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Update from the Existential Analysis Canada Board

Dear EA Canada Members and Friends,

It is my pleasure to send you this brief notice of greeting from the Board of the Existential Analysis Society of Canada.  I trust that many (or even all of you) had a good and restful break at some point over the holidays.  If you are like me, however, then January is quickly filled up with much work and so the break may feel like a distant memory already.  We begin the new year with resolutions, hopes, goals, and many other ambitions, and while these are often laudable and good activities, we may also find that we lose ourselves in them.  I trust that we will also find some measure of reflection in these activities, so that we can pause, and consider to what extent we feel an ‘inner yes’ to the activities of our lives.   I know that for myself this has been an incremental journey, but I feel deeply grateful for the gift of being able to say ‘yes’ to what gives life, and to find the courage to say ‘no’ to where I do not have inner consent.

As some of you perhaps know, the EA Society of Canada met in October 2015 for its AGM in Langley, BC.  We heard reports from various board officers (e.g., finance committee, chair of the board, training committee) and had an opportunity to connect with each other as members.  During this meeting we received the resignations of two of our board members.  Thomas Salley, who has served as our board chair for the past two years, decided to step back from the board after 3 total years of service.  Shane Whippler, who had served on our finance committee for 3 years, likewise decided to step down.  On behalf of the board and society at large, I want to express my deep gratitude to Shane and Thomas for their service to our society.  I am grateful that both Shane and Thomas remain members of our society and continue to remained involved in our activities.

While we bid farewell to some board members, the EA Canada Society remains active in our activities and we have some ambitious goals for this year.  I am pleased to be able to introduce our current board members, including Sara Klinkhamer (Finance), Mihaela Launeanu (Translation, Training), Beth Daley (Training), Janelle Kwee (Training), Tanya Kliefoth (Newsletter & Promotions), and Xavier Williams (Newsletter & Promotions).  I am so pleased to be able to work alongside such kind, generous, and competent colleagues.  We identified several primary aims for the society for this year.  These include:
  1. providing tangible support to our trainers and training groups through the fast-tracking of the translation of training materials from German into English;
  2. the improvement of our online communications through increased publications (such as this newsletter) and the planning of a revised and improved website; and
  3. the ongoing and increased promotion of Existential Analysis in Canada and beyond.  

With respect to this last point – the promotion of EA in Canada and beyond – we hope that you may consider helping our society in this regard.  We believe that Existential Analysis has a unique and positive contribution to make to the landscape of psychotherapy and to our society more broadly.  While we are fervently seeking to let our friends, colleagues, and neighbours know about EA, we could use your help in doing so.  Let me give you just three opportunities through which you could help your society.

•    Come to our upcoming free public lecture by Dr. Alfried Längle on February 10 in Vancouver and bring a friend. The topic of love is relevant to counsellors and the general public alike.

•    Consider hosting or giving a public lecture in your community on Existential Analysis. If you are like me, you likely intersect with many friends and colleagues throughout your week who may only know very little about EA.  Host a public lecture and tell us about it.  If you would like a board member or trainer to assist you with a guest lecture, please let us know and we will do our best to help.

•    Finally, become involved with your society.  As you can see from our goals for this year, there is lots that we hope to accomplish.  We would love your help in achieving these goals.  If you have a particular expertise that may benefit our society (e.g., competence in accounting/finance, website development, translation, etc.), please identify this and we will see if we can make something work.

Thank you for your ongoing support for your society. I hope to see many of you at our public event in February!


Derrick Klaassen, PhD, RPsych, Chair of the Board


EA Membership Dues


This is the first call for all EA Canada Members to pay their annual dues. 

Full Membership: $75
Associate Membership: $50
EA Student Top-up: $25 (Students are automatically granted Associate Membership and only need to pay this top-up)

Please send your dues to Sara Klinkhamer (Treasurer) via email (

Dr. Alfried Längle's visit to Vancouver in February 2016

Dr. Längle will be visiting Vancouver from the 9th to the 15th of February, 2016. During his visit he will be conducting a presentation, a seminar, supervision, and training cohorts 3 and 4. See below for details.

