Existence & Mental Health


Thinkers such as Alfred Adler, Ludwig Binswanger, Viktor Frankl, Erich Fromm, Karen Horney, R. D. Laing, Rollo May, Thomas Szasz, and Emmy van Deurzen, amongst others, are all associated to a greater or lesser degree with the development of an ‘existentialist’ approach to psychology, psychiatry, and mental health.

Existentialist approaches view mental health as arising not out of the facts of one’s existence, but rather out of the way in which one determines the significance of one’s existence. Whether one finds one’s existence ‘meaningful’ or not turns on the extent to which one lives ‘authentically’ further to the facing the absurdity, anguish, and alienation of being-in-the-world.

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