Continuing Education

Existential Psychotherapy in a Deep Cultural Context: The Case of “Keo”

Jerrold Lee Shapiro

This is a narrative case study of the psychotherapy of “Keo,” a 23-year-old native Hawaiian man who came from a deprived and abusive background. After a period of seeming to turn his life around, Keo became depressed and withdrawn upon learning of a native Hawaiian culture curse that had been perpetrated on him and his sister. In the 24 sessions I saw Keo, I drew on my existential therapy principles to focus on his subjective reality and to work in conjunction with the Hawaiian subculture associated with the curse, including referral to a Kahuna, a healer in the native Hawaiian culture. A major existential dialectic that emerged in the case was Keo’s pull towards freedom from the curse versus his pull towards the status quo to avoid the anxiety associated with change.

Credit 2
Level Intermediate
Price $25.00
Learning Objectives
  1. Apply existential psychotherapy principles in cultural contexts.
  2. Identify the role of culture in existential theoretical orientation and the individual subjective experience.

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