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    Saybrook University
  Apr 25, 2024
2023-2024 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum 
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2023-2024 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum

Foundations of Existential-Humanistic Practice Certificate

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Recent research places existential-humanistic therapy not on the fringe, but squarely at the center of psychological theory and practice. The Certificate program provides a foundational core that focuses on both theory and skill development. The theoretical part focuses on existential-humanistic therapy with an emphasis on two of its founders, Rollo May and James Bugental. An overarching assumption of existential-humanistic therapy is that the client's in-the-moment experience forms both the underlying and actual process in therapy. This assumption anchors the existential therapist in the principles of practice that focus on experience over explanation and process over content.

Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of the Certificate, students will be able to…

  1. Identify meaning-making processes unfolding in the present moment.
  2. Illuminate these actual but often unrecognized processes by cultivating intra-psychic and interpersonal presence.
  3. Develop a safe and intimate therapeutic relationship.
  4. Recognize and work with existential life issues that may be present but disguised.
  5. Recognize and work with transference and counter-transference issues within an existential framework.

University Learning Experience

Residential Learning Experience (RLE) - Optional, Community Learning Experience (CLE) - Optional

All new students begin their studies with a Welcome Week. Welcome Week activities, including a certificate program orientation, are held online during the week ahead of the start of the fall and spring semesters. Participation is strongly encouraged.

This certificate is offered in collaboration with the Existential-Humanistic Institute (EHI): Http:// The required experiential is managed by EHI, including associated costs, location, dates, etc. See the certificate page for more information. 

Note: Saybrook degree-matriculating students may substitute one RLE, VLE, or CLE by attending one EHI experiential retreat. 


Note: Students without previous clinical training or not involved in a clinical psychology degree program at Saybrook may be eligible if they have a strong background in existential or humanistic therapy

The following are required courses:

  • * EHP 2040  Existential Psychotherapies
  • * EHP 6150  Existential Psychotherapies II: Rollo May and the Existential Tradition
  • * EHP 2047  Existential Psychotherapies III: James Bugental and the Existential-Humanistic Tradition

Two experiential courses:

  • * EHTP 2045  Existential-Humanistic Therapy: Experiential I**
  • * EHTP 2046  Existential-Humanistic Therapy: Experiential II**


* Integrative Paper/Seminar
* One year of personal therapy taken either before or during the year-long program is strongly recommended.

As an added bonus, students enrolled in the Certificate program will be able to attend the annual conference of the Existential-Humanistic Institute (EHI) at a reduced rate. Information about the conference can be found on the EHI Conference page:

* Receive an additional 12 hours of skill development training, specifically intended for Certificate program students

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