Introduction to Existential Therapy


What is Existential Therapy? In what ways might it help people shed light on the meaning and purpose of their unique existence? What challenges does it pose to other forms of therapy? How can you include an existential understanding in your therapeutic practice or just use it to enable you yourself to gain a better understanding of your ways of seeing and being in the world?

This is a 10-week introduction to the theory and practice of Existential Therapy which assumes no previous knowledge or experience. Three integrated strands run through the programme: understanding theory, developing skills and improving self-awareness.

Theory will examine Existential Therapy's key theoretical assumptions across its varied evolution and development as well as considering the implications such ideas may have for a therapeutic or self development practice. The course will also briefly consider the importance of anti-discriminatory practice.

Developing Skills will examine Existential Therapy's core themes, principles and practices specifically providing a grounding in some key existential interventions from the various schools of existential theory and practice. Students will be encouraged to use their own experience, but will not be expected to discuss painful personal issues.

Through the theory and the skills practice students will be encouraged to reflect on their personal learning in order to gain self-awareness.

This course will enable participants to bring key Existential theory and skills to bear in either their clinical practice or general self development. It provides a foundation rather than a comprehensive training in Existential Therapy, as well as offering an opportunity for students to discover whether or not they want to progress to more advanced Existential training. By application only.

Programme details

Course begins: 16th Jan 2024

Please note that there will be no class Tuesday 20th February.

Week 0: Course Orientation

Week 1: What is Existential Therapy? An overview

Week 2: Key themes and principles

Week 3: Existence Themes and Experiencing

Week 4: Existence Themes Part Two

Week 5: From Theory to Practice

Week 6: Meaning Centred Therapies

Week 7: Existential Humanistic Therapies Part One

Week 8: Existential Humanistic Therapies Part Two 

Week 9: Existential Phenomenological Therapy – Van Deurzen

Week 10: Existential Phenomenological Therapy – Spinelli


Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from the January 1st after the current full academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.


Description Costs
Course Fee £321.00
Take this course for CATS points £10.00


Mr Damian White

Damian is an accredited Existential and Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist with a background in international humanitarian work, domestic social work and university lecturing.

Course aims

This course is an introduction to Existential Therapy. It is aimed at either enabling experienced practitioners to learn how to integrate Existential theory and skills into an existing clinical practice or as a self-standing opportunity for people wanting to know about the discipline out of general interest or for self development purposes. It may also act as a staging post for further training. No previous knowledge or experience is required.

Course Objectives:

  • To develop a greater understanding of what an Existential approach to therapy looks like and the psychological and philosophical ideas which can inform its practice.
  • To develop a greater understanding of and ability to use some key existential methods in practice.
  • To gain in self awareness.

Teaching methods

This course will consist of a weekly, two-hour session with up to 50% of the session being pre-recorded material. Some pre-recorded material will be available in advance of each live session and some will be viewed during the live session and subsequently made available to students. Teaching will comprise a variety of methods including tutor presentations, group discussions and between session reflective exercises.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to:

  • have gained a greater understanding of Existential Therapy;
  • have developed ideas about how to incorporate Existential theory and skills into their own therapeutic or self development practice;
  • be aware of the importance of reflective and anti-discriminatory practice in maintaining and developing  the therapeutic relationship.

Assessment methods

There will be one written assignment of 1500 words which will offer an opportunity to demonstrate the integration of the core strands of the course.

Students will initially be asked to submit a 500 word formative piece of work which will allow them to demonstrate their initial thinking and planning for the final assignment and also enables them to receive constructive feedback. 

Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form - Declaration of Authorship form


All applications will be forwarded to the tutor for review and we will let you know if you will be invited onto the course as soon as possible after that review. Direct online enrolments are therefore not available. Instead, please download and complete BOTH forms below and return them by email to the Weekly Class Programme Office:

Payment for the course will be arranged once the application is reviewed and a place is offered.

1. Enrolment Form (Word) or (Pdf)

2. Application Form

If you have any questions about the enrolment process please contact us.

We will close for enrolments 7 days prior to the start date to allow us to complete the course set up. We will email you at that time (7 days before the course begins) with further information and joining instructions. As always, students will want to check spam and junk folders during this period to ensure that these emails are received.

To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form.

Level and demands

Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)