Teaching Integrative Existential Psychotherapy: Student and Supervisor Reflections on Using an Integrative Approach Early in Clinical Training

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Abstract

The current case study illustrates the process of clinical supervision and clinical teaching within an existential, integrative psychotherapy model in a clinical practicum setting to a novice therapist. First, the specific existential integrative approach is described. Then, considerations of how psychodynamic and cognitive–behavioral models were compared and contrasted with the existential approach are explored, using examples from the supervision process. Next, supervisor and student reflections on benefits and challenges of this type of approach to supervision and training are discussed. The case study of this approach highlights that it is possible to synthesize training in a specific theoretical model while also cultivating an integrative mindset. As illustrated in this example, the existential model is a particularly versatile base for the development of an integrative approach, given that existential theory emphasizes that all components of the client’s experience.

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