Welcome to the Home of the Existential Movement

Autumnal trees along a leaf covered road

“Bringing Wisdom to the World”

If you have been wondering where you might be able to find a group of people who want to bring their knowledge and experience to a worldwide movement for a better way of life, you have just found it. 

Existential ideas are a powerfully alternative way of looking at human existence.  These ideas have been around for many millennia, in the Athenian philosophies, the Eastern philosophical traditions and even, in a sense in pagan philosophies.  

They became much more prominent in the 19th century with the writings of Soren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche and came to fruition with the work of Husserl, when he provided the method of phenomenology. 

Most people have heard about existentialism, a mainly French 20th century philosophical movement, that broke the mould of philosophy and made it about human existence, rather than about human knowledge. 

Since then existential ideas have been applied vigorously to the practice of psychology and psychotherapy and a movement of existential therapy was generated over the past century, that is now extremely popular. All around the world existential therapists work in this way and every four years they come together for the World Congress of Existential Therapy. 

However it has now become vital to broaden the scope of the movement.  As the world is in turmoil and going through extremely dangerous times, humanity seems to have lost track of the things that really matter.  People have placed consumerism, profitability and competition at the foreground of human existence and have stopped noticing how they are ruining the eco system of the planet as well as the emotional climate in which we all live. 

Who We Are

The existential movement seeks to bring vital and down to earth psychological, philosophical and relational ideas to the wider public.  It is situated within the Existential Academy, a not for profit, Community Interest Company, which has a building in West Hampstead, London and which will support this new organization. 

We are also connected with the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling, which offers five masters programmes and two doctoral programmes in collaboration with Middlesex University. 

The Existential Academy itself offers an existential psychotherapy training and foundation certificate course, but it also offers a range of short courses.  All of these are based in our existential ideas. The motto of the Existential Academy is: Bringing Philosophy to the Community. 

The Existential Movement (E.M.) will organize conferences, talk with politicians, business people and religious leaders, in order to show them that a different value system and ideology are possible.  Human beings are in dire need of a moral and emotional revolution that can bring them together instead of encouraging them to be in conflict with each other. 

If you want to be part of this group, you can become a member, you can watch our videos, read our publications and contribute to our discussion groups.  You can also contribute financially to help us gain greater momentum.  Have a look around the website to find out what is already available.  

The Existential Academy, London

Mission Statement

The Existential Movement aims to make existential ideas available to the wider public in order to help people achieve greater clarity in their reflection on human existence and in solving their personal and emotional problems.  It seeks to create a safe space for this reflection and for the communal practice of a down to earth philosophical approach that brings wisdom to the international community. The mission of EM is to provide a broader base and a clearer perspective for people who wish to live their lives in a more reflective and meaningful way, without having to turn to existential therapy or counselling. 

The movement will draw strongly on the ideas and methods developed by the large and well-established international community of existential therapists, which is well represented on our Honorary Advisory Board. 

Existential therapy, as practised in many countries around the world has developed its own approach to the spiritual and emotional health of clients, which is based on phenomenological philosophy, existential philosophy, and ontology.  It has provided an alternative sense of meaning for those looking for new values and purpose outside conventional religion. It is our mission to offer this meaning framework to as many people as we can reach.  

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Existential Therapy - A History

Existential therapy has a long pedigree, going back to ancient Greek philosophers who helped people to live better lives by interrogating their difficulties and misconceptions (Deurzen, 2009). When Socrates dialogued with the young men of Athens, calling himself a philosopher or lover of wisdom, he helped them distinguish between the illusions and errors of judgement that made them go astray and the realities and clarity of understanding that could point them in the right way. Later philosophers such as Aristotle, the Epicureans and the Stoics developed entire schools of philosophical therapy, which evolved and refined talking interventions.