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Life “is like aspiration, like motion”: adolescent’s existential themes

Review

Social work is usually understood in the context of helping others by solving different social problems, where a person is a participant of social relations. However, a human being not just encounters social problems, but thinks about his/her existence, the meaning of life in general, searches for the answers to difficult philosophical questions. Existential social work is based on the assumption, that a client thinks about the meaning of existence and it is a broader approach to the client, as an individual, emphasizing his/her uniqueness. Existential themes and discussion about the meaning of life is very important working with adolescents as adolescence is a complicated stage of personality development. Attempts to answer existential questions, the answers, which are found, are the basis for further personal development. This article reveals adolescents existential experiences through revelation of the most important existential themes. For the realization of this purpose Participatory Action Research (PAR) has been selected. Research data was collected using focus group discussions and semi structured interview methods. 8 adolescents, whose age was 16–18 years old, participated in the research. Adolescents revealed their existential experience by expressing their understanding and approach to the main existential themes such as freedom, life, meaning of life, values and solitude.

Keywords: adolescents, existential social work, existential themes.

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