Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The purpose of this thesis is to trace the thread of existential psychological thought from its first systematic statements in Denmark through its expansion in Europe to its influence in contemporary thought in the United States. This study begins with Søren Kierkegaard who cast existential expression into molds that have not broken to the present day. The study then primarily concerns Jean-Paul Sartre who expanded Kierkegaard’s germinal concepts into a theoretical psychology. From Sartre the thread is followed to the United States in the writings of Erich Fromm, Rollo May, and Carl Rogers. Existential theoretical psychology develops a psychoanalytical approach, and some conclusions are drawn concerning the present state of existential psychoanalysis and the trend it will pursue in the future. Throughout the last two chapters it is explicitly and implicitly compared and contrasted with transitional Freudian psychoanalysis.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska at Omaha In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts.

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