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Existential Therapy

Discover Meaning and Purpose

Integrative Existential Therapy at Bay Area CBT Center

We offer a unique and transformative approach to existential therapy. Our integrative approach combines the wisdom of existential philosophy with evidence-based techniques from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to provide you with a holistic and effective treatment experience.

If you find yourself grappling with life’s fundamental questions, seeking a deeper understanding of your purpose, or facing feelings of isolation, our integrative existential therapy can guide you toward a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

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Two women engaged in a conversation about existential therapy, one sitting on a green armchair holding a book, the other on a black chair facing her.

What is Existential Therapy?

Existential therapy offers a profound exploration of the human experience, delving into questions of meaning, freedom, and responsibility. Our therapists create a safe and supportive space for you to explore these existential concerns, helping you gain insight into your values, beliefs, and life goals.

Through deep and meaningful conversations, introspective exercises, and experiential techniques, you’ll have the opportunity to confront the existential challenges that may be holding you back and discover your unique path to personal growth and fulfillment.

Our Therapy Services

We offer Existential Therapy In- Person and Online

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A young woman sitting on a couch, smiling and talking to another person during a trauma therapy session, with a bookshelf and plant in the background.

Teen Therapy

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couple Therapy

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Group Therapy

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family Therapy

The philosophy behind existential therapy

Existential Therapy is rooted in the philosophical belief that human beings are free and responsible for their own actions and values. It emphasizes self-awareness, the search for meaning, and the acceptance of the inherent uncertainty of life. This form of therapy is particularly effective for those who are dealing with major life transitions, feelings of disconnection, or existential crises.

Our skilled therapists use existential principles to encourage deep self-exploration and to facilitate a profound understanding of your place in the world. Through this therapeutic process, you are supported in navigating the complexities of life with greater freedom and integrity.

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Illustration of four diverse people engaging in an existential therapy discussion with a large question mark at the center, surrounded by smaller floating question marks.

Understanding existential therapy

Existential therapy is based on the notion that existence precedes essence, meaning we first exist and then shape who we are through our choices and actions. This perspective invites you to embrace the responsibility of existence, encouraging you to actively engage with your life and define your own meaning and purpose. 

It shifts the focus from external factors or societal expectations to the internal realm of personal agency and authenticity. We believe in empowering you to embrace your freedom and take responsibility for creating meaning in your life. Together, we’ll explore your values and the challenges you face, helping you uncover your authentic self and navigate life with purpose and intentionality.

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Find Meaning in Every Moment with Existential Therapy

When we lack a sense of our true purpose in our life, we end up stuck on the roller coaster of seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. At the Bay Area CBT Center, we help you create your own barometer of meaning and purpose. Instead of staying on the roller coaster ride, we guide you in owning your responsibility for creating meaning and replacing the cycle of avoidance with equanimity.

By doing so, you can step off that roller coaster and live a life less dependent on external variables. We’re here to support you in this journey of self-discovery and empowerment, guiding you towards a more authentic existence.

Deep Dive into Existential Therapy Concepts

In sessions, we delve deep into the following existential concepts together, exploring the profound questions and ideas that help us understand the essence of your being and your unique human experience.

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In Existential Therapy, confronting the concept of death is a vital step towards discovering deeper meaning in life. Recognizing our mortality can provoke a profound appreciation for the fleeting nature of existence, prompting us to live more intentionally. By facing the reality of death, we help you navigate through the initial discomfort and fear, leading to a more meaningful engagement with life. This confrontation encourages you to prioritize what truly matters.

A man in a suit stands at a crossroads, scratching his head and looking at a question mark, symbolizing existential indecision.


Existential Therapy  embraces the philosophy that we do not merely discover who we are; rather, we are continuously and actively creating ourselves through our choices and actions. This dynamic process of self-creation places a profound responsibility on each of us to actualize our personal values. In this context, values are not static truths waiting to be uncovered, but dynamic constructs that gain significance and meaning through the very act of actualizing them in everyday life.

