After a clientpatient relationship was firmly established using the concept of unconditionalpositive regard.
I would start into more research about my client, where theycome from and what they maybe wanted to be when they were younger. I’d ask themto close there eyes and go back to that place when they were their most happyand free. Back to a place in time when the world was open to any and allpossibilities. Then id ask them at this point in time, what did you want to bewhen you grew up? Say they wanted to be a astronaut. I’d ask them questionslike when did your dream of becoming an astronaut change? What changed “your”mind? How did those changes affect your choice? Once the client startsanswering, then we can go down the road to have them discover their choices inlife effected the outcome.
That they had the freedom to make different choices.Then they can see their choices directly affected the outcome of their dream.Once the actions are conceived by the client to be their own and not justcircumstance and bad luck as seen previously by the client.
Then there comesthe freedom the client begins to understand they’ve had all along to makechoices to follow his/her dream to it’s absolute fullest capacity if they sochose to. Then there would be questions like ” What made you want to be anastronaut in the first place? What really awed you and made you dream ofsomeday going into space?” What drew you more than anything else to want t be aastronaut? There answer could be that they loved studying the stars and seeinghow the constellations changed through out the year. And loved spending timealone on top of their roof at night with their telescope when they wereyounger.
Marking and drawing which stars they saw that night. Then I could say”So it sounds like you enjoyed the peace and quiet you had with just you andyour stars?” Maybe getting them to talking about their love for doing that,they can see though they never became a astronaut: But maybe there is a fieldin the true interest that they had, that still can be achieved by them. So inturn I maybe would teasinly say” OK well your not 10 anymore, but your notdead yet either are you ? So what would you do today to help make that littlehoy/girls dream of being alone with their stars come true?” Maybe then the client discloses they’ve beendebating on going back to school lately anyways and just hadn’t really figuredout what they wanted to major in and had been batting around a few ideas butjust wasn’t truly excited about any of them.
Then maybe the client says” Youknow I could check into whats required for me to go back to become anastronomer, just thinking back to that rooftop and those quiet nights has lit anew fire within me. And you know what, I’m not dead, It’s not the end of theworld. I do have other choices I can make”. Now as a counselor I know all ofthis isn’t going to happen in one session.
It takes time to come to thesesrealizations both for me about my client and how to help them become what theytruly are needing to be. And for my client to see what their role in the ownlife has been and how they’ve created their own reality so to say. And that theonly one who can truly change their lives and their circumstances in theirlives is them and nobody else. That they have the freedom to chose a differentlife just the same as they had the freedom to make their life what it is today.Once they can take the responsibility for their choices and realize they still havethe freedom to make better choices to make them happy today and tomorrow andthat it’s not the end of the world for them, and they only have so much time onthis planet to begin with, that they don’t have to spend it unhappily to maketheir own little world the best it can be. This is one way I’d try to introducea client into the propositions of existential therapy.
To try to help themdiscover who they were truly meant to be and to find happiness in living a morefully authentic life and to of course see how making better choices in thefuture will lead them to achieving and becoming what they were always capableof being.