As to do what we need and

  As I read these chapters on Existential
Psychotherapy I have learned a great deal about myself and about my
relationships with others. I can tend to be one of those who makes excuses for
my behaviors or for my life being the way it is. However, as I read on in the
chapters I discovered the 6 Propositions of basic dimension of the human
conditions.  We must understand the
meaning and how to apply them to our own life’s and learn how to teach our
clients how to apply them to their life’s. I wish I had these tools years back.
I might not have had the downward spiral that I have had. Yet this is part of
Existential Psychotherapy learning we have freedom to do what we need and have
to do in our life’s. They are as follow

1) The Capacity for
Self-Awareness. We are all free to make any decision regarding our life.
Whether it be a positive or negative we are the writers of our life. We choose
our destiny in life.  We have to realize
the more self-aware we are the greater the responsibility we have for the
consequences in the choices we make. We are alone in this process of life, yet
we are able to connect with other beings. 
We need to make sure the client understands this processes
self-awareness is the root of most other human  
capacities. Without the knowledge of self-awareness, we cannot fully
grow as human beings.  We must in the
long run of life make sure we start out with our children, teach them that they
must be aware of their actions and all actions have consequences good or bad we
have to pay for whatever decision we make. Helping clients to work thru their
anxiety they will have for thinking or making decisions for themselves

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For myself I see this
very clearly, I have had some rough times the past 10 yrs. or so. I am just
seeing the consequences to my actions 10 yrs. ago. I have been living in one
bad situation after another, have had to rebuild my life (belongings, clothes,
make-up etc.) over the past 10 yrs. at least 20 times. I know its untrue but I
feel if my actions 10 yrs. ago I would not be suffering every day. I struggle
with “daddy issues” and I blame my dad for not being there for me.
Yet I turn and do that to my children. How can I say it’s my father’s fault for
not being there for me yet I did the same thing to my children? I have to take
the responsibility for my actions and realize that it has been my decisions, my
choices to be in the situations I am in now. I have the choice to leave an
abusive relationship. Yet how can I when this person I fell in love with is
dying? I can’t blame him for my sorrow, my hurt and resentment that he is
struggling with his own issues. If I want a different way of life it’s my
choice not his for me to stay or go. This is my realizing myself awareness in
the situation I am in at the moment. Wow papers are helpful….

2) Freedom and
responsibility- Schneider and Krug have 3 existential therapy values. These are
1) the freedom to become within the context of natural and self-imposed
limitations. 2) the capacity to reflect on the meaning of choices. 3) The
capacity to act the choices we make.

We don’t have a choice in
the situations we are born in to, however we do have the freedom to choose the
actions we take in our life’s. Sartre stated that we are constantly making
choices in what kind of person we are to become to exist is to never end making
choices in our life’s. However, we try to escape from our freedom by defending
as a fixed or static entity. Sartre refers to this as inauthenticity refusing
to take responsibility for our actions, we are lacking the awareness of our
responsibility and blame the universe for our actions.

It’s like my situation
now. It my decision to stay so just because Dontay makes rude comments and
hurts my feeling every day. It is my choice to how I respond to his actions. Is
he making me a bitter ugly person? No, I choose to be that way. I choice to be
unhappy, for if I change the situation to where I just leave he can’t put me
down or make my unhappy any longer. If I leave then that is the choice I make,
If I have to weigh the outcome of both situations, leaving or staying. Then I
have to use the capacity with in me to act on the choices I have to make. This
would be the best example I can give for this proposition.

3)Striving for the
identity and relationship to others- most of us want to find out who we are and
strive to find our own identity. It’s not an easy process and doing so takes a
lot of courage. Most of us sell out by becoming what others want us to be. We
become what is expected of us and that makes us strangers to ourselves. Courage
entellus moving forward in spite of anxiety of the unknown. One of the biggest
fears is discovering we are nothing inside no core, no substance noting what
the world expects us to be. We as therapist can teach client to accept the
choice to step outside the box and be the person they want to be. Clients will
feel the aloneness in this process. This comes from realizing that we cannot
count on anyone or anything for conformation or validation. This is hard for a
lot of people; however, it is ok to feel aloneness because before we can have a
relationship with others we must first have a relationship with ourselves.

For me finding my
identity has been the backbone to all my struggles. Since I was young I have
been the babysitter for my younger cousins, the mother to my children, the wife
to my ex-husband and the daughter to my fighting-divorced parents. I was
struggling with who Arlene is. I ended up losing myself and was not happy with
the person I was becoming or the person I became. I ended up feeling overwhelmed
with this and had a breakdown. The counselors and church guidance I received
was for me to leave my family and try and find myself. Which I feel today was
the wrong decision. I have yet to figure out who Arlene is and I continue to be
the person others expect me to be. I thought I had the courage to find myself,
yet here I am 10 yrs. later and still struggling if not struggling ever more
than before trying to find who I am. I always feel alone even when I am with a
group of people. No one understands my depression or my unhappiness. I don’t
understand it. I am in a constant struggle with myself on what kind of person I
want to be, what kind of life I want and how to make up to my children for
leaving them at such a young age. It is daily battle with in myself and no
outlet to realize my anxiety and despair.

