Philosophy, Spirituality, Therapy

Sandu Frunza


One of the most authentic voices that speaks about the importance of philosophy in the life of contemporary man is Emmy van Deurzen. As a philosopher and psychotherapist, she advocates philosophy as the foundation of existential counseling and therapy. Starting from the premise that existential therapy is the practical application of philosophy to the analysis, understanding and modeling of everyday life, Emmy van Deurzen aims to reflect on the complex relationships that philosophy, psychology and therapeutic techniques have in building the spiritual life and in asserting man on the four dimensions of existence, from the physical one to spiritual or religious one. In order to reveal the way in which philosophy rediscovers its meanings and asserts itself as the foundation of therapy, I have recourse to the exposition of a few elements that focus on the difference between the religious imaginary and that of scientific and philosophical practices. Against this backdrop, the necessity of philosophy to leave the marginal status it has assumed under the conditions of modernity and to manifest itself as a form of deciphering and assuming meaning, of transcending the human being, and of formulating paths that lead to authentic existence is being shaped. The philosophical dialogue, seen as a therapeutic dialogue, is favored by the fact that without eliminating the forms of symbolic thought specific to religious communication, philosophy may propose a conceptual, critical and demythologizing way of thinking, in contradiction with the mythical manifestations, but in fully accordance with the existential needs of the human being. Such an approach becomes more and more important in the context of the development of communication, of technology, and of the new types of existence mediated by it.


practical philosophy, existential psychotherapy, pastoral therapy, philosophy, spirituality, religious imaginary, religious communication, symbolic thought, existential counseling, therapeutic techniques, Emmy van Deurzen

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