Psychology had long been looked upon as a science that talks about the saddest and the most tragic experiences in human life that create some or the other disorder in the brain. However, in the 1950s, occurred another theory which was called the Humanistic Approach Theory and it focused more on the positive side of human nature, giving it a more real touch as compared to the behavioral or psychoanalytical approach that were dominant during that time. The roots of this branch of psychology can be traced back to eastern philosophy which were brought to fore by the likes of Carl Rogers.
The humanistic approach theory looks forward to the development of positive traits in the personality like creativity, self growth and self development. The American Association of Humanistic Psychology remains the first and the premier organization to theorize and research about the Humanistic Approach in psychology. The core of this approach lies in the fact that it makes the individual more accountable for his mental and physical health as well as his relationship to their society. Therefore, the person feels more in control of the situations around him and is able to react positively.
The other most important feature of the Humanistic Approach is that it does not function as an ‘exclusive’ field that will only think about the person and his perspective. It equally emphasizes on the environment of the individual and then decides the real factors that are behind a problem. However, this approach is not quite problem centric. It is used more in order to make individuals realize their potential and also make it easier for them to achieve their goals in given circumstances.
Most commonly called the ‘The Third Force’ in psychology, the Humanistic Approach has become increasingly popular and acceptable in the recent times. It is being used extensively in education and even in political campaigns to get the best results with people and situations.
The most notable figures in the Humanistic Approach are Abraham Maslow and Sidney Jourard. It has also become a part of many social movements and therapies. During therapy, there is generally a heart to heart talk with the therapist which also involves the jotting down of verbal and nonverbal clues that are being sent by the individual. Instead of just listening to the problem and making theories for it, the therapist normally goes beyond the cause and looks for creative and positive ways in which the individual can find fulfillment.
- The Humanistic Approach Theory – ryerson.ca
- Abraham Maslow – Humanistic theories of self-actualization – Wikipedia