UNDERSTANDING AS AN EXISTENTIAL OF HUMAN DASEIN
EMMANUEL J. BAUER
The human being is not simply given in his world, but exists. As a person he is in spiritual-emotional dialogue with his society (Mitwelt) and environment (Umwelt) and with himself. In the realization of his being he in one way or another is (also) concerned with his own being from the beginning. This means according to Heidegger, the human is the being which is there, for whom the world is disclosed due to his primordial being as spirit, as language and in relationship. His essence therefore lies in his existence or his Ek-sistenz. This means Dasein, as a thrown being-in-the-world, is always approached by being and protrudes into the context of understanding and meaning of world with its unconcealedness (truth) and unfathomability. Correspondingly Dasein is characterized by the basic state of concern (Sorge) and by an original disclosedness of being appearing with affectivity (Befindlichkeit), understanding and speech or language. The anthropological approach of Existential Analysis begins with the human as a person and characterizes them as addressable, understanding and responding. This structure is applied by the method of Personal Existential Analysis (impression/emotion – understanding and position – expression through speech and action). Even if Heidegger had in mind an analysis of Dasein as being-in-the-world on an ontological-existential level, while Personal Existential Analysis primarily moves on an ontic-existential level, the structural analogy between the two is undeniable. However, a significant difference consists therein, that Heidegger saw the human as a person insufficiently and his personal-dialogical constitution is not appropriately taken into account, which is demonstrated by means of a detailed analysis of affectivity, understanding and language.
Keywords: disclosedness of Dasein, affectivity, emotionality, understanding, inner positioning, speech/language, Personal Existential Analysis
THERAPY RETROSPECTION FROM AN EXISTENTIAL ANALYTICAL PERSPECTIVE AS A METHOD OF QUALITATIVE THERAPY RESEARCH
On the basis of an existential analytical trauma therapy with a young adult, the following contribution will show which conclusions, in terms of qualitative psychotherapy research, can be attained through a joint retrospective of therapist and client in form of a dialogue. Subsequently, the differences to the Change Interview according to Elliott are worked out. Both forms of conversation are contrasted with one another, whereby excerpts of the original transcript are reproduced. Finally aspects of research ethics are regarded.
Keywords: qualitative psychotherapy research, outcome research, client perspective, Change Interview
PHENOMENOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF ROLE MODELS FOR ADOLESCENT EXPERIENCE OF SUFFERING
The experience of suffering in terms of Existential Analysis is a deep personal process of coming to terms with the loss of fundamental conditions of existence. Modern teens seeking psychological help often show a predominance of psychodynamic patterns concerning loss, and they frequently lack personal processing in suffering situations. We assumed that this is due to the absence of significant examples of orientation for the personal processing of suffering in their life experience. In the present study, we analyzed the behavioral patterns of the suffering experience demonstrated by the popular TV-show heroes that teens choose as reference behavior models (11 male and 12 female models). As a result we found that these heroes demonstrate psychodynamic behavior patterns in difficult life situations in most cases. We checked these results in psychotherapeutic practice by comparing the cases of suffering experience of our clients to the conducted samples, and observed similarities between their attitudes and the reference behavior models which consequently prevent teenagers from personally dealing with the theme of suffering.
Keywords: phenomenological analysis, adolescent psychology, suffering experience, Existential Analysis
TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING
Activism as a protective force in the context of organizations
Real engagement means to passionately delve into a valuable matter. The understanding of meaning in Existential Analysis is based on this intentionality. But engagement is not only aimed at value, it can also be used as an active movement to one’s own relief. Then, protective forces are at work according to existential analytical understanding. These forces can be expressed inadequately or exaggeratedly in the context of the person acting. Too much of a good thing seems to be present. When this engagement is provided where the self-conception of an organization is embedded, such behavior patterns can be tolerated and legitimized. This is how a dynamic circle evolves between person and organization, which becomes energy draining for all participants and has destabilizing effects.
Keywords: engagement, activism, organizational dynamics, changes, reactions of exaggeration, vicious circle
THE EXISTENTIAL APPROACH IN GROUP DYNAMICS
Researchers of the theory of social systems found a kind of creative voltage in groups which has similarity with existential dynamics. The paper deals with the conditions which must be fulfilled in a group’s motivation system to positively influence the fundamental motivations of its members. When group energy is weak the members have a higher risk of suffering from depressive exhaustion. When a group’s motivation system becomes disturbed by so called coping-reactions of some group members, the group is running risk of emotional instability. Psychodynamics in groups result from a lack of meaning and existential dynamics.
Keywords: existential dynamics, fundamental motivations, psychodynamics, coping-reactions, social systems
Approaches to the essential in counseling and therapy
The method of Existential Analysis takes place in dialogue. It focuses on the existential relevance of a theme, of an experience or of a life-situation in order to enable an understanding of oneself or achieve clearance. Conversational guidance in this sense also means an active approach of the one leading the conversation towards what is meaningful for the particular person concerning an experience, as well as what therefore basically is the issue, making it possible to respond to these aspects.
Significant requirements for existential communication are outlined: how something was experienced, what it was that particularly moved, and the meaning implied. Steps are described as to how essentials can be apprehended in a phenomenological process. And it is pointed out how this can be achieved by inquiries while maintaining an attitude of openness, without a preset aim, interpretation nor suggestion.
Keywords: communication, dialogue, conversational guidance, phenomenology
Being in existence as an inner state
Mood, mental state, temper – different terms express an emotional basic state or a permanent emotional state which give reason to our experience and actions, such as e.g. the mood of sadness or serenity, of anxiety or despair.
