The society, family and culture we are born into can sometimes make us feel limited and helpless. It is much easier to blame external conditions and the “other” for what happens to us than to accept our own role in what happens to us. This is actually the biggest obstacle to our taking responsibility and change.
At the point where we stop blaming external conditions and turn our gaze to our own role in our experiences, the ground we stand on cracks, we know that we can no longer stay on that ground, we feel a high existential anxiety because it is time to act, it is time to step out of the ordinary and do something other than what we have always done. Going out of our comfort zone causes anxiety. But anxiety is also activating. At this point, we can choose to stay where we are. But the important thing is to be aware of our choices and to take that responsibility.
According to the existential perspective, existence is not something to have. Human means existence. We constantly recreate ourselves in the temporality of our being. Every moment we become something more or less than we were before. We constantly redefine our way of being with what we choose and what we don’t choose. What matters is how we choose to live, what we choose to do, and what we don’t choose. No one else is responsible for our lives. We are as free as we can be in this uncanny and full of endless choices. It takes courage to claim this freedom and take responsibility for our lives. However, the condition of establishing a meaningful life is to show this courage.
“Liberty is not something given to people, it is something people take, and people are free as they want,” says James Baldwin.
Existential psychotherapy gives importance to the subjective position and subjective experience of the concrete person. It liberates people from the cause-effect field, which objectifies them with categories, and brings them into the field of holistic and subjective experiences. Our own reality is not a mystery that can be solved once and for all, it is something that is constantly being discovered, penetrated, created and constructed by us at every moment for man. This is possible by illuminating existence through the exploration of experiences. Not the observer’s (therapist’s) point of view; The actor’s (client’s) point of view is essential. The observer guides the actor, who, like a meticulous researcher, peels off his own experience layer by layer. As the person gains the courage to take responsibility for his own life, the therapist is by his side, enabling the person to explore possibilities of choice and to understand what authentic choice is and is not. It shows the way for people to reach the point where they can transform themselves and to find meaning – to create meaning.