Vad är egentligen meningen med livet? : Existentiella frågor, andlighet och psykoterapi - en kvalitativ studie

Detta är en Uppsats för yrkesexamina på avancerad nivå från Stockholms universitet/Psykologiska institutionen


The purpose of this study is to examine if eleven psychotherapists experience that their clients raise existential questions in psychotherapy situations. Further, how they understand and respond to the clients existential or spiritual/ religious experiences and needs. What skills therapists believe what they need to work with the existential questions, and the difficulties to face these experiences. Are there connections between existential needs and mental health, according to the therapists, and if so how to deal with them.

The study has a qualitative approach. Eleven psychotherapists have been interviewed to investigate the existence of an existential dimension in psychotherapy, I have worked with the WHO questionnaire, WHOQOL-SRPB (WHO 2002). WHOQOL-SRPB is a measuring instrument designed to measure the existential health dimension in relation to self-rated health. The theories in the study are mainly taken from the object relation theory and psychology of religion. .

The study illustrates that there is an existential dimension in psychotherapy. Considering the results of international studies on health, it indicates that the existential aspect needs to be taken very seriously in all health promotion, including psychotherapy. Further, therapy targeting and therapy method is not really an impediment, in existential issues, but it is the therapist's approach that primarily affects. Important tools are self-therapy and tutoring but mostly knowledge, education and practical training.

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