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Existential-Humanistic Psychotherapy

by James Bugental
Watch legendary psychotherapist James Bugental masterfully demonstrate Existential Therapy in an actual therapy session in this 3-part video.

Part of the 15-video series: Psychotherapy with the Experts

Existential-Humanistic Psychotherapy
Bugental believes that each of us has a great deal more potential than we utilize, and he aims to help his clients live out their potential more fully, focusing almost exclusively on the client’s experience in the present moment. In this video, Bugental helps an African-American client let down the walls that keep her in constant survival mode. He gently and persistently brings attention to her implicit emotional cues, including snide laughs and hidden self insults, ultimately bringing to light her impulsive self-judgment, which covers up the “hurt under the mountain.” Through Bugental’s guidance she is able to stay with her feelings in the moment—a feat she admits she never allows herself on her own. Discussions before and after the session elucidate his approach.

See why Bugental is considered by many to be one of the most talented therapists of all time. Decades before mindfulness became a buzzword in our field, he was passionately advocating for the importance of client and therapist presence. He is a master at engaging clients, helping them to explore their utmost concerns in a way that feels truly alive, and challenging their resistance in a tactful but forceful way. Any serious student or practitioner of the art of psychotherapy be enriched by watching his work.

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"Bugental truly was a master therapist and this video demonstrates why. He illustrates how the therapist's presence allows him or her to push the client and lead them to greater levels of depth in the therapy process. To fully learn the lessons of his demonstration, you must watch closely. Much of Bugental's brilliance lays in the very subtle processes he notices in the client and the non-verbals that he utilizes to enhance the therapy process. Along with a great therapy demonstration, Bugental also gives a good, succinct introduction to existential-humanistic psychology. Even in his introduction and discussion of theory, he demonstrates the great therapeutic presence that made him one of the all time great therapists."
- Louis Hoffman, PhD, Core Faculty, University of the Rockies; Author, Existential Psychology East-West

I have always liked James Bugental as a person. This DVD reminded me of why. He treated people with amazing compassion, insight, and intentional, implied kindness. His wisdom and dedication to helping others improve came through in the intensity of his attention that indicated: You are important...I recommend this DVD for the way it will touch your heart; for how it will encourage you to be a better person; and because it teaches important aspects of Existential-Humanistic therapy that you might have forgotten.
 - John D. Lentz, D.Min., Reviewed in the Erickson Foundation Newsletter.

This two-hour video is a comprehensive overview of Bugental’s skilful, respectful approach to therapy...the layers of Gina were skilfully unwrapped, and an authentic Gina was revealed—even to herself—as connected, self-aware and vibrantly alive...This video will appeal to anyone who takes to heart Rollo May’s words: “Let us ever hold fast to what it means to be human.”
 - Margot Sennet-Freedman, Reviewed in The New Therapist.
In Depth
CE Test
If you want to know more about this legendary master, take a look at his other videos, interviews, and writings.

From watching this existential therapy video, you will:

• Develop an understanding of the key concepts of Existential-Humanistic Psychotherapy including helping clients maximize their full potential and determine their actions by choice instead of habit.
• Gain insight into James Bugental’s therapy style and how he brings attention to clients’ implicit speech and gestures to help them be more fully in the moment.
• Learn how to apply an Existential-Humanistic approach to your own therapeutic work with clients.
Length of video: 1:54:00
Number of Discs: 1
English subtitles available on: Stream, DVD
This DVD plays in All Regions
Individual ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-122-4
Individual ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-122-1
Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-123-2
Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-123-8
James BugentalJames F.T. Bugental, PhD (1915-2008) was a leading spokesman for existential-humanistic psychotherapy since the publication of his ground-breaking book The Search for Authenticity. He followed with classics such as Psychotherapy and Process, The Art of the Psychotherapist, and Psychotherapy Isn't What You Think. Recipient of numerous awards, and influential trainer to thousands of psychotherapists, he truly made a substantial and enduring contribution to the field of psychology.

See all James Bugental's videos.

Great resource! Inspiring and helpful for my work.
Ana Eugenia Castro
A joy to watch.
Andrew Barley MA, UKCP Registered Psychotherapist, UK
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CE credits: 2
Learning objectives:

  • Identify key concepts of Existential-Humanistic Psychotherapy including helping clients maximize their full potential and determine their actions by choice instead of habit.
  • Describe James Bugental?s therapy style and how he brings attention to clients? implicit speech and gestures to help them be more fully in the moment.
  • Apply an Existential-Humanistic approach to your own therapeutic work with clients.