Talk: Practising Existential Therapy by Ernesto Spinelli

As part of the Continuing Professional Development I have joined the talk by Ernesto Spinelli “Practising Existential Therapy”. Overall it was very refreshing to be referred to the roots – therapia:

“Therapy in its original meaning tries to express the idea of the attempt to stand beside the other”.


Some notes to myself:

  • “The client is somebody who both wants to change, and wants to remain the same… then the existential therapist needs to choose himself or herself themselves to both those positions to the client desire to be different, and the clients desire to remain the same, and treat them as having equal validity equal value”
  • “The client is always right. And the therapist has no way of knowing initially, what the client is expressing.”
  • To describe something is to change it.
  • “Every problem presented by the client is also an attempt at a solution”.
  • “Changing any part or any aspect of a person alters the whole person, and in ways that are entirely unpredictable”.

A very important part of therapy – endings, was touched upon as well in the seminar. I feel like this topic is rarely addressed somehow.

And the final note, an analogy between the therapist and Dr.Watson:

“My sense of existential therapy is that it seems to remind us as therapists tried to be the best kind of Watson, that you can possibly try to be that Watson who really excites and invigorates and illuminates so that the wonderful detecting work that Holmes can do will be done.”

Ernesto Spinelli