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Existential dialogue between Prof Ernesto Spinelli and Dr Greg Madison. Topic: Is Existence the Same as Experience in Existential Therapy?

About this event
“Existential therapy is a wide ranging arena, with many perspectives and different views that also, fundamentally, share an attitude expressing a way of thinking and being with people. Representatives of the existential approach from different parts of the world have agreed to engage in an open-format discussion with me. Each of them will bring their own particular topic of interest as the focus for the discussion. From these, participants will hopefully see that existential therapy and existential thought in general cover a huge range of topics, view points and perspectives and explores these in a way that it is different, stimulating and enjoyable.” Prof Ernesto Spinelli

Is Existence the Same as Experience in Existential Therapy?
“I would like to discuss the experiential dimension of Existential Therapy with reference to the practice of Focusing and the work of Eugene Gendlin. It will consist of an open and spontaneous exploration of what actually happens in therapy, what actually is ’the therapeutic relationship’, what is the role of existential philosophy in practice (if anything)? How can philosophy or theory inform our interactions with clients without the therapy becoming abstract and conceptual, remaining mostly at the cognitive level? Fundamentally, we will question whether all aspects of human existence are already ‘in’ our experience and if so, can we then say that experience equates to existence and therefore all existential therapists should be primarily experiential?” Dr. Greg Madison

About Prof Ernesto Spinelli
“An internationally-recognised leader in existential therapy and coaching psychology, Professor Ernesto Spinelli developed and taught the first psychology undergraduate and PhD programmes to focus on counselling and psychotherapy research. He has contributed to a growing interest in, and professional appreciation of, existential therapeutic techniques.

Professor Spinelli publications and textbooks are standard reading for many psychotherapies and coaching training programmes around the world. His book, Practising Existential Therapy: The Relational World, 2nd edition (2015), was identified as the most influential contemporary text on existential therapeutic practice.” BPS

About Dr. Greg Madison
Dr. Greg Madison is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the BPS and Registered existential Psychotherapist (UKCP/EAP). He regularly lectures internationally and teaches workshops in the UK while maintaining a limited private practice online. Greg’s academic studies in psychology began in 1979, when he first learned about the work of the existential philosopher Eugene Gendlin, and he has been practicing as a psychotherapist and Focusing teacher now for over thirty years. He wrote a small book called ‘The End of Belonging’, exploring the concept of “existential migration” and has edited two books on Focusing Oriented Psychotherapy as well as co-edited a text on Existential Therapy. Having been exposed to many psychological theories and most of the various models of psychotherapy, Greg maintains a sceptical perspective regarding our current ‘knowledge’ about psychology, claims about the meaning of life, and scientific beliefs that explain existence and human functioning. Greg believes that it is crucial that we remain as open as possible to the complexity of human existence: each person teaches us something universal and also something unique about the everyday dilemmas of being human and the unanswered deeper questions of our place in the universe. In his work, Greg Madison emphasises what a person concretely experiences moment-by-moment and how in existential work it is our experience that continues to unfold and enrich our understanding of ‘self’ as living process.

(This Dialogue is part of “Existential Dialogues”. You can book each dialogue independently for £40 – book in Eventbrite or the ten dialogues for £300 book here)

PROGRAMME:
Dr MANU BAZZANO “Therapy and the Daimonic” (22 January)
Dr KATERINA ZYMNIS “Diving into the Co-Created World of the Psychotherapeutic Encounter” (19 February)
Dr TODD DUBOSE “The Power of Phenomenological Openness” (19 March)
MICHAEL MONTGOMERY “Reconciling the Past” (23 April)
Dr YAQUI MARTINEZ “Challenges to Existential Therapeutic Practice” (21 May)
BÁRBARA GODOY “Brainstorming the Basis of an Existential Laboratory” (18 June)
Dr BETTY CANNON “In the Spirit of Play; Toward a Psychology of Freedom” (23 July)
Dr GREG MADISON “Is Existence the Same as Experience in Existential Therapy?” (15 October)
Dr XUEFU WANG “Zhimian: an Existential Approach as Viewed from Chinese Culture”
(19 November)
Dr KEN BRADFORD “Radical Authenticity” (17 December)

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