Source of existential psychology has become existential philosophy, which laid the foundations of Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. Subsequently, they were developed in the philosophical works of Jean-Paul Sartre and Martin Heidegger.
One reason for the emergence and development of existential psychology was a protest against the principles of Freudian psychoanalysis, which reduced all human behavior to basic instincts. Existential psychologists, on the other hand, believe that there is a number of times and spaces equal to the number of subjects.
Existential psychology aims to restore the authenticity of personality - matching her "being in the world" inner nature of man. Means such recovery is human striving to identify opportunities of his identity and self-actualization. Methods used by existentialists, built on self and dive into the inner world of another person.
"Academic" Psychologists believe that these methods are unscientific and return psychology in the sphere of "subjectivism" and "romanticism". In turn, existential psychology rejects experimental methods (empirical research), regarding them as a consequence of dehumanization. In the existential understanding of man does not decompose in the amount of any parts (separate emotions, will, thinking). Thus, existential psychology was a kind of "living water" for the revival of science of psychology.