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Transcript of The Humanists
Humanistic psychologists believe that life is a process of opening to the world that surrounds us that allows us to experiment the joy of life. Humanists stress the potential of people for growth, change and the forms in witch life is experimented now, instead of putting emphasis in what was felt or the way someone acted in the past. "We can all achieve our full potential for emotional fulfillment if only society allows it". Rogers called this impulse a “tendency towards self-realization”, he believed that this tendency is in every organism. For example, if I believe I’m smart and athletic, I’ll put effort to fill this image of myself.
When our self-concept is close to our innate capabilities, we’ll probably become what Rogers calls a person with optimal functioning. These people are self directed, decide for themselves, and who they want to become, don’t let others expectations rule their lives, and are opened to experience, their feelings, the world and other people around them. People function in an optimal manner if they grow with unconditional positive consideration, the experience of being treated warmly with respect and love, regardless of their own feelings, attitudes and conducts. But! Sometimes parents and other grownups offer conditions of worth, meaning they only value and accept certain traits of the child. Acceptation, warmth and love that the child receives depend on him satisfying certain conditions as: “I wont love you if…”, “that is a good idea, but wouldn’t it be better if…” In the 1950’s and 60’s humanistic models emerged as a third force in personality psychology; rejecting psychoanalysts and behaviorists determinism and embracing free will. Every organism is born with capacities, aptitudes or innate possibilities: “a kind of genetic project to which we add substance as life progresses”. The goal in life is to satisfy this genetic project and become in the best everybody can be. Humanistic therapists share a desire to help people overcome the sense of alienation, develop emotional awareness and express creativity. Helping people become loving, responsible and authentic. If conditions of worth are set it’s not surprising that we change our self-concept to include what I “should be” and be similar to another person’s wishes.
When we loose sight of the innate potential, people become rigid and defensive, feel threatened or anxious and experiments discomfort. Self - Actualization Maslow defined self-actualization as the full development of personal potential.
Unlike his predecessors (psychoanalytic and behaviorists), he studied mentally healthy individuals instead of people with serious psychological issues.
Maslow noticed that self-actualized individuals had a better insight of reality, deeply accepted one-self, others and the world. Maslow created a visual aid to explain his theory, which he called the Hierarchy of Needs. This a pyramid depicting the levels of human needs, psychological and physical. When a human being ascends the steps of the pyramid he reaches self-actualization. Maslow's Pyramid Peak Experiences These are "high points in life", when the individual is in harmony with himself and his surroundings.
In Maslow's view, self-actualized people can have many peak experiences throughout a day while others have those experiences less frequently. People who have their basic needs satisfied but their superior necessities are not, fall into a deterioration syndrome, and experience desperation, apathy or alienation; simple survivor or commodity is not enough for a plentiful life. "Humans are not simply blindly reacting to situations, but trying to accomplish something greater".
Maslow's thinking was original—most psychologists before him had been concerned with the abnormal and the ill. He wanted to know what constituted positive mental health. Abraham
Maslow Erich Fromm According to Fromm, the awareness of a disunited human existence is a source of guilt and shame, and the solution to this existential dichotomy is found in the development of one's uniquely human powers of love and reason. love vs. Love Fromm considered love to be an interpersonal creative capacity rather than an emotion, and he distinguished this creative capacity from what he considered to be various forms of narcissistic neuroses and sado-masochistic tendencies that are commonly held out as "true love." Fromm viewed the experience of "falling in love" as evidence of one's failure to understand the true nature of a mature love, which -he believed- had the common elements of care,responsibility,respect, and knowledge. Freedom Fromm believed that freedom was an aspect of human nature that we either embrace or escape. He observed that embracing our freedom of will was healthy, whereas escaping freedom through the use of escape mechanisms was the root of psychological conflicts. Escape mechanisms Automaton conformity is changing one's ideal self to conform to a perception of society's preferred type of personality, losing one's true self in the process. Automaton conformity displaces the burden of choice from self to society. Authoritarianism is giving control of oneself to another. By submitting one's freedom to someone else, this act removes the freedom of choice almost entirely. Destructiveness is any process, which attempts to eliminate others or the world as a whole, to escape freedom. Criticism to the Humanistic theories Most of these humanistic theories are hard to verify scientifically, some critics affirm that these theories present a too optimistic view of human beings and don’t take into consideration the evil in human nature. Others say that this vision foments egocentric thoughts and narcissism, and also that it reflects western values as universal human potential. Client Centered Therapy A relationship in which each person's perception of the other is important.
The therapist is deeply involved him or herself - they are not "acting".
The therapist accepts the client unconditionally, without judgment, disapproval or approval.
The therapist experiences an empathic understanding of the client's internal frame of reference.
The client perceives the therapist's unconditional positive regard and empathic understanding