Existential Crises

Feeling uncertain about the course of your life is normal, and even rational to a certain extent. We’ve all wondered at times whether we’re making the right choices about our careers and partners.

However, when these difficulties feel especially urgent or persistent, they can become overwhelming. It's at that point when our anxious, depressed, or unsatisfied thoughts may have manifested themselves as an existential crisis.

Symptoms of an existential crisis

How can you tell whether what you're experiencing is, in fact, an existential crisis? Here are common signs:  

Causes of an existential crisis

Not sure what might have prompted your existential crisis? It could be related to a major change or shift in your personal life.

Here are a few reasons that people experience existential crises:

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What to do if you’re experiencing an existential crisis

If you’re experiencing the kinds of challenges described above, consider the following options:

What to look for in a therapist for existential crises

You can work with a therapist to treat your existential crisis. When you're starting your search for help, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Look for a therapist who has a specialty in working with clients in similar situations

Therapists differ in their approaches to treating existential crises. Common approaches include:

Helpful questions to ask

These questions may prove helpful when interviewing potential therapists:

Prioritize personal fit

While personality fit is a nuanced factor, it is critical to your success in therapy. Multiple studies have revealed the importance of this factor, often referred to as “therapeutic alliance.”

On your initial phone call with the therapist, ask yourself:

Additionally, consider these factors:

Consider cost, location, and scheduling

Therapy will only work if it works for you. Before making an appointment, ask yourself honestly:

New to therapy? Learn about how to find a therapist here.