Теоретико-методологические основания экзистенциальной психотерапии Ирвина Ялома


Perhaps the most famous representative of existential psychotherapy is considered to be a psychotherapist, writer and author of the books, Irvin Yalom. For I. Alama existential psychotherapy is not a separate type of therapy, and belongs to the group of dynamic approaches that are close to psychoanalysis. I. Yalom after Z. Freud recognizes the significant impact conflicts between different levels of consciousness on thoughts, emotions and behavior [I. Yalom, 2011]. The main difference between existential psychotherapy from psychoanalysis, according to I. aloma, is understanding that the inner conflict is not so much in the struggle with repressed instincts, sexual and not accepted by society desires, but in the struggle with the Givens of existence. I. Yalom identifies four such Givens of death, freedom, isolation, meaninglessness [I. Yalom, 2015]. Themes associated with the four Givens of existence, according to I. Alamo, constitute the content of the psychotherapeutic process, while the process of psychotherapy is the relationship between therapist and patient.

One of the most important differences between existential psychotherapy I. Alama from the psychoanalytic model is the notion that the depth of therapy is characterized by a depression in childhood memories and experiences, which (according to Freud) had the greatest importance for the formation of the human personality, and work with the immediate realities of life, playing a fundamental, fundamental role in every person's life, but often not understood adequately.

I. Yalom is the author of two books on individual psychotherapy, which could be considered benefits for the novice or developing therapist. And if in his book "Existential psychotherapy" [I. Yalom, 2015] he is trying more to reveal substantial aspects of existential psychotherapy, to present the state of Affairs in the field of psychotherapy in General, cause the data of current research therapy, the "Gift of therapy" [I. Yalom, 2011] he's much more focused on procedural and practical aspects of therapy. The book is divided into 85 chapters, each of which presents some aspect of therapy and recommendations thereon. This structure allows quick navigation, however, is not some single method, set of methods or concepts, which could be built the process of therapy. This is confirmed by the author himself: "I try to avoid any technology which is a pre-painted procedure..." [I. Yalom, 2011, 62]. Based on the views of C. G. Jung, I. Yalom called for the creation of a new therapy for each new customer. An important condition for such individualized therapy becomes the Commission of a "therapeutic action," the return of client confidence and responsibility for their lives. "Therapeutic effect" [I. Yalom, 2011] can be any act of a physician performs for a client: proposed in any business assistance, deferred payment, agreeing to hold an unplanned session in advance, willingness to support the patient by phone after hours. All this may carry significant therapeutic effect, demonstrating the respect of the therapist and client care. But also I. Yalom notes that what is important is the action that works, and if the patient knows what he can do to help, sometimes the therapist should only ask him to do it. Despite the recognition of the value of the views of the psychoanalytic tradition, he follows humanist notions of identity derived from the roots to the ideas of A. Maslow, G. Allport, K. Rogers, according to which the patient initially has everything you need for a healthy lifestyle, and the therapist is only necessary to remove barriers hindering the growth. We should not forget the great influence, which in the opinion of the I. aloma, it has had a submission may R. [I. Yalom, 2011].

I. Yalom writes a lot about the importance and nature of relationships in the psychotherapeutic process. The therapist and the client is more likely to be fellow travelers, the differences between them in light of the General conditions (realities) of existence are not so great. In the process of therapy is collaborative "deep and comprehensive study of the image and values the life of another" [I. Yalom, 2011, 172]. Such study is possible only in conditions of a strong therapeutic relationship (Alliance). The therapist uses your main and most important instrument - his "I". This happens in several ways: 1) the therapist amaterue client tries to truly hear and understand; 2) the therapist builds a sincere and close relationship with the client; 3) the therapist represents for the client an example how to build relationships, and the example of his life shows how it is possible to do with universal realities of existence.

building a therapeutic relationship takes some time, but because psychotherapy I. aloma, rather, should be long-term. The therapist actively engages the client in the relationship. The therapist not only tries to understand the client through empathy, but also supports him in difficult moments. Relationships always involve at least some reciprocity, exchange, so life-altering psychotherapy relationships must meet strict requirements. The client ceases to be a client, it becomes important "others" for the therapist. The therapist does not only affect the client but also allows the client to influence yourself. One of the important conditions of this is the ability of the therapist to sincerely admit their mistakes, if necessary, read more discuss them with the client. The therapist also cannot and should not remain completely anonymous, or "cleanliness". He should be ready for some self-revelation, which narrows the distance between him and the patient.

it is Important to note that the therapist does not seek just to "make friends" with the patient, and is committed to the conversation to clarify the fundamental issues and help the client to take responsibility for his own life to make the changes. One of the principal issues in psychotherapy I. Alama is the ratio of the cells in the so-called Johari window the patient (table 1) [Drive. in I. Yalom, 2011, 158]. This window is a model of a patient's identity from the point of view of his knowledge of self and knowledge of others about him.

table 1 - the Johari Window

Known for

for the Unknown

Known to others



other: Unknown

the Secret


Therapy aims to change the ratio of the cell size of the matrix. First of all, therapy is aimed at reducing the cells "blind "I am." This is possibly a result of capture by the therapist certain patterns or behaviors of a client and return them to him in the form of questions or feedback. This may be a useful overview of some heterogeneity, mnogochastny the inner life of the patient, when one sense is perceived, but there are some other "part" of the patient which may experience the opposite feeling.

Another line of therapy may be an increase in public "I" of the client by reducing his secret "I". The client opens to the therapist feels from him acceptance and understanding, and this, in turn, stimulates him to further reveal his "I" with relatives and other people.

Finally, it is desirable to reduce the area of the unconscious "I".

In the therapeutic relationship I. Yalom focuses its attention primarily on what is directly happening here and now between client and therapist. Don't forget about the fact that, in talking about his interaction and relationship with others, the client may unintentionally misrepresent the facts and circumstances, while in dialogue with the therapist last can feel some features of customer behavior in the relationship. In this interaction here-and-now therapist relies on their feelings regarding how "successfully" and complete the customer manifests and realizes himself in the relationship. For example, if the client is prone to constant criticism or very demanding, then there is every reason to suppose that in this way he can behave in other ways. Thus the therapeutic relationship represent representation other customer relationships. The only difference is that the therapist is on the client side and therefore tends to indicate that in his blind spots or weaknesses in the construction and accommodation of relations with others. In this situation the task of the therapist is to a careful to inform the client about their feelings or impressions from communication with him, asked him how could the same occur in his relations with other people.

the question about the content of psychotherapy I. Yalom suggests that one of the most underestimated topics is the theme of death [I. Yalom, 2011]. There is no foolproof way of confrontation of the patient with the topic of death. This topic is somehow emerges during therapy due to the fact that death is an integral part of our lives and our reality. It gives a chance to discuss with a client the topic of death, which can reveal many important for the client aspects of his beliefs regarding living in your life. And although the person does not have any final answer on what to do with death, the issue may be closer to what you should do in life.


    1. Yalom, I. the Gift of psychotherapy. - M. : Eksmo, 2011. 352.
    2. Yalom, I. Existential psychotherapy. - M: Independent firm "Class", 2015. 576.
Kislyuk Maxim
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