During their AgeSong Orientation the Pacific Institute Gero-Wellness program participants learn about contemporary Existential-Humanistic Psychotherapy practices in use at AgeSong. Nader Shabahangi and Vincent Siekiewicz each discuss how E-H Therapy pertains to the work done by the therapy interns in the AgeSong communities. Nader discusses how the Gero-Wellness Interns can engage in existential-humanistic relationships with the residents in the coming year.
AgeSong 2014 Intern Orientation: Day 1 Session 4 video
Nader Shabahangi asks the interns what they think Existential-Humanistic Psychotherapy is. The interns come up with great responses including:
"It is a person to person centered approach"
"To be really present with other"
"Be open to all kinds of ways of looking at life"
"Being a witness to the journey"
"Be with the other"
"Lose myself to be open to the other"
Nader points out traditional therapy is antithetical to the concept of being “present” where the therapist is supposed to have a “hypothesis” about what is going on with the client.
Vincent Sienkiewicz talks about how E-H Therapy pertains to working with elders at AgeSong communities. Vincent presents the view that Jim Bugental’s put forward, that E-H Therapy is another level beyond Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Psychodynamic Therapy.
Here is an excerpt from Vincent’s discussion on Jim Bugental’s view of these levels:
“Existential-Humanistic Therapy is the ability to not just kind of understand who you are, but to also realize the greater freedom of existence and the ability to kind of adjust that greater sort of picture and to change, you know, with the times. ”
And the connection that this has with this population is the fact that these older adults have been through alot of these changes.
I believe that this population is particularly ripe for exploring these issues of existence, who they have been in the past and who they are now, who they’d like to be and how to shift it.”
Nader finishes the session with a discussion into the differences between “process comment” and “content comment” and how it pertains to the work within the “moment.”
View the AgeSong Educational Series videos here on the AgeSong Library of Videos page. Watch Existential-Humanistic Therapy training in practice in San Francisco's visionary humanistic assisted living communities for the elders of the Bay Area.