COGNITIVE AND EXISTENTIAL THERAPIES: TOWARD AN INTEGRATION

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Abstract

Cognitive and existential therapies are typically viewed as so diverse in their assumptions as to be largely incompatible, representing opposite ends of the psychotherapeutic spectrum. The purpose of this article is to show how a merging of these therapies may contribute to a greater range of options for therapists. The authors attempt to show the surprisingly wide number of connections between these two schools. Comparisons and suggestions are made in the areas of the therapeutic relationship, interpersonal and environmental factors, sociotropy and autonomy, and meaning-making. Existential therapy is especially helpful in understanding the formation and identification of ontological core schemas, and an extensive list of these is provided. A case example is provided that illustrates the integration of these two approaches.

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