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Short-Term Existential Intervention in Clinical Practice

Joseph Walsh and Jim Lantz

Publication Date - July 2007

ISBN: 9780190615932

174 pages
6 x 9 inches

Retail Price to Students: $49.95


Short-Term Existential Intervention in Clinical Practice presents an existential approach to clinical intervention with clients experiencing a variety of emotional problems stemming from biological, psychological, social, and meaning and purpose issues. The book also focuses on the realities of short-term intervention and the effects limited contact between clients and treatment providers has on successful intervention.

The authors first relate theoretical material to the nature and experience of crisis including short-term intervention, environmental modification strategies, the principles of existential intervention, and cross-cultural concerns in existential practice. They then apply the existential intervention approach to various client populations, focusing on the existential strategies of holding, telling, mastering, and honoring.


  • Balances existential theory with practical interventions
  • Flexible approach to intervention
  • Includes case studies from authors' own experiences that bring concepts to life

About the Author(s)

Joseph Walsh (PhD, MSW, The Ohio State University) is professor of social work at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has been a direct services practitioner in the field of mental health since 1974. He continues to provide direct services to clients at the university counseling center. Professor Walsh was the 1998 recipient of the National Mental Health Association's George Goodman Brudney and Ruth P. Brudney Social Work Award, given annually to recognize significant contributions to the care and treatment of persons with mental illness. He is author of Endings in Clinical Practice: Effective Closure in Diverse Setting.

Jim Lantz (PhD, MSW, The Ohio State University) (d. 2003) was a professor and counselor educator at the Ohio State University College of Social Work. He published extensively in the areas of existential family therapy and cross-cultural social work practice. Professor Lantz was elected graduate teacher of the year by the students at the Ohio State University College of Social Work eight times, and in 2000 was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. He was also co-author of Cross-Cultural Practice: Social Work With Diverse Populations.

Table of Contents

    1. The Nature of Existential Crisis
    2. Environmental Modification in Short-Term Existential Intervention
    3. Elements of Short-Term Existential Intervention
    4. Emotional Motivation for Short-Term Existential Intervention
    5. Vicious Circles in Short-Term Existential Intervention
    6. Race and Culture in Short-Term Existential Intervention
    Part Two: Applications
    7. Re-collection Interventions with Older Adults
    8. Play and Art Interventions with Children and Their Parents
    9. Dream Work
    10. Life Stage Crisis Intervention
    11. Intervention with Migration Clients
    12. Intervention with Survivors of Rape
    13. Intervention with Clients Experiencing a Medical Illness
    14. Intervention with Combat Veterans
    15. Child and Adolescent Suicidal Ideation and Short-Term Existential Intervention
    16. Practice Research in Short-Term Existential Intervention
    About the Authors