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Monday, February 1, 2021

New Series - The Existential Moment: Begin Within


Welcome to The Existential Moment, EHI's email digest intended to inform and inspire your healing work and growth in a brief but evocative format. In therapy (and life!), we recognize a pearl of ancient wisdom: to move a mountain, begin by carrying away small stones.

Introductions complete, let us orient ourselves as we begin our journey. Maps are a useful tool. They tell us where we are and importantly, where we're going.

Theory and practice characterize the common pillars of the central psychotherapeutic modalities. Existential-Humanistic Therapy differentiates itself on those mainstays.

In terms of practice, EH Therapy is experiential and relational. It seeks to work squarely in the "here and now," deeming it unnecessary to go on a treasure hunt in the "there and then." It grounds work in presence and distinguishes between primary and secondary experience, process and content. It leverages micro-skills to help expand and deepen what is present toward helping clients discover what deeply matters about their lives. EH Therapy likewise holds that the therapeutic relationship is the principal vehicle for healing and growth. Therapy is then a journey of intimacy and honesty, where the therapist is a fellow-traveler, calling on curiosity and acceptance toward desired ends.

The "essentially human" is the foundation of EH Therapy theory. The four dimensions of encounter frame the therapeutic context: the client, the therapist, the relation, and the cosmological. Within that frame, self-world constructs, meaning-making, constriction/expansion, protective patterns and enactments, and core wounds deepen understanding. Likewise, the existential givens of life/death, freedom/destiny, meaning/absurdity, and community/separateness orient exploration.

This is a rough map of EH Therapy meant to serve as a touchstone as we venture forward. Still, as with any journey in life, the unexpected will arise. We will improvise, adapt, and embrace serendipity as it comes.

We hope you will find the journey enriching, personally and professionally.

Finally, as with the therapist-client journey itself, we are fellow travelers. And as we might then check-in with our clients, we check-in now with you: "how are we doing?" Please give us your feedback as we go. Let us know what you want to hear about, explore, or question, and tell us what you like and don't like. We are present, curious, and listening.

Links to additional resources:
Why Become an Existential Therapist? by Louis Hoffman, PhD, PsyD
The Case for Existential Psychotherapy by Kirk Schneider, PhD, PSY

Monday, January 11, 2021

February Workshop: Integrating the Self w/ Galia Schechter, PsyD


Saturday, February 20th, 2021

Integrating the Self: Helping Clients Depolarize and Cultivate Self-compassion

Developed and Facilitated by EHI Affiliate Instructor: Galia Schechter, PsyD

Date: Saturday, 2/20/2021

Time: 10am-1pm Pacific Time; via Zoom

Cost: $35 General/Professional; $20 Student/Elder
* We understand that COVID-19 has created economic stress for many, so if you are experiencing economic hardship due to COVID-19, the requested fee for webinars in this series is $10 (though no one will be turned away due to lack of funds-please contact Michelle for assistance at

Series Discount Available: Attend a workshop in this series and we will send you a code for $7.50 off your next series workshop registration.

3 CE credits pending approval*.

Registration: Registration will open on Jan 15th


One of the greatest human paradoxes manifests in the way our deep longings for love, acceptance and belonging can actually lead us to suppress and contract against parts of our self that we feel might be "bad", "unwelcome" and "not O.K". And yet it is the process of self-judgment and contraction that unintentionally contribute to unnecessary human suffering in the forms of loneliness, existential emptiness and common alienation from self, others and even our planetary home.

Perhaps the greatest antidote and medicine to loneliness and alienation from self and others is the cultivation of deep experiences of self-compassion and awareness of common humanity. To authentically embody self-compassion is to awaken a direct knowing that our inner experiences, no matter how uncomfortable, scary, embarrassing or "dark", relate to and reveal fundamental universal longings for love, belonging and freedom.

In this workshop, inspired by and based mainly on Process Experiential, Phenomenology, Humanistic-Existential and Mindfulness-based traditions, participants will learn how to help clients move from polarized, self-shaming and self-alienating states to states of self- and other-compassion. The benefits of these shifts include the emergence or deepening of authenticity, vitality, empathy, generosity and intra-psychic integration. Tapping also into Gestalt, Family Systems, Emotion- Focused and mind-body inquiry practices we will explore the following themes:

  • • Principles of conscious healing, including families of mindfulness practices
  • • Neo-Humanistic existential frameworks for understanding the ways we internalize a sense of the deficient self and contract against parts of the self, including brief discussion of Internal Family Systems (IFS), Process-Experiential Emotion Focused and Buddhist psychological frameworks
  • • How to identify and work with our own living processes of contraction and rejection of parts of self as a means to gain a deeper understanding of client processes
  • • How to identify and work with living processes for making contact with our own deep basic goodness and capacity to accept and integrate self toward congruence and wholeness
  • •Awareness of collective resonance around basic vulnerability and basic existential longings that are at the heart of contracted and transforming self

Our Presenter

Galia Schechter bio photo

Dr. Galia Schechter is a licensed clinical psychologist and Buddhist practitioner. She has extensive training and experience in multiple mind-body modalities. Along with having been in private practice for 11 years, she has worked as a clinical director, a clinical supervisor, a clinical trainer and an organizational consultant.

Prior to getting her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Wright Institute and becoming a licensed psychologist, she received an MBA from Georgetown University and worked for organizations in the U.S. and abroad in governance, human rights and international development.

Our Online Workshops Include Experiential Work!

This workshop will be both didactic and experiential utilizing Zoom Meeting and Zoom Breakout Rooms.

This event is designed for both the general public and for licensed or pre-licensed professionals in the therapeutic fields, as well as master's and graduate students in therapeutic programs. Psychologists, MFTs, social workers, counselors, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, doctors and interested persons are all encouraged to attend!

*Continuing Education Info

  • The Existential-Humanistic Institute (EHI) collaborates with the Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32 of the American Psychological Association) to provide APA Continuing Education credit at approved EHI events.

    APA Division 32, Society for Humanistic Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. APA Division 32, Society for Humanistic Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

  • Accessibility: It is the policy of EHI to make every reasonable effort to provide attendees with disabilities with the opportunity to take full advantage of its programs. Please contact us ahead of time so we can work with you arrange programming to needs. Please contact us by phone at 415.689.1475 to make arrangements.