Love – luck or personal achievement?
An existential perspective on a life moving experience

Presented by Dr. Alfried Längle

Love is probably the greatest theme of our existence. Although it is common to all of us, it is not easy – and today it may be more difficult than ever to define. Love is multifaceted, yet ungraspable. Its impact is immense, though it also results in great suffering. Routinely sung about, and eternally longed for, love nonetheless faces multiple threats: materialistic, physical, erotic, spiritual, ideological, and egotistical. Still, each of those domains must be married with love, for they encompass it, and take up space in our lives.

From where does love arise? What it is all about? What are its preconditions? And what are its existential characteristics? This presentation is a psychological trial, through which we will attempt to understand love a little bit better. These questions will help us to contribute to the understanding of love, in both success and failure.

Date: February 10, 2016. 
Time: 7pm
Location: Cullen Family Lecture Theatre, St. Paul's Hospital, Vancouver
Presenter: Dr. Alfried Längle

Open Seminar by Dr. Alfried Längle

Desire, Attraction, and the Body - Sexuality in Existence

Professional Development geared towards Existential Psychotherapy

Date: February 13-14, 2016
Location: Carey Centre, UBC
Cost: $270 ($180 - students). Deadline for payment and registration is Wednesday, February 10, 2016.

Supervision with Dr. Alfried Längle

Date: February 15, 2016
Location: Carey Centre, UBC
Cost: $135 ($90 - students). Deadline for payment and registration is Wednesday, February 10, 2016.
Only open to EA Training Cohorts 1-3

Upcoming Training


Introduction to Existential Analysis (Vancouver)

Want to join the next EA training cohort? We are in the process of developing Cohort 5, which will be lead by Mihaela Launeanu & Käri-Ann Thor and potentially begin in September 2016 or January 2017. The next Introductory seminar, which is a pre-requisite for the EA training to become an Existential Counsellor or Analyst, will be hosted next month.

Date: Feb 27-29, 2016.
Location: To Follow
Facilitators: Mihaela Launeanu & Käri-Ann Thor
Cost: $360 ($240 - Students)     

For info and registration, contact: Käri-Ann 604-253-5450 or


Existential Summit

Finding Oneself in the Historically Rich City of Vienna

This Existential Summit focuses on the prerequisites and processes for getting better access to the real self and to enhance one’s authenticity and strengthen one’s self-worth. The Summit is organized by Dr. Alfried Längle and Dr. Leslee Brown, who is also offering to facilitate a package tour along with the Summit Seminars. Please refer to the registration link below for various options, costs, and CEU credits.

Dates: May 8-15, 2016
Location: Vienna, Austria

Authentic Living Workshops

For personal and professional development.  10 Themes: Inner Consent, Being in the World, Finding our Place, Trust, Likes and Dislikes, Grief, Boundaries, Self-Worth, Will, and Meaning.

When: Saturdays or Sundays
Time: 10:30am-4:30pm
Cost: $70 or $60 students

 For more Information, contact: Käri-Ann 604-253-5450 or

Featured EA Article


Travel Psychology: Why Travel is Good for Therapists?

Dr. Leslee Brown, PhD - Mind Body Passport Inc.

For therapists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals with wanderlust and the desire to study in a foreign land, there is some terrific news to be had.  There is now empirical research demonstrating that living in a different country is not only a culturally stimulating experience, but one that actually changes the brain, most notably in terms of increasing one’s creativity and problem-solving abilities, qualities which are often crucial to doing the best clinical work with our clients.

Here are five key reasons why studying abroad expands one’s internal as well as external horizons:
1.    Travel and geographic distance enhances creativity and problem-solving capabilities.

In a recent scientific study conducted by Dr. Lile Jia, a psychometric test called The Creative Generation Task, which tests creative problem solving, yielded striking findings when applied to the Indiana University graduate students Dr. Jia used as his research participants. The participants were given a problem and asked to generate as many solutions to it as possible. Two groups of participants were compared to one another: one group comprised of students living at their home university and one comprised of students studying abroad.  Dr. Jia found that the group studying abroad showed a strikingly increased ability to problem solve and be more creative in their approaches.

