Existential Psychotherapy in a Deep Cultural Context: The Case of “Keo”

Authors

  • Jerrold Lee Shapiro

Keywords:

Key words: depression; native Hawaiian culture; religious curses and healers of them; existential therapy; case study; clinical case study.

Abstract

This is a narrative case study of the psychotherapy of "Keo," a 23-year-old native Hawaiian man who came from a deprived and abusive background. After a period of seeming to turn his life around, Keo became depressed and withdrawn upon learning of a native Hawaiian culture curse that had been perpetrated on him and his sister. In the 24 sessions I saw Keo, I drew on my existential therapy principles to focus on his subjective reality and to work in conjunction with the Hawaiian subculture associated with the curse, including referral to a Kahuna, a healer in the native Hawaiian culture. A major existential dialectic that emerged in the case was Keo’s pull towards freedom from the curse versus his pull towards the status quo to avoid the anxiety associated with change.

Published

01/17/2023

How to Cite

Jerrold Lee Shapiro. (2023). Existential Psychotherapy in a Deep Cultural Context: The Case of “Keo”. Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy, 19(1). Retrieved from https://pcsp.nationalregister.org/index.php/pcsp/article/view/2127

Issue

Section

Case Study