therapy, which emphasizes the use of multisensory techniques. It further evaluates how the differences in the psychotherapy approaches affect PMHNP roles, such as providing therapists with many alternatives for solving patients’ problems. Lastly, it explores the use of humanistic-existential therapy in the Bugental live case consultation therapy. It establishes that the video utilized this approach due to its ability to facilitate patients’ self-actualization and self-awareness. Therefore, therapists must utilize various psychotherapy approaches to maximize positive patient outcomes.(Humanistic-Existential Therapy Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

 Humanistic-Existential Therapy Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example


Beutler, L. E., Kimpara, S., Edwards, C. J., & Miller, K. D. (2018). Fitting psychotherapy to patient coping style: A meta‐analysis. Journal of Clinical Psychology74(11), 1980-1995(Humanistic-Existential Therapy Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example).

Correia, E. A., Cooper, M., Berdondini, L., & Correia, K. (2018). Existential Psychotherapies: Similarities and Differences Among the Main Branches. Journal of Humanistic Psychology58(2), 119-143.(Humanistic-Existential Therapy Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

López-González, M. A., Morales-Landazábal, P., & Topa, G. (2021). Psychodrama group therapy for social issues: a systematic review of controlled clinical trials. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health18(9), 4442. Doi: 10.3390/ijerph18094442 Orkibi, H., & Feniger-Schaal, R. (2019). Integrative systematic review of psychodrama psychotherapy research: Trends and methodological implications. PloS one14(2), e0212575.(Humanistic-Existential Therapy Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

Psychotherapy-Net. (2009, June 29). James Bugental live case consultation psychotherapy video [Video]. YouTube.

Sousa, D., Pestana, A., & Tavares, A. (2019). In existential psychotherapy, self-awareness, verbalization and new meanings are the heart and soul of significant events. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy49(3), 161-167.(Humanistic-Existential Therapy Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)

Wesemann, D. (2019). Maximizing the Use of Psychotherapy With PMHNP: A Call to Action for Nurse Leaders. Nurse Leader17(6), 537-541.(Humanistic-Existential Therapy Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example)


 Humanistic-Existential Therapy Comprehensive Nursing Essay Example




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