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  • Review the humanistic-existential psychotherapy videos in this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Reflect on humanistic-existential psychotherapeutic approaches.
  • Then, select another psychotherapeutic approach to compare with humanistic-existential psychotherapy. The approach you choose may be one you previously explored in the course or one you are familiar with and especially interested in. 

  • Briefly describe humanistic-existential psychotherapy and the second approach you selected. 
  • Explain at least three differences between these therapies. Include how these differences might impact your practice as a PMHNP.
  • Focusing on one video you viewed, explain why humanistic-existential psychotherapy was utilized with the patient in the video and why it was the treatment of choice. Describe the expected potential outcome if the second approach had been used with the patient. 
  • Support your response with specific examples from this week’s media and at least three peer-reviewed, evidence-based sources. Explain why each of your supporting sources is considered scholarly. Attach the PDFs of your sources.


Comparing Humanistic-Existential Psychotherapy with Other Approaches

Caroline E Sam

NRNP 6645

Psychotherapy with Multiple Modalities

Assignment week 7


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Comparing Humanistic-Existential Psychotherapy with Other Approaches

Psychologists have developed various theories on human psychology. The Humanist,

existential, and humanist existential models explain the personality changes. The models are

central in therapies as they define how people perceive and accept life challenges. The humanist

model emphasizes the innate goodness in people, while the humanist-existential psychotherapy

model argues that personalities change, and people can develop new attributes based on


Two models: Humanistic-existential psychotherapy and Humanist psychotherapy

Humanistic-existential Psychotherapy

Humanistic Existential Psychotherapy (HE) postulates that the human personality is

dynamic, and changes occur across the lifespan that defines personality at each point

(Hounkpatin et al., 2015). The model integrates humanistic and existentialist approaches. The

humanist perspective claims that human beings are good, while the existentialist proposes that

people are neither good nor bad (Daei Jafari et al., 2020). Integration of the two models creates a

dynamic person capable of actualizing based on situations and strengths. The model is adopted as

a transition from the traditional conception of personality as a stable element that remains

consistent throughout life. The HE models framework asserts that individuals confront and

challenge a meaningless life as they transform their lives into a personality they desire. The

person pursues self-rated health, self-efficacy, psychological turning point, and life satisfaction

that involves a subjective evaluation of an individual’s wellbeing (Hounkpatin et al., 2015).

These components keep an individual driven to improve their lives. Notably, societal norms and

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the pursuit of authentic individual-based life goals contribute to an individual’s personality


There is a constant drive to meet an expectation, which is addressed in the social

investment theory- an investment in institutions such as work, and marriage motivates

personality changes. Notably, the dynamic nature of life situations indicates that circumstances

present new challenges requiring new solutions of different perspectives. A person discovers

their needs, thereby creating a change in their personality.

The fundamental basis of the HE model is an individual’s ability to respond to external

changes in adaptive personality changes. Robbins (2021) found that participants faced with the

COVID19 pandemic challenge accepted their situation and developed adaptive measures

propelling them into a joyful life. There is a transition from one category of personality to



The humanistic model provides a unique perspective of personality. The model postulates

that people are inherently good, and that each person has a subjective identity characterized by a

free will to make choices and exercise self-awareness (Locher et al., 2019). The model implies

that human beings can make the right choices to maximize their wellness and neighbors.

Therefore, they can form a meaningful relationship with others and make healthy choices.

Moreover, the therapist works with the patient to understand their inherent good and overcome

limiting perceptions. Notably, the therapist emphasizes self-actualization and growth, contrary to

emphasizing symptoms alleviation and disease treatment (Locher et al., 2019). Importantly, the

model emphasizes moving onwards rather than focusing on past experiences, thereby

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challenging the client to positively perceive their lives. The therapist works through a

relationship that encourages being one’s true self.

Differences between the two models

The fundamental difference between the two models is their position on the nature and

consistency of the human personality. The humanist perspective postulates that human beings are

good, while the humanistic-existential model posits that people’s personalities fluctuate.

Understanding the differences is critical in application to therapy. I would like my client to

understand themselves as dynamic and capable of manifesting positive and negative


The humanist model prevents individuals from recognizing and accepting their

weaknesses or bad qualities inherent in the humanist-existential perspective (Wolfe, 2016).

Therefore, the client is led towards denial of events, behaviors, and personality traits defining

their lives. The humanist-existential model promotes mindfulness, a critical practice that

constantly evaluates their attributes to achieve personal growth and development (Daei et al.,

2020). The client exists in an interconnected world and is impacted by external factors in the

social, economic, and political domains. The client exists in a dynamic world and is faced with

diverse challenges through interaction with other humans and objects. Therefore, their

personality can shift based on the challenges in their environment. My client should accept the

reality of their society and accept the need to adjust to meet the contextual needs.

Finally, while the humanist model is rigid, the humanist-existential model asserts that

people are diverse, unique, integrated into reality through personalized experience, and have free

will. The transformative nature of the humanist-existential model is fundamental to growth and

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development. Notably, I expect my client to behave differently as a child, youth, adult, an elderly

person due to the uniqueness of experience in these dispensations.

Case Approach

James Bugantil highlights a humanist-existentialist perspective of psychotherapy. He has

adopted the model due to his appreciation of the complex nature and different life perspectives.

The clients have been driven to appreciate their limitations and guided towards harnessing

strength and opportunity. I would adopt the same model due to its appreciation of the multiple

dimensions of life and how this affects individuals. A humanist method would be superficial,

while an existentialist method would overlook the need for a consistent personality trait.

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Daei Jafari, M. R., Aghaei, A., & Rashidi Rad, M. (2020). Existential Humanistic Therapy with

Couples and its Effect on Meaning of Life and Love Attitudes. The American Journal of

Family Therapy, 48(5), 530-545.

Hounkpatin, H. O., Wood, A. M., Boyce, C. J., & Dunn, G. (2015). An existential-humanistic

view of personality change: Co-occurring changes with psychological well-being in a 10-

year cohort study. Social Indicators Research, 121(2), 455-470.

Locher, C., Meier, S., & Gaab, J. (2019). Psychotherapy: A world of meanings. Frontiers in

Psychology, 10, 460.

Robbins, B. D. (2021). The joyful life: An existential-humanistic approach to positive

psychology in the time of a pandemic. Frontiers in Psychology, 2878.

Thinking Allowed TV. (2010). James Bugental: Humanistic Psychotherapy (excerpt) — A

Thinking Allowed DVD w/ Jeffrey Mishlove.


Wolfe, B. E. (2016). Existential-humanistic therapy and psychotherapy integration: A

commentary. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 26(1), 56–


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