Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

John Atherton

Second Advisor

Joe Davis

Third Advisor

Scott Harrington


This dissertation examines and explicates S0ren Kierkegaard's categories of despair as found in The Sickness Unto Death, in order to clarify his psychological framework and make his analysis more accessible to practitioners of psychotherapy. In so doing, this dissertation deciphers Kierkegaard's theory in depth and presents and critiques the views of other theorists who have referenced Kierkegaard's categories of despair. The dissertation concludes with a discussion of the role and limitations of a therapist who operates using Kierkegaard's schema.


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