This is a video of Betty Cannon's presentation to the Colorado Association of Psychotherapists on Sept. 27, 2012. It includes a discussion of the importance of Sartre's concept of freedom to psychotherapy in general and to the form of psychotherapy developed, taught, and practiced at the Boulder Psychotherapy Institute over the past 23 years in particular. It is called Applied Existential Psychotherapy (AEP) and is a synthesis of the insights of contemporary existential and psychodynamic approaches with techniques inspired by Gestalt and other experiential therapies.
The audience discussion was edited out in order to protect people's privacy. Audience responses to the first exercise ("Nothingness") included awareness of existential anxiety and awareness of feelings of lightness and playfulness after putting down all the pieces of paper with the sentence completions on them. People reported feelings of heaviness and feelings of comfort when taking them up again. There was much discussion about personal and client issues that relate to topics of existential anxiety and ego solidification––and even a client role play.
The second audience exercise was edited out because it was so entwined with audience discussion. It involved taking a piece of paper, drawing a line down the middle from top to bottom, and writing "I'd like to see myself as. . ." at the top of one column and "I'm afraid I might be. . . ." at the top of the second column. People then write as many completions to the sentence as come to them. People noticed that the words in the two columns tended to be opposites, representing "good me" ego identifications in the first column and "bad me" ego identifications in the second.