Lee Shields Therapist Seattle
Psychotherapist and Counselor in Seattle, Washington  
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Leland Shields

2800 E. Madison, Suite 206
Seattle, WA 98112
Phone: (206) 568-0062
Fax: (206) 325-0098


Existential and Humanistic Psychology

Existential and humanistic psychologists see people as so unique and multifaceted that simple descriptions lead to more confusion than clarification. Based on these and other concepts, humanistic and existential psychotherapy:

  • Avoids generalizations and treats everyone as unique
  • Recognizes that loss is fundamental to life and can lead to feelings of emptiness and purposelessness
  • Works with clients to develop their unique selves for increased fulfillment
  • Assists in discovery of meaning and choice
Here are samples of exercises I use with clients seeking to more deeply experience their unique selves. I offer these for use between sessions to reinforce our work:

Inner face/outer face (click here): Exploring the images we share with the world and see internally.

I Am (click here): Exploring the many facets of ourselves, some embraced, others shunned.

(Adapted from Drama Games, Tian Dayton)

 “It is a characteristic of the American culture that, again and again, one is ordered to “be happy.” But happiness cannot be pursued, it must ensue. One must have a reason to “be happy.” Once a reason is found, however one becomes happy automatically. As we see, a human being is not one in pursuit of happiness but rather in search of a reason to become happy . . . through actualizing the potential meaning inherent and dormant in a situation.”

Viktor Frank, Man’s Search for Meaning, 1959

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