By Nasrin
B. A. Psychology
27 September 2021 -
Medically reviewed by
MA (Psychology)
Humanistic Psychology (Humanism)
Table of Contents

Humanistic Psychology is also known as ‘Humanism’ grounded in the roots of human principles, values, mannerisms, and ethics. It studies the approach of every individual born with uniqueness and behavioral aspects in his upbringing. Humanistic Psychology studies qualities imbibed in a person wholly to ascertain impacts on his life. The significance of humanistic psychology revolves around free will, dignity, self-actualization, and self-realization. To understand the concept with a 360-degree view let us get into more details.

Free Will

A person is born with the free will to do anything that he desires. After years of growth from child to adult, a burden of responsibilities takes him over. The desire to live freely is destroyed as he faces the realities of life in adulthood. Pressure mounts over and life turns out something else than expected.


Dignity is an all-around personality endeavor. Humans emphasize living with dignity. The value of dignity affects emphatically throughout our lifetime. Dignity also conceptualizes power to rule various aspects of a person’s life.


A new quality is eagerness to understand and practice in our lives. The concept is new and emerging makes wonders turn into reality. It is trusting in one’s own self and going ahead with confidence about doing something good to self.


A concept coming out of age. The concept is still in its nascent stage while humanistic psychology comes into play. Every individual should self-study one’s behavior and inculcate traits of self-realization into their lifestyle

Early developments in psychology led to the birth of the concept of ‘humanistic psychology’. It believes in the psychologist treating all individuals with or without mental problems, first as ‘humans’.

A Historical Approach

 A practical history of this concept goes from the developing stage to the developed stage in the modern era. The actual practice of humanistic psychology started after the Second World War. After the war ended, prisoners returned to their homeland and found it difficult to cope with their daily lives. ‘Humanistic psychology came into effect for improving their lives. A movement began to improve practices of human principles to reverse their behavior traits with humanistic psychology.

A Modernized Way

Humanistic Psychology believes in the betterment of individual lives by understanding their uniqueness and improving aspects of behavior by kindness, self-analyzing, self-actualization, and psychoanalysis. The reasons humanistic psychology holds strong ground as individuals face stress and become prone to violent patterns in their behavior. Today, this humanist approach focuses on an individual’s growth.

Humanistic psychology is based on theories introduced by two eminent psychologists Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers. In explanation to humanistic psychology, theories are described below.

Maslow’s Hierarchy Theory

Maslow brought into place a theoretical model placing the needs of an individual based on a pyramid form. Each individual categorizes needs as per their priority. The theory describes individual needs being met through ‘humanistic psychology’ based on a simple hierarchy. The arrangement of the needs-based on decreasing potency and increasing care, kindness, safety, belongingness, love, and self-actualization. The theory states if the primitive needs are met then individuals can reach higher levels of hierarchy.

Carl Rogers Self-Centered Theory

Rogers focuses on being self-centered and near to the concepts of self-actualization, self-realization, self-maintenance, and self-enhancement. An individual needs to be motivated on the self-front in the process towards betterment and improving lifestyle. If an individual attains the level of enhancement described through this theory leads to improvement in his personality and growth.

The two strongholds of humanistic psychology believe in creating an individual with developed elements in his personality. Psychologists around times developed various understandings and theories as per changing individual needs. In context to the core meaning of humanistic psychology an individual needs to develop through all the behavior aspects, and self-analyze for self-realization.

Humanistic Psychology emphasizes the balance of using both theories as per individual needs. Some psychologists use Maslow’s theory while some are prone to use Rogers’s theory depending on the treatment decision for the individual.

Stages of Humanistic Psychology

As every concept undergoes a process, humanistic psychology also went through different stages of development. The concept further developed into uses for emotional and mental well-being. Readout some amazing motivational quotes that might keep your mind focused. Humanistic psychology dives through elements touching the parts of behavior and psychoanalysis. The stages humanistic psychology goes through are nascent, adolescent, and maturity.


In the nascent stages of humanistic psychology, a person undergoes limits into behavior aspects. A person does not understand the changes in his behavior and needs to acknowledge feelings of care, free will, dignity, and self-realization. The psychologist understands the emotions based on various theories of humanistic psychology and advises therapy through self-analyzing practices. Nascent stages of humanistic psychology transformed the entire psychoanalytic process.


Humanistic psychology in this stage enlarges the picture as reforming. Adolescence is a period taking into consideration the glowing period of the concept. A stage for humanistic psychology to peak attributes of self-care and self-indulgence.  A self-centered approach diverted to humanistic psychology in this era. Psychologists averted to an engaging aspect of humanistic psychology trying to analyze values of efficiency, uniqueness, and self-improvement. The most standard way of operating to elevate human lifestyle. An impactful turn around observed in behavioral and physiological aspects.


The maturity stage in humanistic psychology is an interesting aspect to confer. A full modernist approach developed into practicing the concepts through therapy measures. Full fledge self-realization approach is the need of the hour. In the maturity stage, humanistic psychology closes towards a shorter period of tackling issues based on behavior and psychoanalytical aspects.

Advancements towards humanistic psychology are referred to through analytical approaches and defending the terms on individual’s behavior considered prima facie. Elaborate approaches to humanistic psychology for the development of humanism as a concept foreground.

After studying the uniqueness and efficacy parameters of an individual, the sole purpose towards enabling humanistic psychology to contribute in elevation, the practical use of this concept be undertaken on a serious note. The entire aspect of humanistic psychology as a term concludes by elevating human life through psychological and humanitarian aspects.

The entire turnaround for this concept to develop into practice goes down in the pages of history. Psychologists always updated the term humanistic psychology to understand different physiological, efficiency, self-care, and self-realization. Over the years different parameters developed to different stages increasing the importance of uniqueness and self-efficacy either being at the forefront.


In the end, humans adapt and develop on their own. The conditions of human behaviors improved repeatedly through ages before humanistic psychology or after. Humanistic psychology is an ever-developing concept keeping a tab on the entire behavior patterns and emphasizing uniqueness with relevant parameters to study.


The basic theoretical concepts are illustrated by Buhler and Charlotte in "Basic theoretical concepts of humanistic psychology." American Psychologist (1971).

What counts as a healthy personality is well explained in Healthy personality: An approach from the viewpoint of humanistic psychology. Macmillan, (1974) by Jourard and Sidney M.

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