Anxiety, existence and the person. Understanding, treating and living with angst 

Key-note address at the II World Congress of Existential Therapy on the theme: "Anxiety and guilt in time of change. Opening and possibilities", May 8th to 11th, 2019 | Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires City. Argentina, Universidad del Salvador. Faculty of Psychology and Psycho-Education.
Marcelo T. de Alvear 1335.
May 8, 2019
Anxiety is inherent to existence – there is no way of avoiding it totally. Although it is an indicator of danger and threat and thus has a life-preserving function it may also become obstructive and paralysing existence and the experience of life.
In order to understand these different impacts of anxiety, one must understand both its roots and its relevance for existence. The existential-analytical understanding sees anxiety directly connected with a lack of rootedness to the being there. This goes along with the anxious feeling of not having enough strength and/or competence to really be there, i.e. concretely to be in these surroundings and under these conditions in which one stays. The anxious life lacks therefore a sense of “groundedness”. As a result, life’s limitations (including finally one’s death) can neither be faced nor accepted. The subjectively felt need to escape the inescapable limitations of existence brings life into the trap of constant danger.
The key-note speech will elaborate an existential understanding of anxiety and its connection to a well-grounded existence. Based upon this theoretical understanding of angst, a basic approach for existential treatment will be shown with hints to different methods.
Angustia, existencia y persona. Comprendiendo, tratando y viviendo con angustia.
Palabras clave: Angustia, falta de sostén, confrontación, dejar ser, portal de la muerte