Existential Analysis with the body – happening and

Existential Grounding as existential analytical body-psychotherapeutic approach

Markus Angermayr

Psychotherapy without involvement of the body does not comply with the current state of science anymore. A short historical review shows how deep-reaching depreciation of body-corporeal being has become in our society. Additionally, we will also illuminate backgrounds in the history of psychotherapy.

Central terms of Existential Analysis are conceived in their body-corporeal basic movements and/or translated into body-corporeity. Against the background of body-phenomenological understanding of Dasein, ingrained basic structures of existence and their basal existential dialogic appears. This approach widens and complements the structure and process theory of Existential Analysis and shifts its anthropological emphasis towards body-phenomenology.

Comments on adaptation and body-therapeutic development of relationship and processes round off this paper.

Keywords: phenomenology, Existential Analysis, body, body-corporeity, Existential Grounding

Oh pain, go away…

Existential Analytical treatment for psychosomatic illnesses

Renate Bukovski

Based on Alfried Längle’s understanding of the „ingrained self“, which was published 2009, the treatment of mental illnesses predominantly showing through somatic suffering are illuminated. Special attention must be given to all four dimensions of existence. Therapeutic relationship, working on structure and process pave the way towards the painful happenings, in order to perceive and turn to it feelingly. It is important to raise the phenomenological contents of the perceived complaints, in order to find new ways of dealing with oneself and the suffering by establishing a position statement. This, as well as possibly working through experiences preventing existence, serves the goal of improving the inner dialogue with the ego and body, of regaining the experience of „being-in-body“ and strengthening the realization of existence.

Keywords: psychosomatics, body, Existential Analytical treatment

Vital being is erotic being – What polyvagal theory and neuroception have to do with vividness

Doris Fischer-Danzinger

Everything alive is always is in relationship and permeates each other. As human beings we do not simply want to be – we yearn for experiencing our lives sensually. Neuroception is a term created by Stephen W. Porges, which describes “sensing without being aware of it”, an experience which happens underneath conscious thinking. This means, our organism already perceives something before we have it in our consciousness and reacts upon it. This article explains how the polyvagal theory can assist therapists in recognizing whether the search for security and the need for connectedness are competing with each other in patients. Because security is the basis for our sensuous-erotic being alive.

Keywords: vital being, security, polyvagal theory, neuroception, autonomous nervous system

Hakomi – Experience-Oriented Body Psychotherapy

A Self-Study

Ingo Zirks

Hakomi is a mindfulness based and experiential body psychotherapy. In treatment, the body’s structures and habitual patterns become a powerful doorway to unconscious core material, including the hidden core beliefs which shape our lives, relationships and selfimages. The Hakomi Method quickly accesses this core material, allowing it to emerge safely into consciousness. Once it has become conscious, it can be re-evaluated and powerfully transformed if appropriate. New dimensions of awareness can be integrated, helping the individual to shape a more satisfying and effective life. Although it is easy to learn the basics of this approach, a deeper understanding allowing to draw on its full potential requires intensive professional training and accompanying personal growth.

Keywords: Existential Analysis, Hakomi, body psychotherapy, mindfulness

Permitting diversity: Perceiving sexual identity and learning to understand as a challenge in psychotherapy and counseling

Ingo Zirks

The article provides an overview of the theme “sexual identities”. The concept of sexual identities includes various concepts of sexual orientations, sexual preferences and gender identities. Due to the dissolution of heteronormative and dichotomous gender constructions, the visibility of transgender, intersexual and genderfluid persons is growing.

A phenomenological-hermeneutic approach in psychotherapy, as applied in Existential Analysis, is able to adequately perceive and understand the experiences and fundamental themes of non-binary people. Nonetheless, unknowingness or rejection of gender diversity may prevent or harm the healing process of non-binary patients.

Keywords: Existential Analysis, Psychotherapy, Gender, Sexual Identities

Attentive body perception

Workshop within the framework of the Autumn Symposium

Markus Felder

This article intends to recall the content of the workshop “Mindful Body Perception”, which took place as part of the Autumn Symposium (Herbstsymposium) in Gmunden 2021.

Keywords: Mindfulness, body awareness, Hakomi

Finding the authentic self through childlike body-consciousness

(Workshop: Growing Young)

Christian Gutschi

Children directly express their emotions and temperament in an immediate physical manner. Adults often need years of psychotherapy to find their way back to this initial way of sensitivity. Based on a guided imagination journey, we search for answers in ourselves on questions like: What remains of childlike body-consciousness in today’s adult? What is different and how have emotions changed? And for practical work in psychotherapy: How can these insights be rendered fruitful in therapy? Three different psychotherapeutic approaches are combined on this issue with existential analytic grounding as basic method.

Keywords: inner child, existential grounding, focusing, physical consciousness

Speaking with the entire body

Existential Analytical touch points with vocal training

Olga Bolgari, Markus Angermayr

The present article concerns the workshop “Speaking with the entire body”, which was conducted within the scope of the Autumn Symposium 2021 in Gmunden. The speaking voice belongs to our daily routine, both in private and professional life. When giving our voice hold and support, vocal presence and vibrancy of expression are enhanced. By opening resonant spaces, the connectedness to ones inner center is deepened – sounding through the person gains new facets. The workshop focus was dedicated to the connection between voice and body, and several touch points with Existential Analysis were highlighted.

