Portland Existential Counseling with a Personal Authenticity Focus 2018-10-29T20:00:57-07:00

Portland Existential Counseling with a Focus on Personal Authenticity


What is personal authenticity?

~ A Hasidic Story ~

When on his deathbed, the Hasidic master Rabbe Zusya was asked by a disciple, “Rebbe, when you pass over, are you not afraid that God will reprimand you for not being more like our father Abraha?” “No,” Zusya replied, “I’m afraid he will ask me why I was not more like Zusya.

Helping you to become your own person and to create and to live a life that is true to yourself is the focus not only of my existential counseling, but of all that I do in my Portland practice. For who you are, the unique difference that you are, matters. Never before, never again will there be such as you are.

Yet not only are you unique; your nature also calls you to bring forth and to express that uniqueness as an individual. When you do so, life becomes fulfilling. When you do not, you live a life of quiet desperation. In the end, you may share the number one regret of dying persons as reported by palliative nurse Bronnie Ware in her book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: “I wish I had the courage to live life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

Paraphrasing existential psychotherapist James Bugental, personal authenticity can be defined as living in unqualified accord with the givenness of your own unique nature.

If you are called to more authentic living, then consider existential counseling with a focus on personal authenticity as a support.

How Does Existential Counseling with an Authenticity Focus Differ?

existential counseling, Portland Oregon

As you might imagine, clients come to work with me in my counseling therapy practice for many reasons not directly related to living a life more true to yourself. When I do work with clients whose concern is authenticity, the issues they grapple with often explicitly concern any of the following existential themes.

There are many ways to conceive the life skills to be learned and themes to be addressed as you learn to live more authentically. I group them into three broad categories of: self-discovery, self-definition, and personal agency. Here are some of the personal skills related to living an authentic life. A fulfilling, authentic life inevitably expresses these skills.




Self-contact allows for the discovery and integration of your unique authentic nature. Before we can be our authentic self, we need discover it. Themes of self-contact include:

  • Presence – Being, present in the moment, with your direct experience of your Self and life.
  • Focusing – Sensing into your felt sense of the unfolding self. (For a detailed discussion of the Focusing technique originated by Eugene Gendlin, please see the menu item .)
  • Wholeness – Radical permissiveness for the experience of and embrace of all of your nature.
  • Self-Acceptance – Reconciliation to the givenness of your Self and your life as it is.
  • Self-Esteem – Valuing your Self and the givenness of your nature.
  • Living as Process – Living as a dynamic, vital process, not a static conceptual identity.



Self-definition allows for the articulation of the unique inclinations of your own authentic nature. Themes of self-definition include:

  • Personal Autonomy – Inner or self-direction and self-regulation.
  • Values Clarification – Defining your own values, beliefs, opinions, and posture in life.
  • Uniqueness – Comprehending the difference you are and the value that your difference is.
  • Boundaries – Distinguishing you to yourself, your relationships, and your world.


Personal Agency

Agency is your capacity to be the difference, to be the cause in your life which creates a life of your choosing. Agency themes include:

  • Personal Responsibility – Being accountable for your life as it is and it isn’t.
  • Will – Applying intention to self-directed purpose.
  • Choice – The privilege and responsibility of creating your life through your conscious choice.
  • Decision Making – Formal skills of decision making.
  • Commitment – Passionate commitment of your abilities and resources to the authentic life you choose to live.
  • Self-Assertion – Expressing your Self in the world as the difference you are.

Many of our personal issues stem from a lack of authenticity. If you feel called to live a life that is true to who you are, then consider existential counseling with a focus on personal authenticity.

Personal Authenticity and My Therapy Practice

  • I address the concerns and skills of personal authenticity in all of my work with clients.
  • Additionally, I offer groups, classes, and workshops pertaining to the authenticity.
  • See “Events” in the above menu for a list of events which I currently offer.
  • I also write a blog, “The Personal Authenticity Project” wherein I discuss personal authenticity.

Video Introducing Authenticity Training

Are you be Interested in personal authenticity events?

Below you can subscribe to email notices of my classes and workshops in Portland.


Existential Counseling Topics on My Website

If the above existential concerns resonate with you, you may want to explore these other existential counseling discussions on my Portland counseling therapy website: existential therapist in Portland and Portland focusing and focusing training.

Explore Existential Counseling with a Free Consultation

If you are considering existential counseling with me, feel welcome to meet with me in my NE Portland office for a 50-minute complimentary consultation wherein you can share your interest in existential work, and explore the “chemistry” of our possibly working together. To arrange a consultation online now, just use the “Consultation” button below.

Complimentary Consultation

Explore Existential Counseling with a Free Consultation ...

Use this button to schedule your 50-minute complimentary consultation to explore how existential counseling may help you to make the changes in your life that you want.
Complimentary Consultation