existential analysis

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A form of psychoanalysis based on existentialism, introduced in the early 1930s by the Swiss psychiatrist Ludwig Binswanger (1881–1966) and described in his 726-page book Grundformen und Erkenntnis menschlichen Daseins (1942, Basic Forms and Knowledge of Human Existence), the aim of which is not to cure symptoms but to reconstruct the inner experience of patients, even severely psychotic (1) patients, and to get them to confront their existence and exercise their autonomy. The most famous case study in existential analysis, and one of the most disturbing in the annals of psychiatry, is Binswanger's case of Ellen West. Also called Daseinsanalyse. See also bad faith, Eigenwelt, existential therapy, Mitwelt, Umwelt. existential analyst n. One who practises existential analysis.

Subjects: Psychology.

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