Keywords: body, hold, space, resonance, breath, vocal training, speech training

Psychoimmunologische Effekte von Techniken
aus dem komplementär- und alternativmedizinischen (KAM) Behandlungsspektrum: Zusammenfassung bisheriger Ergebnisse aus einer integrativen Einzelfallstudie an einer Brustkrebsüberlebenden

Michaela Ott1, Julian Hannemann1, Magdalena Singer2, Kurt Fritzsche3,
Christina Burbaum3, Dietmar Fuchs4, Christian Schubert5

This paper summarizes previously obtained and published results on how regular use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) interventions affects the dynamic course of various psychoimmunological variables under “life as it is lived” conditions in a breast cancer survivor. In an integrative single-case study, a 49-year-old patient (diagnosed with ductal breast carcinoma five years prior to study start, chronically fatigued and depressed at the time of the study) collected her entire urine in 12-hour intervals (from approx. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and from approx. 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.) over 28 days (total of 55 consecutive urine samples) to measure concentrations of the inflammatory parameters neopterin (HPLC) and interleukin-6 (ELISA). In parallel, in 12-hour intervals, the patient completed questionnaires on emotional states and various general condition variables (including fear of cancer recurrence, fatigue, daily routine). Personally meaningful daily incidents, including CAM applications, were discussed and documented in weekly interviews. Time series analysis included ARIMA modeling and cross-correlation function analysis (significance level p < 0.05).

CAM techniques perceived as positive by the patient during the study (Jin Shin Jyutsu, music, physiotherapy, energetic healing) were associated with biphasic psycho-immunological responses: Mood and mental activity initially increased on the day of the CAM intervention and subsequently decreased after a total of 72–108 and 84–96 hours respectively. Urinary neopterin also initially rose on the day of CAM application and then fell after a total of 36–48 hours, whereas urinary IL-6 initially fell up to 12 hours before CAM intervention and then rose
108–120 hours thereafter. Similar (but in some cases non-significant) cyclic patterns were seen for irritation and fatigue, whereas fear of cancer recurrence was not significantly affected by CAM use.

The cyclic and biphasic patterns of neopterin and IL-6 in response to CAM applications indicate feedback regulation and are beneficial in that they led to an ultimate reduction in inflammation (neopterin decrease, IL-6 increase). Since inflammation is closely related to cancer progression, the patient of this study may have actively contributed to her healing process via regular CAM practice – a complex biopsychosocial process in which (unconscious) meaning effects (“meaning response”) also play an essential role.

Key words: Psychoneuroimmunology, complementary and alternative medicine, CAM, breast cancer, stress, inflammation.

On the development of meaning-centered treatment into existential analytical psychotherapy

Annotations to the difference between Frankl`s Logotherapy and modern Existential Analysis

Alfried Längle

In this paper, the specifics of modern Existential Analysis are highlighted. It will become clear that modern Existential Analysis is not a further development of Logotherapy, instead it constitutes an independent, parallel new approach which largely was able to evolve with and due to Logotherapy while being inspired in many ways by its contents. This becomes apparent while comparing it to central contents of Logotherapy, both when it comes to their differences as well their common features. – Instead of the centering of meaning in Logotherapy, Existential Analysis is being-centered with the phenomenological attitude of understanding and of dialogical internal and external reference. Being a person is postulated as the ultimate point of reference not requiring metaphysical backing, but without ruling out such possibilities in a personal attitude of faith.

Keywords: Existential Analysis, Logotherapy, history, comparison, differences

An existential analytical view on the development of personality disorders

Martin Kaufmann

This article deals with pathological characteristics of the affect appearing in personality disorders. The role of affects during the development and the dynamics of personality disorders are described. Particularly mental pain not yet dealt with is the point of origin of coping reactions in personality disorders. This causes a split of self-integrity. Central splitting and dissociation processes are described, and the crucial importance of the self when it comes to personality disorders in existential analytical theory is delineated.

Key words: personality disorders of the self, split of self-integrity, dead-centering reflex, dissociation, quota of affect, isolation of affect.

There is no place like home

An existential view on perceptions of home by foreigners
living in Western Europe

Petra Klastová Pappová

The present article deals with the topic of home, more precisely the conditions necessary for the establishment of home in a foreign country – as reported by foreigners residing in Western Europe. It further provides insights into the topic by a psychotherapist whose clients live abroad. The research sample included 19 respondents – foreigners residing in Belgium, Ireland, Scotland and Austria. Using the incomplete sentence technique, respondents answered questions on their perceptions of home. Responses were processed using qualitative analysis and categorized based on the fundamental existential motivations by Alfried Längle.

Keywords: perception of home, existential psychotherapy, fundamental existential motivations by Alfried Längle, third culture kid, qualitative content analysis