The individual attempts to separate himself, to individuate, to affirm his autonomy, to go forward, to fulfill his potential. Yet there comes a time when he develops fear in the face of life. Individuation, emergence, or affirmation of specialness, are not duty-free: they entail a fearful, lonely sense of unprotectedness- a sense that the individual assuages by reversing direction: one goes “backward,” relinquishes individuation, finds comfort in fusing, in dissolving oneself, in giving oneself up to one another. Yet the comfort is unstable because this alternative evokes fear also- the fear of death: relinquishment, stagnation, and finally, inorganicity. Between these two poles of fear, life fear and death fear, the individual shuttles throughout life.
— Existential Psychotherapy