4) Search for meaning. A
distinctly human characteristic that is the struggle for a sense of
significance and purpose in life. This is when counselors ask questions to the
client such as “are you happy with the way your life is going?”
“do you like the direction your life is going?” These are the
conceptional framework in helping clients to challenge the meaning of their
lives. Clients usually just throw out their values that they were brought up with,
before they figure out new ones. This leaves them struggling to find meaning in
life. This causes the anxiety in their life. Therapist must have faith that
eventually with the struggle most clients will have during this time that they
will find a value system that will help them find the meaning they are
searching for. A therapist trust during this time is important so that the
client feels comfortable trusting themselves in this search.  Meaningless in life can lead to emptiness,
hollowness or a condition that Frankl calls existential vacuum. This usually
happens when people don’t fill the void of making others happy with empty
tasks. People trying to develop a meaning of their life but feel empty because
there are no real values is the heart of why people come to counseling.
Everyone needs some kind of grounding some kind of assurance that they are
heading in the right direction. If a counselor is in tune with a client they
will be able to help them realize that they are or are not heading in the correct

This is what my counselor
did. I had explained the situation and layed it out in front of her my void in
my life and what I felt needed to be done. With only a couple of sessions she
agreed with me that I should just walk away from my family. I thought it to be
odd and struggled with the decision for a while. My gut and my heart were
telling me to stay however, I went with what the “expert” suggested.
Not that it’s her fault I choose my ending result and now I have the
consequences for my decision. I always look back and think was she really
listening or was she truly in tune with what my struggles were? I will never
know there is no time travel machine to where I can go back and change the
decision so I am stuck with what I have in front of me.

5) Anxiety as a Condition
of Living. Existential Anxiety is the unavoidable results of being confronted
with the “givens of existence.” It arises when we find our mortality,
our pain and our struggle for survival in life. As we accept the freedom we choice
and the consequences from this freedom our anxiety levels get higher. With the
anxiety is a signal that we are ready for change and accepting the growth of
our lives that in our new future. Anxiety from this change in life accepting
the freedom is normal anxiety. It does not have to be repressed it can be
powerful a motivational force for our change in our life. If we do not deal
with this kind of anxiety we can have neurotic anxiety. It tends to immobilize
a person from reaching their goals in life. Everyone in life experiences
anxiety it is how we deal with it, is how we living with awareness and being
fully alive. Living with anxiety is to be living life fully not hiding behind
the imaginary securities in life that we build in our head or that people have
given us. We must realize and accept death as an uncertainty, when we accept
life for what it is the pain, loneliness and so forth only during that time do
we decrease our daily anxiety and our self-confidence rises.

6)Awareness of Death and
Nonbeing. The existentialist does not view death negatively but holds awareness
as basic human condition. A huge human characteristic is the ability to grasp
the future of life and the inevitable death. 
Death should not be looked at as a threat. It should be a motivation to
enjoy our life’s and accept and appreciating our daily life. We should reflect
on how we can live fully instead of the fear of death and being held back by
the unknown of life.

This is a Proposition
that hits home extremely. As Dontay gets sicker or has a bad day or gets bad
results we both have to deal with the reality that he will be dying soon. That
has us both on edge and for him more. I know he hasn’t really dealt or accepted
the fact that he is dying. He just knows he is in pain and he doesn’t like it.
Here is where my decisions come in. Cause I understand that he is struggling
with his immortality and that he is not able to be the man he once was. So, do
I take the abuse and stay accept that he is going thru a lot or is my happiness
more important than a person I know to be leaving this world soon? How do I
make this kind of decision that will affect both of us for the rest of his
short life or however long I have on earth? This is a good way for me to put
these 6 propositions in to effect how to bring them to the table and help us if
there is any way to get pass the negative behavior by both of us. We both have
to accept the fact that we may only have a short time together and embrace this
fact appreciate what we have together or we will both be miserable to the day
he dies. This is a hard thing to do accept that someone in my life that is so
important to me is not going to be here but it is what life is about. We have
such short time on this earth we need to make the most out of it.

I hope this is what you
were looking for. I just needed some kind of outlet and today was one of those
days that I needed it the most. Sorry for it being late. But I am just glad
that I have more tools of my own to help me with my daily struggle and if he is
willing hopefully I can work with Dontay in using these tools to accept both of
our futures.