Humanistic Approach

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  • Created on: 30-05-22 15:41
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  • Humanistic Approach
    • Assumptions
      • Emphasis is on the study of the whole person.
      • Concerns itself with explanations of ‘healthy’ growth in individuals (unlike Freud).
    • Free Will
      • It claims that human beings are essentially self-determining and have free will.
        • This does not mean we are not affected by external and internal influences but we are active agents who have the ability to determine our own development. 
    • Self- Actualisation
      • Each person has an innate tendency to achieve their full potential – to become the best they can possibly be. 
        • Maslow and Rogers are both Humanistic theorists. They differ in their believe of how to achieve self-actualisation.
    • Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
      • To achieve the primary goal of self-actualisation, a number of other deficiency needs must be met first. .  A person is only able to progress up the hierarchy once the current need in the sequence has been met.
      • Physiological Needs = food, water, shelter, clothing, sleep.
        • Safety + Security = health, employment, property, family.
          • Love + Belonging = friendships, family, intimacy.
            • Self-esteem = confidence, achievement, respect of others.
              • Self-actualization = morality, creativity, spontaneity, acceptance, inner potential.
    • The Self + Congruence (Carl Rogers)
      • For personal growth to be achieved, an individual’s concept of self (the way they see themselves) must be broadly equivalent to or have congruence with ideal self (the person I want to be). 
        • If a bigger gap exists between the two selves, the person will experience a state of incongruence; self-actualisation will not be possible due to the negative feelings of self-worth that arise.  
    • Role of Conditions of Worth
      • In order to reduce the gap between self-concept and the ideal self, Rogers developed a client-centred therapy to help people cope with the problems of everyday living. 
      • Rogers claimed that many of the issues we experience as adults such as worthlessness and low self-esteem have their roots in childhood and can often be explained by lack of unconditional positive regard (or lack of unconditional love) from parents.
        • A parent who sets boundaries and limits on their love for their child by claiming is storing up psychological problems for that child in the future
          • Roger believed effective therapists could provide clients with the unconditional positive regard they had failed to receive as children.
    • The Influence on Counselling Psychology
      • Rogers referred to those in therapy as clients rather than as patients.
      • Rogerian therapy is non-directive: the client is encouraged towards discovering their own solutions within a therapeutic atmosphere that is warm, supportive and non-judgemental.
        • An effective therapist should provide the client with 3 things: genuineness, empathy and unconditional positive regard
      • Rogerian therapy aims to increase the person’s feeling of self-worth, reduce the level of incongruence between the self-concept and the ideal self and help the person to become a fully functioning person
    • Contributions
      • Developed person-centred counselling which was the first therapy to put the client at the heart of the therapeutic process
        • Influenced many other fields such as education, social work and business.
      • Emphasises the importance of self-determinisation and free will
        • Is the only approach that emphasises the study of the whole person.
      • Emphasised role of unique, subjective experience therefore, rejected the scientific method as they didn’t consider it to be an appropriate method to study complex human behaviour. 
      • P -  The humanistic approach is holistic
        • E - Humanistic Psychologists reject attempts to break experience into smaller components. 
          • E - Instead they advocate holism, the idea that subjective experience can only be understood by considering the whole person. 
            • L - This humanistic approach could be more valid compared to other approaches as it looks at the layers of meaning in human behaviour in a real-life context.
      • P - A strength of humanistic is its practical application of a person centred approach. 
        • E -  Rogers work transformed psychotherapy with the introduction of ‘client-centred therapy’.
          • E - Furthermore, counselling techniques are practised not only in clinical settings, but through education, health, social work and industry.  
            • L - This means the humanistic approach has had a broad application to many settings increasing its value. 
      • P - The emphasis on conscious awareness limits the scope of the humanistic approach.  
        • E - There are times when individuals do things and don’t know why, they are not consciously exercising their own free will.  
          • E - This can be alternatively explained by the psychodynamic approach using the concept of unconscious motivation. 
            • L - This means that the humanistic approach can only provide us with a partial explanation for behaviour which may be more fully explained using other approaches. 
      • P - A limitation of the approach is that humanistic approach includes untestable concepts. 
        • E - Humanistic psychology includes a number of vague ideas that are abstract and difficult to test. 
          • E -For example concepts such as ‘self-actualisation’ and ‘congruence’ although Rogers did attempt to introduce more rigour developing the Q-sort Technique. 
            • L - This means that the humanistic approach is considered unscientific and humanism is short of empirical evidence to support its assumptions. 


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