Posts Tagged ‘evolution of psychotherapy’

Existential psychotherapy is based on the model of human nature and experience. It focuses on concepts that are universally applicable to human existence including death, freedom, responsibility, and the meaning of life. The following presentation was given by Dr. Rollo May at the 1985 Evolution of Psychotherapy conference. You can find the full recording of this presentation and many other historical recordings in our Evolution of Psychotherapy Archives.


Evolution of Psychotherapy 1985 – Invited Address 12 Existential Therapy and the Future by Rollo May, PhD

Text transcript below…


Pictured: Rollo R. May, PhD and Virginia Satir

Address by Rollo May 

Mr. Chairman, I’m sorry to say I cannot speak to you with those lights in my eyes. I cannot speak to anybody I cannot see. So I’m going to put on a hat I borrowed from a friend. And I hope, [APPLAUSE] I hope it doesn’t look too ridiculous. But at least that makes it possible for us to have communication rather than recitation. Now, if you want to learn about existential psychotherapy, read Irving Yalom’s book called Existential Psychotherapy, or my “Discovery of Being”, because I’m not going to try to do a survey of what existentialism is this morning. But I do want to say some things that I think are tremendously important to me, and I hope for you as well. When Karl Menninger was visiting at our house recently, I asked him how he, since he was the name practically synonymous with the mental health movement for some 50 years, how he would define therapy. And he answered, people have been talking to each other for 1000s of years. The question is, how did it become worth $60 an hour.

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Paul Ekman and his Daughter, Eve Ekman

By Dan Short, PhD

At the December 2017 Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference, I had the pleasure of hearing several talks delivered by the renowned researcher, Paul Ekman, Ph.D., and his daughter, Eve Ekman, Ph.D., MSW, who is also a researcher of emotion. Their back-and-forth discussion during the lectures helped illuminate multiple perspectives from which each concept could be considered. The energy that they shared seemed extra special — the kind you only see with people who have a deep and secure connection. Even as they stood on stage in front of a large audience, it did not matter if one disagreed with the other. Each remained flexible and interested in the other’s thinking. For these reasons, I was all the more delighted when the Ekmans graciously agreed to sit down with me for an interview at breakfast. → Read more