Natural Health Clinic, 98 Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF11 9LP. tel: 07533 496568
The Four Givens
A humanistic existential approach assumes the four givens of human existence: that we are all ultimately alone with our concerns, that death is an inevitability for us all, that we are free to choose how we respond to any life situation we face, and that we can take personal responsibility for those choices we make. This can help us to explore our processes at a deeper level, with the understanding that both internal and external changes are possible.
The Four Realms of Existence
The approach also invites a client to consider all aspects of their lives, that close attention is paid to any area that seems out of balance, or not quite right in some way. The personal or psychological realm concerns how we see the world, and see ourselves in that world. The physical realm includes our attitude to our bodies, and our attitudes to the environments where we place ourselves. The social realm considers how we interact with others, our relationships, social circles, work, and groups that we associate with. The spiritual realm connects us to our belief system, our values, ethics or individual deeper meanings we find in life that fit for us.
Polarities in life can be important to acknowledge in order to come to terms with how we might approach inevitable conflicts in life. We may need to become larger containers in a way in order to hold difference, tensions and difficulties, without trying to ‘fix’; and this can lead to a reconciliation to both our inner turmoil and ways of being in the world.
Empathy, unconditional positive regard, and congruence
A humanistic approach is empathetic, where a therapist is able to demonstrate understanding to a client. The approach also places non-judgement as a central condition for therapy, so that the client does not feel ‘stuck’ in trauma or shame and that feeling judged is not repeated in the therapy room. A therapist is also congruent or ‘real’ in the therapy room, that they are being themselves with the client rather than playing a role. These qualities aim to help a client to feel comfortable, feel met and understood and can help to create some more internal space and room for the client to be more fully with their unfolding processes.