The humanistic approach includes a number of other theories with the same or similar orientation (“existential” or “phenomenological” psychology).
In order to understand behavior we must consider the subjective experience of the person. Neither past experience nor current circumstances constrain the behavior of the person.
Humanistic approach emphasizes the person, the psychodynamic stress, unconscious determinants and the behaviorists focus upon external determinants.
Humanistic approach is more optimistic than the other 2 in the sense that it believes in the person’s ability and will. According to the humanistic thinkers limiting ourselves to observable behavior and external stimuli alone is ignoring the thinking-feeling person and that is dehumanizing.
►Free will: humans possess the ability to make decisions about their life.
Human beings are capable of shaping their own destiny. They can think and design their course of action and can follow it in the way they like. People can overcome or minimize the environmental and intrinsic influences.
“Here and Now” is important.
“Wholeness” or “completeness” of the personality is important rather than its separate, disintegrated, structural parts.
Humanistic approach emphasizes:
Emerged in reaction to the perceived limitations of psychodynamic theories, especially psychoanalysis, as well as the staunch behavioristic way of understanding and interpreting behavior.
The founders of humanistic psychology asserted that people need a value system (a system of understanding or frame of orientation) due to which life gets meaning and purpose.
Rogers had the person-centered approach since the “person” was the main figure of importance. He believed that the most powerful human drive is the one to become “fully functioning”.
Fully functioning = a person becomes all that he or she is capable of.
To be fully functioning means experiencing:
►Defenses: in case of an incongruity between one’s the ideal and real self-defenses develop.
Rogers talks about only 2 defenses: denial and perceptual distortion.
Neurotics are part from the real and the ideal, becoming more incongruous, they find themselves in more and more threatening situations, levels of anxiety become greater and they use more and more defenses.
►Psychosis occurs when a person’s defenses are overwhelmed and their sense of self becomes “shattered” into little disconnected pieces. His behavior lack in consistency.
Self-actualization: most advanced human need based on the desire to grow and utilize one’s potential up to the optimal level.
Physiological needs: fulfilled through = hunger/food → Pathology associated = overeating, anorexia.
Safety needs: fulfilled through = profession, job → Pathology associated = phobias.
Love and belongings: fulfilled through = marriage, friendship → Pathology associated = antisocial personality.
Esteem needs: fulfilled through = awards, honors, scholarship → Pathology associated = depression.
Self-actualization needs: fulfilled through = painting, writing, singing → Pathology associated = isolation, alienation, cynicism.
Originally published at allyfortisnetwork.wordpress.com