What is the humanistic psychology and humanistic therapy?

Humanistic psychology arose in the 1950s as a response to both behaviourism and psychoanalysis. It is specifically concerned with the human component of psychology and the human environment in which psychological theory is developed. These issues are frequently summarised by Bugental’s five postulates of Humanistic Psychology, which include: (1) Human beings cannot be reduced to components, (2) Human beings have a uniquely human context, (3) Human consciousness includes an awareness of oneself in the context of other people, (4) Human beings have choices and responsibilities, and (5) Human beings are intentional, seeking meaning, value, and creativity (Bugental, 1964).

Humanistic Theory and Perspective

The humanistic approach is based on the idea that people have free choice and considerable power over how they conduct their lives. Overall, it is a positive view of psychology and people’s ability to realise their potential and achieve their goals.

During the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, additional intellectual advances influenced the development of the humanistic worldview. Physiology, the scientific study of the body, organs, and functions, and the enlightenment movement are examples of these advancements. This philosophical movement aimed to improve humanity’s knowledge of the cosmos and one another.

Humanistic psychology’s principles

Martin E.P. Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, summarises the underlying principle of humanistic psychology as “striving to express our real selves.”

Humanistic psychology’s other fundamental ideas include:

In contrast to Freud’s notion that your behaviour is mostly determined by unconscious processes that begin in childhood, you have free choice.

Human beings are, at their core, good.

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Humans have an inherent desire to grow and develop as individuals, much like every other organism wants to become a more sophisticated and developed version of itself.

Founders and History of Humanistic Psychology

Carl Rogers, a psychologist and psychotherapist who founded the notion of self-concept, was one of the pioneers of humanistic psychology. Rogers felt that three characteristics of a person’s personality contributed build a person’s psychological condition, thus the self-concept revolves around them.

The three parts of a person’s personality, according to Rogers, are as follows:

Self-image
Self-worth
Optimal self

According to Rogers, a person’s self-image and their ideal self should be compatible. If a person’s ideal self and self-image do not match, worry, sadness, and low self-esteem are more likely to result.

Abraham Maslow, a psychologist, was another creator of humanistic psychology. Maslow established the self-actualization hypothesis, which is based on his hierarchy of needs. Humans’ motivation and capacity to accomplish and be their best grows as humanistic psychology advances. If a person is self-actualized, it signifies that all of their Maslow needs have been satisfied.

Humanistic Psychology In Therapy

Unstructured interviews, observation, and open-ended questionnaires are used by humanistic psychologists.

The therapist uses unstructured interviews to learn about your thoughts and feelings without concentrating the session on any specific subjects or concepts. They also keep an eye on you during sessions, allowing you to be more free and direct with your criticism.

Psychologists that utilise this approach personalise treatment to the individual because they recognise that everyone is different and has distinct needs and motivations.

Humanistic psychology’s importance

Person-centered therapy has been demonstrated to be successful in treating a variety of issues, including mental health illnesses like depression and anxiety, in studies.

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While some experts may take a more humanistic approach than others, the third force has had an undeniable impact on twentieth-century psychology. The most important contribution, however, is that it demonstrates the profession’s progress. Humanistic psychology has demonstrated the importance of genuine, collaborative relationships between clients and therapists, as well as the link between human potential and health and wellness. The psychology profession as a whole benefits from constructive discussion on the best method to understand human experience. If you want to take part in the conversation, the first step is to enrol in SACAP’s psychology programme. Enquire today for more information on the psychology courses available, which include part-time, full-time, and online choices.

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