Humanistic Psychology

Humanistic psychology is founded on the belief that moral and ethical values and intentions are the driving forces of our psychological construct and directly determine our human behavior. This value-oriented approach views humans as inherently driven to maximize their creative choices and interactions in order to gain a heightened sense of liberty, awareness, and life-affirming emotions. It was developed by Gordon Allport, J. Bugental, Charlotte Buhler, Abraham Maslow , Rollo May , Gardner Murphy, Henry Murray, Fritz Perls, and Carl Rogers.

Theory and Methods of Humanistic Psychology

Humanistic psychology integrates multiple techniques of therapy, such as Carl Rogers's person-centered therapy, also known as "Rogerian therapy." Humanism suggests that a person is created with a distinct priority of needs and drives, that each person must rely on their own inner wisdom and healing center, and that all people possess free will. Psychologists who practice this method of therapy take a nonpathological approach and target the productive, adaptive, and beneficial traits and behaviors of a person.

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Humanism has inspired many contemporary modes of therapy, and most therapists value Rogerian principles, such as unconditional positive regard, even if they do not identify themselves as humanistic. The client and therapist strive to meet for the purpose of achieving the same goal and to stimulate communication that will facilitate change. Self-actualization is at the heart of humanistic psychology.

Importance of Value of Human Beings and Dignity

This method of psychology realizes that there are external influences that have severe and often negative implications on the mind, both consciously and unconsciously. However, humanistic psychology stresses the inherent value of human beings and focuses on their ability to retain their dignity and their conscious willingness to form self-respect and competence. This value orientation is responsible for the creation of various other therapy models that utilize interpersonal skills for the purpose of maximizing one’s life experience.

Resources Related to Humanistic Psychology:

The Association for Humanistic Psychology


Last updated: 07-02-2015

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