Existential-Psychology East-West(Volume 2) emerged from continued dialogues on existential psychology, particularly existential-humanistic psychology, in Southeast Asia. This volume includes authors from Southeast Asia, India, Africa, Europe, and the United States, including Xuefu Wang, Louise Sundararajan, Mark Yang, Louis Hoffman, Al Dueck, Albert Chan, Donna Rockwell, Ilene Serlin, Rainbow Tin Hung Ho, Rochelle Suri, Meili Pinto, and Anthony K. Nkyi. The book is divided into three sections: 1) Theory and Practice, 2) Applications and Case Illustrations, and 3) Existential Perspectives on Cultural Myths. The first three chapter focus on Zhi Mian Therapy, an indigenous Chinese approach to existential psychology. These chapters are the most comprehensive overview of Zhi Mian Therapy in English to date. Other theory chapters include a discussion of international psychology from an existential-humanistic perspective, the concept of Sui Wu Fu Xing, men’s violence against women, Sunyata, and the concept of savoring. The second section focuses on a variety of case illustrations to illuminate the practice of existential therapy in different cultural contexts. The final section expands upon existential perspectives of myths as developed in Rollo May’s The Cry for Mythand Existential Psychology East-West(Volume 1). Seven myths from different cultural contexts are examined from an existential perspective. Along with Volume 2, Existential-Psychology East-West(Volume 2) represents a landmark contribution to the existential psychology literature.

What People are Saying About Existential Psychology East-West (Volume 2)

It has been gratifying to see the growth of Existential Psychology: EastWest since its initial publication in 2009. It has emerged as a major voice in international psychology, providing a deeper dimension to such core concepts as authenticity, courage, and the good life. This edited volume demonstrates the paradoxical truth about the unity of psychology: what is universal is also indigenous; what is indigenous is also universal. I recommend this book as a valuable resource to all psychologists interested in the challenging mission of how to be fully human in the face of suffering and death.

Paul T. P. Wong, PhD, CPsych  (www.drpaulwong.com)
President, International Network on Personal Meaning
President, Meaning-Centered Counselling Institute Inc.

Unlike the ancient Greeks, existentialism was not specifically mentioned as it seems already deeply embedded in the Chinese philosophical tradition.  However, existential traditions in the East have been in gradual decline over the past one hundred years.  Fortunately, in concert with psychoanalysis, existential psychology was introduced into the Chinese world almost simultaneously.  Both of these strands of Western psychology have deeply permeated the social fabric of the Chinese psyche.  Thus, I’m delighted to see this collaborative work written by scholars from both the East and West.  In this deeply soulfulwork, existentialism has returned home, helping scholars in the East to return to our existential roots.  I heartedly recommend this book to everyone.

Zhang Peichao, PhD,
Vice President of the Hong Kong Psychoanalytic Society

This long-awaited and now deeply-cherished second volume of Existential Psychology East and Westdeepens and enriches the unprecedented efforts of Hoffman and colleagues in illuminating the existential values and concepts shared in common between two cultural paradigms that appear otherwise to be so fundamentally different. Reading each chapter is like discovering a new trove of hidden treasure in showing how we can engage in meaningful existential—and even spiritually-sensitive—therapeutic work with clients in cross-cultural contexts. This book may well catalyze a paradigmatic shift, a re-visioning of existential psychology not simply as an artifact of Western philosophical musings but as a vital global tradition with ancient roots.

Drake Spaeth, PsyD, Psychology Chair,
Department of Humanistic and Clinical Psychology, Saybrook University

It is indeed a pleasure to see scholars discussing and comparing characteristics and metaphors within the Chinese culture and existentialism from the West. Despite cultural differences in narratives and language, when it comes to the understanding of individuals, families, and societies from the East, we can see many commonalities in beauty and meaning when explored through an existential lens.  This is an authentic book which I heartedly recommend.

Zhen Li, Founder, MyTherapist, China

Table of Contents


Introduction from the West
Louis Hoffman, Mark Yang, Monica Mansilla, Jason Dias, Michael Moats, & Trent Claypool

Introduction from the East
Shijin Sun and Chen Kan

Part 1:  Theory and Practice

Chapter 1: The Symbol of the Iron Horse: From Survivalism to Existentialism
Xuefu Wang

Chapter 2: The Indigenous Psychology of Lu Xun and Xuefu Wang
Al Dueck & Gabriel Qi Wei

Chapter 3: The Beauty of Zhi Mian
Mark Yang

Chapter 4: An Existential-Humanistic Framework for International Psychology
Mark Yang & Louis Hoffman

Chapter 5: The Application of the Chinese Indigenous Concept of Sui Wu Fu Xing (隨物賦形) to the Practice of Existential Psychology
Wu Fei  

Chapter 6: Addressing Men’s Violence Against Women on College Campuses: The Role of Mental Health Professionals
Trent Claypool

Chapter 7: Chinese Calligraphy: Antidote for Political Polarization in the West?
Dan Hocoy

Chapter 8: The Appreciative Critic: An Invitation to Aesthetic Savoring
Louise Sundararajan, Chun Yu, & Mitch Hall

Part 2: Applications and Case Illustrations

Chapter 9: 促膝谈心 Relationship as the Cornerstone of Adolescent Existential Psychotherapy: A Singapore Experience
Liren Zheng

Chapter 10: A Case Report About Death Anxiety and Discussion of Life Education in Chinese Undergraduates
Ya Zhang

Chapter 11: A Walk in the Dark: Accompanying Clients as they Investigate Their Relationship with Suicide
Michael Moats

Chapter 12: On the Sichuan Earthquake
Jason Dias & Zhengjia Ren

Chapter 13  Mindfulness and Courage: Lifelong Training in Clinical Psychology: Implications and Applications of a 3-Year Study
Donna Rockwell

Chapter 14: The Praeternatural in Chinese Culture: A Ghost Story
Albert Chan

Chapter 15: Back to the Future: A Case Study
Ilene Serlin

Part 3:  Existential Perspectives on Cultural Myths

Chapter 16: An Aesthetic of Existence in Chinese Verse: Revisiting Ji Kang’s Qin Fu (琴賦) through an Existential Lens
Bingyu Li & Rainbow Tin Hung Ho

Chapter 17: Ghanaian Cultural Myth of Death
Anthony K. Nkyi

Chapter 18: Psychotherapist, Client, and Artist—Same Project: Building a Better Self
Richard Bargdill

Chapter 19: To Die While Still Alive: Lord Shiva’s Message for Modern Living
Rochelle Suri

Chapter 20: The Myth of Zorba the Greek and the Existential Concept of “Oistros”
Evy Dallas, Evgenia Theodora Georganda, Alexis Harisiadis, Anna Kourtis, & Katerina Zymnis-Georgalos

Chapter 21: The Myth of Death: Of Arrival and Departure, and Everything in Between
Evone Phoo

Chapter 22  Confucius: Self-as-Hero Journey
Meili Pinto

About the Editors
About the Contributors