Existential Angst

Existential isolation is the recognition of being alone in our subjective experiences, and existential anxiety arises from facing life's uncertainties and impermanence. This angst arises when we contemplate the vastness of life and our place within it. In therapy, we explore these feelings, seeing them as signals about meaning, purpose, and connection. We provide a supportive environment where you can discuss these concerns, helping you understand and transform existential anxiety into a catalyst for growth. 

Illustration of diverse people engaging in existential therapy by gardening on a stylized earth, planting trees and flowers, and caring for the environment.


Accepting that you are the creator of your values comes with the responsibility to live in accordance with them. This can be a daunting task, but it is also incredibly empowering. Existential therapy supports you in embracing this responsibility, providing the tools and perspective needed to transform your values from abstract ideas into lived experiences. Through this process, you develop a robust sense of agency and purpose, helping you to enact your values. 


Values are fundamental to our sense of self and direct how we engage with the world. They act as compass points guiding our decisions and behaviors. In existential therapy, we focus on helping you identify and clarify your core values, understanding that these values are not inherent but chosen. This realization empowers you to take ownership of your values and recognize the freedom you have to change or reaffirm these as you evolve. It also functions as a motivator to enact and embody your values in daily life.

Two business professionals, a man and a woman, discussing an existential therapy approach to a complex problem represented by a tangled line between them, with question marks above their heads.


Existential Therapy sessions delve into the pursuit of meaning. Many of us grapple with questions about our purpose and the significance of our lives. In our therapy, we help you explore these questions, not by providing direct answers, but by facilitating a process through which you can discover and define your own meaning. By examining these elements, you can begin to construct a personal framework of meaning that guides your decisions and actions.

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Transform Challenges into Opportunities with Existential Therapy

We believe that every individual has the capacity for growth, self-awareness, and personal transformation. Our innovative approach combines the depth of existential therapy with the action-oriented methods of CBT and ACT. 

We help you engage with life’s most profound questions while developing the behavioral skills needed to enact meaningful change. This holistic integration not only fosters insight but also ensures that behavioral interventions lead to significant and lasting change.

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Deepening Connections Through Existential Therapy

Existential therapy introduces the concept of the “I-Thou” relationship, which encourages seeing others as ends in themselves, recognizing our inherent value and humanity. This stands in contrast to the “I-It” relationship, where others are viewed as means to an end, effectively reducing them to objects for personal gain. Moreover, the “It-It” dynamic can lead us to see ourselves similarly—as mere instruments, thus diminishing our own sense of worth.

By fostering the “I-Thou” dynamic, existential therapy promotes mutual respect and empathy. This approach enhances the quality of our interactions and builds deeper, more meaningful relationships, acknowledging each person’s unique value and fostering genuine encounters. We offer a T-Group interpersonal mindfulness experience to help you cultivate “I-Thou” encounters in a group setting. 


How to Start Therapy with Us

Start your healing journey today!

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Matching Appointment

Book a free consult with our specialist to assess your needs.

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Therapist Match

We’ll match you with a therapist who fits your goals.

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Schedule Your Session

Choose video, phone, or in-person for your first session.

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Start Therapy

If the initial therapist match isn’t ideal, we’ll switch you for free.

Ready to take the first step?

Why Choose Existential Therapy With Us?

Integrating Diverse Therapeutic Approaches

At the Bay Area CBT Center, we specialize in combining existential therapy with other evidence-based techniques. This integration allows for a comprehensive understanding of each individual's unique challenges, promoting deeper personal connections and improved mental health.

Commitment to Evidence-Based Practice

Our existential therapy at the Bay Area CBT Center strictly utilizes science-backed methods. By ensuring that our therapies are both philosophically insightful and empirically validated, we provide effective, lasting solutions for managing psychological issues.

Take the First Step Towards Change with Existential Therapy

Contact us now to learn more about our integrative existential therapy approach and how we can help you on your path to personal growth and transformation. We look forward to empowering you to live the life you’ve always imagined—one filled with meaning, purpose, and fulfillment.

Our Promise

Check Out Our Books

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in the Bay Area. You could say we wrote the books on it.