Our states of being primarily express the quality of our current being-in-the-world. Our basic temper as well as the current overall mood has an impact on the way how we experience the world, how we approach or close ourselves from it.
Keywords: understanding, emotion (mood), existence, anxiety
RESISTANCE FROM AN EXISTENTIAL ANALYTICAL PERSPECTIVE
In psychotherapy “resistance” has a different meaning and a corresponding significance according to the school of psychotherapy. This paper deals with the phenomenon of resistance from an existential analytical perspective, not only in psychotherapy, but as a fundamental element in our world. On the basis of existential analytical fundaments the specific function as well as the problematic side of resistance is outlined in order to make this ability comprehensively understandable.
Keywords: resistance, Existential Analysis, dialogue
DIFFICULT THERAPEUTIC PROCESSES WITH SEX ADDICTED PATIENTS – FAILING AS AN OPPORTUNITY AND PERSONAL ABILITY IN EXISTENTIAL ANALYTICAL PSYCHOTHERAPY
The following article describes sexuality firstly as a phenomenon belonging to being human with biological, psychological and personal-existential dimensions. The diagnostic classification is then discussed. Sex addiction is marked as hyper-sexuality requiring psychological treatment. Three case studies and one detailed course of a complicated case are outlined. Finally the author recognizes recurring relapses and failure in psychotherapy as a situation which needs a personal-existential answer. Enduring failure and suffering is perceived as a crucial ability of human beings in Existential Analysis.
Keywords: Existential Analysis, sex addiction, hyper-sexuality, relapse, therapy outcome
THE PHENOMENON OF FORGIVENESS AND ITS LOCATION IN THERAPY
Forgiveness is a postural value. According to Frankl, values of attitude, including creative and experiential values, reflect the person as the epistemological dimension of human beings. In the word forgiveness (czech: „odpuštení“) we perceive the movement „of“ („od“) and „let go“ („pustit“). To „let go of“ („odpusit“) means to allow to fade away, to allow to leave. Forgiveness is a process that concerns the retrieval of the emotional and experiential dimension, the understanding of oneself and others, it embodies the search for values in a dialogue with a conscience and results in conscious decision to action. The key part is entering a renewed relationship between oneself and the other through revision in order to enable „letting go“. The clear line between good and evil is resolved, enabling a mature perception of reality and the voluntary take-over of responsibility towards a found value. Therein the meaning of forgiveness is to be found.
Keywords: forgiveness, understanding, value, attitude (posture), decision, freedom, meaning
IRINA ANDREEVA-CHADAEVA, IRINA EFIMOVA
Deficiencies in 2nd and 3rd fundamental motivation often show to be the nucleus of dependency on psychoactive substances. The specific process of a long lasting remission is illustrated on a practical example.
Keywords: dependence on psychoactive substances, fundamental motivations, will, fundamental value, self-value
SCROOGE MCDUCK Literary example of a paraexistential personality disorder?
As one of the world’s most famous cartoon characters Scrooge McDuck is known to children and adults alike. The stingy duck with whiskers, cylinder, red frock coat and gaiters, who has only one goal in life – to be the richest duck in the world.
This article presents a comparison between the figure of Scrooge McDuck and the characteristics and symptoms Furnica described as the paraexistential personality disorder. This is done at the level of the four fundamental existential motivations and personality disorders.
Key words: Paraexistential Personality Disorder, Scrooge McDuck, fundamental existential motivations, personality disorders
WHEN THE PATIENT IS SO STRANGE TO ME AND I AM SO DIFFERENT – CAN ENCOUNTER TAKE PLACE?
The following article deals with the experience of strangeness and otherness in the handling of our patients. The theme is first of all broadly illuminated, attempting a brief phenomenological approach with reference to existential analytical basic literature. Subsequently it is reviewed and deepened by means of a concrete case study. Obstacles and limits become visible in the process, which could be caused by coping reactions. In cases of personality disorders it thereby leads to a “wall feeling” on the side of the therapist. The experience of strangeness of the therapist does not mean that there is no progress in therapy. Coping reactions are protective reactions. The good wants to be protected. This is to be taken seriously in therapy in an appropriate manner.
Keywords: encounter, dialogue, strange, different
CHILDREN OF ATTACHMENT FIGURES SUFFERING FROM ALCOHOLISM
In the first part of this article, the specific life conditions of children from families with alcohol problems are described, as well as the possible effects these pathological circumstances may have on their development. In the second part the necessary requirements for healthy development in childhood are discussed. Finally, therapeutic interventions for these children – based on Längle’s four fundamental existential motivations – are developed.
Keywords: children, alcoholism, families, existential analysis, child and adolescent psychotherapy
“FIRE CAN ALSO WARM YOU”
Attachment disorder of foster children
Attachment is one of the most primary human needs. Attachment behaviour initially ensures the survival of infants and, at a later time, influences the formation of their relationships as well as their development. The present paper situates attachment in the field of Existential Analysis and its basic motivations and, against this background, illuminates the special situation of a foster child within its foster family. It describes the impact of early traumatization on attachment behaviour and examines attachment disorders as a possible implication under certain circumstances. Additional subjects are different types of attachment disorders and their treatment in (existential-analytical) psychotherapy for children and adolescents. Examples of hands-on experience as a foster mother and psychotherapist complement the theoretical considerations.
Keywords: attachment, attachment theory, psychotherapy, Existential Analysis, basic motivations, foster child, foster family, traumatization, attachment disorder