A reasonable inference to be made from this study is that when we study internationally and have a culturally enriching experience, we feel more relaxed and are therefore more able to conceive new and different ways of approaching and solving our problems at home. Other studies have also demonstrated that travel can positively change our brain structure and increase our creativity.  Could such attributes not make us more supple and alert when dealing with the complex emotional and relational concerns of our clients?

2.    Travel makes us more open to experiences and thus builds skills and capacities.

When we find ourselves trying new things, especially when immersed in a different culture, we naturally become more cognitively flexible.  Being in a culture where we need to adapt to, or at least become familiar with, people, foods, customs, media, and modes of transportation different from those encountered in our ordinary living situations stimulates us to be more receptive to new ideas.  Such an experience can only assist mental health professionals in being more effective in working with multicultural clients who present with a diverse array of emotional and relational concerns.  

3.    Travel helps us expand our sense of self.

When traveling abroad, we find ourselves in unfamiliar, perhaps even exotic, terrain.  Such travel thus leads to a widening and growth of our own self-concept, an expansion of our sense of potential. Getting out of our comfort zones helps lead us toward more confidence in our abilities to try and succeed at new and challenging tasks and situations.  As we develop and acquire new capabilities and skills in areas like navigation and transportation, we naturally experience uncertainty and fear, but we also experience the expanded sense of self that results from confronting these fears and working through them.  For therapists who believe that truly effective and meaningful therapy involves not just short-term behavior change but long-term expansion of our clients’ capacity for growth, such soul-expanding travel could prove an invaluable tool in the clinical toolbox.  

4.    Travel helps us relax.

One of the most common occupational hazards for those of us in the helping professions is burn-out.  What happens when the giver feels he or she has nothing left to give?  Can a therapist truly help a client manage anxiety and stress if the therapist is constantly anxious and stressed as well?  Fortunately, taking ourselves away to new geographical locations helps us to relax and recharge our emotional batteries.  Whether we are licensed or pre-licensed clinicians, we frequently lead very busy lives, and our dedication to helping others can make it perilously easy for us to overlook our own self-care.  If, as many believe, “use of self” is a key component in a therapist’s ability to heal a client, the importance of taking care of ourselves so we can be present for others cannot be overstated.

5.    Travel helps us more fully experience the essence of life itself.

Traveling abroad and taking a break from our routines allows therapists to become more inquisitive about the nature of existence itself, providing us with new opportunities to consider the world and our place in it.  To fully explore a new landscape, after all, one must be more alert and authentic to its environment.  Such alertness and authenticity increases our confidence and opens us up to opportunities to express our true selves in new and different ways.  As a result, we may not only experience more positive thoughts and emotions, but deeper and richer ones as well, ones that our daily structures may too often help keep at bay.  The traveling psychotherapist is, therefore, the psychotherapist who not only sets out on a course of going to new landscapes abroad, but also to new landscapes within, more fully engaging in the quest to live passionately and authentically and to deeply experience the very essence of life itself.

In short, Travel Psychology studies show remarkable benefits to our health and psyche… more Travel Psychology coming soon from Mind Body Passport!

References: Jia, L., Hirt, E. R., & Karpen, S. C. (2009). Lessons from a faraway land: The effect of spatial distance on creative cognition. Journal of Experimental Social  Psychology, 45, 1127-1131.

About the author:
Dr. Brown is president and director of Mind Body Passport Inc., a company that provides continuing education units on adult study abroad, international professional development seminars, trainings, courses, and retreats. Each trip is specifically crafted to learn and explore therapeutic techniques, cultural phenomenon, and history through a psychological lens and more.

Would you like to write an article for the EA Newsletter? We are looking for articles to include in our winter edition.

Here are some ideas that may prompt your creativity: How do you incorporate EA into your private practice? What brought you to EA?

If you are interested, please email Xavier Williams ( or Tanya Kliefoth ( Deadlines for submissions will be: May 22, 2016 September 25, 2016, and January 22, 2017.
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Derrick Klaassen,
Trinity Western University,
Graduate Program in Counselling Psychology,
7600 Glover Road, Langley, BC V2Y 1Y1
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