Emotional clarity, felt sensing, and existential anxiety: What we can learn from current research and how to embrace it
- Presented by: Siebrecht Vanhooren
- Synopsis: New research shows how attending our felt sense is related to meaning in life. Moreover, also independent from meaning in life, listening and acting upon our felt sense helps us to experience more life satisfaction, less distress, and less existential anxiety? How should we understand this link, and how can we embrace this in our therapeutic practice?
Two new studies (N= 77; N= 358) show how attending our felt sense of our existence has a significant association with meaning in life and a negative association with existential anxiety. Apart from meaning in life, the daily attention for our bodily felt sense is positively related with more life satisfaction, less distress and a less troubled relationship with our existential challenges. This reminds us of the importance of emotional clarity, but also that - to quote Bugental (1999) - that psychotherapy 'is not what we think'. As Gendlin (1962, 1973, 1996) already stated, change comes not so much from our top-down intellectual endeavor, but rather from allowing bottom-up sensing and meaning-making processes during therapy. How can we embrace these ideas in our therapeutic practice today?