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Humanism and humanistic psychology.

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Humanism The term 'humanistic psychology' originates from J. Cohen in 1958. Maslow (1968) called this approach to psychology 'the third force', the first being Freudian and the second behaviourism. This theory focuses on the intrinsic values within people rather than the behaviourist approaches. Freud and Skinner believed that people's behaviour is dependant on outside factors and the unconscious, which opposes the humanist-phenomological view of behaviour being examined from the subjective experience of the individual. Humanists believe that every person has the power to decide how they behave, and it is not always deterministic. Maslow hoped to merge these approaches to create subjective and objective explanations of behaviour to create one complete psychology. Maslow's (1968) Hierarchy of Needs shows what he believes people aspire to. ...read more.


It could be said that the practices of therapy today originate from Roger's, as thirty years of research led him to conclude that for a persons issues to be resolved, the therapist must fully absorb what is said and offer unconditional positive regard, it is known as 'person centred therapy.' This kind of therapy should be performed in a therapeutic atmosphere were the client can feel at ease and more able to change their feelings of low self worth to more positive self regard. There are three contributing factors to the success of the therapy; genuineness; which allows the client to see the therapist as a real person with feelings rather than simply a practitioner, unconditional positive regard; where the therapist is wholly accepting of the client's issues and feelings and accept them, and empathetic understanding; where by the therapist understands ...read more.


Perls believed that people build 'mental barriers' to eradicate unwanted feelings or memories, which could be likened to Freud's theory of defence mechanisms. Clients are encouraged to describe their feeling and thoughts in the present tense and to take responsibility for these respective feelings with the statement, for example, 'I was unhappy, and I take responsibility for that.' It is thought that this method of therapy and ownership of ones feelings is crucial to make the client aware of themselves. Another method Perls used to create awareness is called the 'empty chair', where the client addresses an empty chair as the person they have issues with, and openly expresses their feelings of anger, love, fear etcetera. They then swap chairs in order to understand each perspective, followed by discussing their feelings with the therapist. Rogers (1968) theorised that people can change their perception of themselves and others if encouraged to examine our feelings and respective behaviour. ...read more.

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