Existential-humanistic TherapyIN NEW YORK CITY

Become more aware of your own uniqueness and find your purpose in life.


What Is Existential-humanistic Therapy (EHT)?

We specialize in existential-humanistic therapy in NYC.

Therapy isn’t just for individuals with diagnosed mental health conditions. It’s for anyone — including people who may simply want to learn more about themselves and enrich their life further.

That’s what existential-humanistic therapy is for — to help with introspection or self-reflection and finding one’s purpose and meaning in life. Its primary aim is to help improve your self-awareness and drive self-growth by helping you make life choices that deepen your sense of purpose. Therapists who draw from this approach also take on a more philosophical approach to therapy.

Existential-humanistic therapy (EHT) traces its roots to several renowned psychologists. These include Abraham Maslow, who developed the popular hierarchy of human needs. EHT also developed from the philosophies of existential philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche and Soren Kierkegaard.

What Issues Can Existential-humanistic Therapy Help With?

Unlike other kinds of therapy which may focus on symptom management or exploring trauma, EHT focuses on self-searching. Instead of simply looking back on the past, you focus on looking into yourself — your motivations, your values, your beliefs, and more. 

You have the opportunity to explore what makes you, you. 

EHT can help you find the answer to questions like, “What makes you unique?” or “What drives you forward?” It helps you explore the choices you have and the ones you’ve made, so you can see the importance of your decisions in your life.

This type of therapy can also be helpful for people going through an existential crisis. Such crises may include anxiety stemming from lacking a sense of security, identity, or sense of purpose in life.

EHT may also help you if you have anxiety, depression, and interpersonal or familial relationship concerns. EHT may also benefit you if you are struggling with self-confidence or self-esteem issues.

If you find yourself feeling lost or lacking purpose, EHT may help you find direction in life. It can also help shift the way your respond to uncomfortable emotions such as anxiety. In EHT anxiety is viewed as a normal part of the human experience that arises when something is important to us. Thus, uncomfortable emotions can serve as guides in EHT in helping you identify what is most important to you in your life.

What Does Existential-humanistic Therapy Look Like?

EHT involves a lot of introspection, self-inquiry, and guided self-reflection. 

You can expect your therapist to provide a welcoming and supportive atmosphere — where you can talk about your inner thoughts, feelings, and perspectives without any fear of judgment.

EHT approaches to therapy generally revolve around empathy. Our NYC therapists focus on establishing unconditional positive regard to help you feel more comfortable with sharing your thoughts. They use basic skills and techniques to do this. A few of these are the following:

  • Active listening
  • Empathic reflection
  • Empathetic understanding
  • Socratic questioning
  • Congruence

Another common therapeutic practice EHT therapists use is the “phenomenological method.” Essentially, your therapist aims to be as fully present and engaged as possible, while putting aside any preconceptions they may have, so they can better understand, accept, and help you. Such a phenomenological approach entails a deep exploration of the constant flow of your subjective experience. It seeks to make your unconscious views of self, others, and world an explicit focus of sessions in order to deepen self-awareness and increase your sense of purpose.

EHT is a process-oriented, relational approach meaning the therapeutic relationship serves to facilitate the process of self-discovery. Specifically, each person has a unique identity that can only be known by being in relation with others. By creating a relationship in which you feel seen and understood, EHT can help you gain insight into your relational needs and the way those needs increase your sense of purpose.

8 Key Goals in Existential-humanistic Therapy

Existential-humanistic therapy aims to help you discover your own uniqueness. Your therapist helps you explore concepts like freedom and responsibility — particularly how it affects your own life — to help you carve out a more meaningful existence.

Some goals your EHT therapist can help you with are:

  • Developing your capacity for self-awareness
  • Understanding the consequences and possibilities of your freedom of choice
  • Freeing yourself from self-imposed limitations
  • Creating or strengthening your personal identity
  • Discovering your meaning and purpose in life, as well as the concepts and beliefs you value. Meaning and purpose can be discovered in a broad sense (i.e., identifying a purpose that guides your life’s direction) and on a moment to moment basis (i.e., gaining clarity on what feels meaningful in each present moment).
  • Forming authentic and personal life goals, rather than ones imposed by others, your environment, or a rigid sense of self
  • Learning to accept normal anxiety as a natural thing in life (alternative: learning to accept anxiety as a natural part of your experience)
  • Becoming more aware and accepting of death and nonexistence in a healthy manner

NYC Therapists Who Specialize in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Connecting with the right therapist is the most important factor in your search. We’re here to help you find a great match.

What if I’m Not Ready To Start Therapy?

The healing journey is never easy, and starting therapy might be the hardest part.

It’s not simply because you’re starting something new. It’s because starting therapy means admitting to yourself that you need help.

If you don’t feel ready to start therapy yet, forcing yourself to do it can potentially backfire. Therapy requires commitment, and if you can’t give that yet, you most likely won’t get the results you need.

What if you want to work on improving your mental state even though you’re not ready to start therapy? You have plenty of options that can put you on the right track.

Here are some resources you can explore and other ways you can help yourself while you sort out your feelings towards therapy:

  • Take care of your health: Get eight hours of sleep, eat well-balanced meals, drink enough water, and exercise regularly. A healthy and well-rested body can help you feel more prepared to take on new challenges like therapy.
  • Join online support groups: Talking with people who share similar experiences can help gain new perspectives and get you ready for one-on-one therapy sessions.
  • Practice meditation or other relaxation practices: Taking even just 5 to 10 minutes out of your day to meditate or pause and relax can greatly help with introspection.
  • Start a journal or diary: Keeping track of your thoughts and daily activities makes it easier to self-reflect. This can also help you gain clarity on your own.
  • Read self-help books: There are plenty of books that explore self-awareness and finding purpose in life. Check out The Art of Talking to Yourself or The Code of the Extraordinary Mind!
  • Read online therapy blogs: Try reading How to Tell If You’re a People Pleaser or How Video Games Give Us a Peek Into Ourselves here on Clarity Therapy NYC if you’re exploring your personal identity or self-awareness.

Start your journey of personal transformation.

We can help.

Reach out today to schedule a complimentary consultation with a NYC therapist who specializes in existential-humanistic therapy today.

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Alyssa Digges, MA
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Amy Schell, LMHC
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Ariel Zeigler, Ph.D
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Begoña Núñez Sánchez, LP
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Carole Taylor-Tumilty, LCSW
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Caryn Moore, LCSW
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Christina Mancuso, LCSW
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Courtney Cohen, LMHC
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Daniel Rich, LMHC
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Elena Beharry, Psy.D
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Eliza Chamblin, LCSW
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Fanny Ng, Ph.D
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Gary Brucato, Ph.D
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Gavin Shafron, Ph.D
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Janel Coleman, LMSW
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Jen Oddo, LCSW
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Jessa Navidé, Psy.D.
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Joanna Kaminski, LMFT
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Josh Watson, LMSW
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Justin L.F. Yong, LMHC
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Karen Kaur, Ph.D
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Kristin Anderson, LCSW
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Logan Jones, Psy.D
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Lucas Saiter, LMHC
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Monica Amorosi, LMHC
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Nicole Maselli, LMHC
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Peter Gradilone, LMSW
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Regina Musicaro, Ph.D
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