Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling

This lecture offers you the opportunity to learn about existential psychotherapy and counselling from Mick Cooper, Professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of Roehampton.

You will be introduced to this topic and learn about:

  • what existential therapy is, and its philosophical roots in existential philosophy
  • key philosophers who have influenced existential philosophy
  • their individual ideas and approaches to philosophy
  • the essence of existential philosophy that unites the different approaches.
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You will then build on this core philosophical understanding by learning how these ideas are translated into a therapeutic context, and applied in the counselling room.

Did you know that – just as there is no one approach to existential philosophy – so there are also multiple branches of existential therapy? Mick explains these, and key figures in their development, including Viktor Frankl, Irvin Yalom and Emmy van Deurzen.

Key themes in existential therapy are explored, including freedom, choice, mortality, meaning and meaninglessness. Throughout, Mick provides examples of dialogues with clients, illustrating in a practical and easy-to-understand way how these concepts can be used in real life to support clients with their life challenges.

As part of this, you will witness key skills in existential therapy, for example:

  • active listening
  • empathising
  • bracketing
  • describing (as opposed to interpreting)
  • offering a non-judgemental experience
  • asking open-ended question
  • exploring the here-and-now encounter
  • using symbols and metaphors
  • engaging in dialogue
  • helping clients to unpack their experiencing.

At all stages, Mick links the ideas presented to humanistic counselling, illustrating their natural fit with – and differences from – Carl Rogers’ person-centred therapy.

Recommended reading is provided, including several books authored or co-authored by the lecturer himself; one of these will also help you learn more about how you can combine existential therapy and pluralism in the counselling context. In addition, Mick gives information on where to access further training in existential therapy if this is an area that captures your imagination.

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Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling lecture overview

About the Lecture Presenter

Mick Cooper Counsellor CPD lecture

Mick Cooper is an internationally recognised author, trainer, and consultant in the field of humanistic, existential, and pluralistic therapies. 

He is a Chartered Psychologist and Professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of Roehampton where he heads up the Centre for Research in Social and Psychological Transformation

Mick has facilitated workshops and lectures around the world, including New Zealand, Lithuania, and the US.

Mick's books include:

Mick's principal areas of research have been in shared decision-making/personalising therapy, and counselling for young people in schools. 

In 2014, Mick received the Carmi Harari Mid-Career Award from Division 32 of the American Psychological Association.

He is a Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and the Academy of Social Sciences.

Mick lives in Brighton with his four children.