Existential Psychotherapy | London

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Date(s) - 07/02/2019
9:30 am - 4:30 pm

Institute of Family Therapy


CPD Hours six


The day aims to equip delegates with the knowledge and skills to see clients informed by the existential approach to therapy. Existential psychotherapy is a modality in the same way as CBT, Gestalt, and person-centred approaches and so the day will necessarily be an overview rather than sufficient to qualify to practice in this approach alone. Nonetheless, the day will give information and insight which will inform a pluralistic approach to therapy utilising aspects of the existential modality.

The day will be steeped in existential philosophy but will be grounded in the pragmatics of therapeutic practice. It will consider the therapeutic implications of the Existential Givens – Death, Isolation, Meaning, and Freedom (as well as other such things as Gender and Sexuality) – being the things we as humans cannot avoid by Being human. We will also consider the four dimensions of human experience: the Mitwelt (Social), Umwelt (physical) Eigenwelt (psychological), and Überwelt (spiritual) and how we might draw upon these to widen our therapeutic gaze.

The day will also consider being authentic – the costs and benefits and how our clients may be helped to recognise and explore their freedom. It will also look at the conflicts in the existential modality – including how directive one may be and how much intervention is too much.

Come prepared to think and to wrestle with the concepts!


Learning Outcomes

By the end of the workshop delegates should:

  • Be aware of the historical grounding of the existential approach.
  • Have a basic awareness of existential philosophy.
  • Have a knowledge of how philosophical concepts can be pragmatically integrated in to therapeutic practice.
  • Have considered the degree of direction which may be suitable in their practice.
  • Consider how existentialism may be integrated with some common therapeutic modalities.



09:30 – Registration and Welcome

10:00 – History and Philosophy (and why they matter)

10:45 – The Existential Givens and dimensions (and other human things too)

11:15 – Break

11:30 – How we make Meaning

12:45 – Lunch

13:30 – Questions arising from the morning.

14:00 – Authenticity – should we really be who we are?

15:00 – Break

15:15 – Discussion of case studies and practice

16:15 – Close


Presented by Professor Dr Christina Richards BSc (Hons), MSc, DCPsych, CPsychol, EuroPsy, FBPsS, an HCPC Registered Doctor of Applied Psychology and a full Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS) where she is the current Chair of the Division of Counselling Psychology; Committee member for Psychologist Prescribing; Lead National Assessor for Counselling Psychology; and Chair of the revision committee of the BPS Guidelines for working therapeutically with sexual, gender, and relationship diverse clients of which she was a co-author. Professor Richards is Visiting Professor of Gender and Mental Health at Regent’s University London School of Psychotherapy and Psychology.

Prof. Richards is Lead Consultant Psychologist/Head of Psychology at the London Gender Identity Clinic (Charing Cross) within the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. This role involves strategic planning and management on a national and international level; supervising senior staff; assessing people with highly complex needs for hormones and surgeries, and supervision of  individual and group therapies from a number of different modalities.

Prof. Richards is also Head of Research at the NHS London Gender Identity Clinic (Charing Cross) within the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. This role involves responsibility for the strategy and implementation of the research programme at the clinic. Dr Richards also lectures and publishes internationally on gender, sexualities, and critical mental health – both within clinical academia and also to third sector and statutory bodies.

Prof. Richards was selected by the executive board of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) to be Lead Chapter Author for Adult Assessment in the Standards of Care Version 8 (SoC v8) revision. She also represents the East Midlands to NHS England’s Clinical Reference Group (CRG) on Gender Identity Services; and is listed as an expert in gender diversity by the BPS on the Gender Diversity Specialist Register (whose criteria she co-drafted).

Prof. Richards is the Editor-in Chief of the journal of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Counselling PsychologyCounselling Psychology Review. Her own publications consist of various papers, reports, and book chapters. She is first author of a clinical guidebook on sexuality and gender published by Sage – Richards, C., & Barker. M. (2013). Sexuality and gender for mental health professionals: A practical guide. London: Sage; First editor of the Palgrave Handbook of the Psychology of Sexuality and GenderFirst editor of a multidisciplinary book about people who identify outside of the gender binary of male or female – Richards, C., Bouman, W. P., & Barker, M. J. (2018). Genderqueer and non-binary genders. Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan; Sole author of the monograph: Richards, C. (2017). [Monograph]. Trans and sexuality – An existentially-informed ethical enquiry with implications for counselling psychology. London: Routledge; And has an upcoming book on clinical work with trans and non-binary people for the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Richards, C., Murjan, S., & Barrett, J. (forthcoming 2019). Trans and non-binary gender healthcare for psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals. London: Royal College of Psychiatrists/Cambridge University Press.


Terms and Conditions: The full fee for each training day is £115 for COSRT members and £125 for non-members. Cheques should be made payable to COSRT in GB pounds sterling. Payment must be received by COSRT before the training day. Confirmation and details of your booking will be emailed to you.Cancellations must be made in writing. There is an administrative charge of £20 per person for cancellations received up to six weeks prior to the training day. Thereafter no refund is possible. To substitute a delegate please call the COSRT office (020 8543 2707) at least seven days prior to the event.

Online Booking Form

Ticket Type Price Spaces
EXIS: Member Ticket £115.00
EXIS: Non-member Ticket £125.00


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