Boulder Psychotherapy Institute

Advanced Training in Applied Existential Psychotherapy (AEP)

An Experiential Psychodynamic Gestalt Approach   •   Boulder, Colorado

Betty Cannon, Ph.D.

Boulder Psychotherapy Institute
1140 Lehigh St
Boulder, CO 80305

phone: 303 494 0393

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Betty Cannon, Ph.D., is the president of the Boulder Psychotherapy Institute. BPI trains therapists in Applied Existential Psychotherapy (AEP). AEP interlaces the insights of contemporary existential and psychodynamic approaches with techniques inspired by Gestalt and other experiential therapies. Betty is its founder. She holds doctorates in both literature and psychology. She is Professor Emerita at the Colorado School of Mines and Adjunct Professor at Naropa Univesity and Regis University. She is the author of many articles and book chapters on existential therapy. Her book, Sartre and Psychoanalysis, is considered a classic in existential psychology. She has worked with individuals, couples, and groups in Boulder for over 30 years and trained therapists for over 20 years. Her long experience in the field has not diminished her passion for her work. She feels privileged to have shared so deeply with so many people over the years. Her life has been enriched by the courageous work of her clients and students.

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BPI Student Information

AEP Module II: AEP Relational Training (Friday Afternoon & Saturday Afternoon Sections)

Research shows that couples and relationship counseling is the least effective form of therapy. We offer an approach, based in a profound philosophy, that avoids the pitfalls of other therapies. Applied Existential Psychotherapy supports and elaborates the conclusion that John Gottman came to through longitudinal research with couples: Facilitation and support for individual and mutual meaning-creation is (or ought to be) at the heart of relational therapy. Using Jean-Paul Sartre's existential phenomenology, we teach you to invite clients to explore the twin poles of human existence: freedom and facticity (the circumstances of our lives) as these impact our relationships and ourselves. If we deny or overemphasize one or the other pole we may fall into 'bad faith' or inauthentic relating. If we try to suppress or control our own or our partner's freedom, we may end up with security at the expense of aliveness, spontaneity and desire. But if we overemphasize freedom, we may find it difficult to commit ourselves to a relationship or we may fail to develop care for our partner's needs and desires. Many couples approaches overemphasize either togetherness or differentiation. Applied Existential Psychotherapy takes both into account as the avenue to creating a more spontaneous, fulfilling, and intimate relationship style in which partners come to support each other's deepest desires and to create shared meaning in their relationship. You will learn to work with perennial relational issues in the context of an overarching philosophical framework. This larger framework is critical to therapy. It provides structure, meaning, and direction to all the techniques, methods, or interventions that the therapist may have at his or her disposal. Since existential phenomenology insists that all experience is bodily-lived experience, you will learn body-oriented as well as verbal interventions. You will also learn to explore family of origin issues as they impact current difficulties and collisions over relational meaning. Class has two sections: Saturday Afternoons, noon to 6:15, Mar - Aug (no meetings in May) & Friday Afternoons, 4 to 8:15, June 2015- Mar 2016 (no meetings in Sept orJan)



Gottman from an AEP Perspective 3/14
Moving from I-It to I-Thou: The Aim & the Means of AEP Relational Therapy 3/28
Psychotherapy & Philosophy: What Is AEP? 4/11, 4/25
Psychotherapy & Philosophy: Existential Phenomenology or Scientific Positivism? 5/6, 5/20
Psychotherapy & Philosophy: Nothingness, Change, & Play 6/6 & 6/20
The 'Look', 'Bad Faith', and Movement toward Authentic Love 7/11 & 7/25
Bad Faith & the Death of Desire - Authenticity and Passion 8/8
Sex, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Lifestyle

Gottman from An AEP Perspective 6/5
What Is AEP? - 6/19 & 7/10
Moving From I-It to I-Thou: The Aim & the Means of AEP Relational Therapy 7/24 & 8/7
Existential Phenomenology or Scientific Positivism? 8/21
Nothingness, Change and Play 10/9
The Look, Developmental Issues, Bad Faith, Defense Formation, Transference & Countertransference 11/6, 11/20, 12/4, 12/11
Is Authentic Love Possible? - 2/12
Bad Faith & the Death of Desire - Authenticity & Passion 2/26
Sex, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Lifestyle 3/11
Trans Inclusivity for Counselors - Karolina Walsh

The Challenge of Being Yourself While Being Part of a Couple: Bad Faith and the Couple's Dilemma by Betty Cannon & Reed Lindberg
In the Spirit of Play: Applied Existential Psychotherapy by Betty Cannon & Reed Lindberg
Applied Existential Psychotherapy: An Experiential Psychodynamic Approach by Betty Cannon
Nothingness as the Ground for Change: Gestalt Therapy & Existential Psychoanalysis by Betty Cannon
Bill Moats' Reponse to Betty Cannon
Psychoanalysis and Existential Psychoanalysis by Betty Cannon
Praxis, Need and Desire in Sartre's Later Philosophy by Betty Cannon
The Role of the Ego in Reciprocity by Hazel E. Barnes
Consciousness and Digestion: Sartre and Neuroscience by Hazel E. Barnes
Hazel E. Barnes 1915-2008: A Farewell to America's Foremost Sartre Scholar - Betty Cannon

The Look, Bad Faith, and Movement Toward Authentic Love


1140 Lehigh Street, Boulder, Colorado 80305  •  303 494 0393

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