Introduction About Humanistic Psychology

Humanistic psychology is the movement supporting the belief that humans are unique, being recognized, and treated by psychologists and psychiatrists. The movement began to grow in opposition to two mainstream trends of psychology that is behaviorism and psychoanalysis.

Abraham Maslow, the American psychologist, considered one of the leading architects of humanistic psychology, planned a hierarchy of needs to decrease priority but increase sophistication: psychological needs, safety, belongingness and love, esteem, and self-actualization. The humanists are concerned with an individual’s most entire growth in the core area of love, fulfillment, autonomy, and self-worth. (Buhler, C., 1971)

What Is Humanistic Psychology?

The psychological perspective that emphasizes the study of understanding human behavior is termed humanistic psychology. Humanistic psychologists examine human behavior not only the way of observation but through the eyes of an individual. They have a firm belief that individual behavior is closely associated with his self-image and inner feelings.

Humanistic psychologists believe that humans are not solely the product of the environment, and they study human meanings, experiences in growing, learning, and teaching. They also emphasize characteristics shared by human beings, including love, care, grief, and self-worth. (Smith, M.B., 1990)

Humanistic Psychologists Believe That:

  1. An Individual’s Behavior Is Mainly Determined By The Perception Of The Environment Around Him.
  2. Individuals Are Not Solely The Product Of The Environment.
  3. Individuals Are Internally Directed And Motivated To Fulfill Their Human Potential.

What Is Origins Of Humanistic Psychology?

The creators of humanistic psychology

The early source of humanistic psychology was the work of Carl Rogers, influenced by Otto Rank, who had broken with Freud in 1920. The main focus of Rogers was to make sure that the developmental processes led to healthier, though not creative, personality functioning. Rogers has coined the term “actualizing tendency,” which eventually led Abraham Maslow to study self-actualization as one of the human needs.

Maslow and Rogers introduced positive, Right information on humanistic psychology in response to what they viewed as the pessimistic view of psychoanalysis. Conceptual origins and practical origins are the sources of inspiration which include philosophies and phenomenology.

Major Theorists In Humanistic Psychology:

The ground for humanistic psychology is considered to be prepared by several theorists. These theorists were Otto Rank, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Rollo May. (Hoffman, D., 2003)

Abraham Maslow– concerning humanistic theory, Maslow developed the hierarchy of needs. This pyramid basically states that individuals have to fulfill their physiological needs first, safety needs, love, self-esteem, and self-actualization. He later theorized that in self-actualization, people constantly strive, think in a broader perspective focusing on more general problems. However, he also believed that only 1% of people attained self-actualization.

Carl Rogers- Rogers built upon Maslow’s theory and claimed that the process of self-actualization encourages growth in a promoting climate. He stated that two conditions are required for climate change to be the self-actualizing growth-promoting climate.

  1. An Individual Must Be Able To Be In Their Genuine Self.
  2. The Individual Expresses Their True Self And Must Be Accepted By Others.

What Is Limitations Of Humanistic Psychology?

Humanistic Psychology emanates all aspects of humans

Humanism depends on individuals’ subjective experience, making it too difficult to measure, record, and study humanistic features and variables.  The importance of collecting qualitative data makes it almost impossible to measure and verify observations made in therapy. Other criticisms of the approach include lack of effectiveness in treating serious mental health issues and generalization caused by human nature and complete rejections of a few behaviorists’ psychological concepts and psychoanalytic concepts. Additionally, humanistic psychology concentrates exclusively on free will and the mind of an individual, but research doesn’t show that the unconscious mind plays any major role in human psychology. (Franzwa, H.H., 1973)

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