- What, if anything, is the ultimate meaning of life?
- What is my purpose for being here?
- How does the inevitable fact of death affect ongoing struggles in life?
- Is there a God?
- Am I all alone in the universe?
Each of these questions may arise when an individual struggles with religious, spiritual, or existential issues. Examining existential issues in the context of counseling can help to deal with the conflicts and struggles that necessarily surround the phenomenon of existence.
Although psychotherapy cannot answer any of the above questions with absolute authority, it can help individuals clarify their own beliefs. At times, relatively simple emotional conflicts such as depression or anxiety confuse the individual’s basic perceptions of life and may lead to feelings of hopelessness or meaninglessness in life. Once again, the therapist does not claim to solve these issues directly so much as help clear the way for the client to more easily make up his or her own mind about some basic life questions.