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The Humanistic Approach

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Bartłomiej Bukowski

on 22 October 2012

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Transcript of The Humanistic Approach

Assumptions The Humanistic Approach A healthy mental attitude is dependent on taking personal responsibility, recognising the existence of free will, and striving towards personal growth and fulfilment. Individuals have a need for self actualisation. People are naturally good, with the potential for personal growth if they are provided with the appropriate circumstances. Rogers (1959): if in early life children receive unconditional positive regard they will develop satisfactorily. People use distorted thinking to defend themselves, e.g., by rationalisation, that is distorting their real motives to fit in with their self-concept. Evidence It is not based on scientific methods since Rogers did not believe they were appropriate, but on phenomenology, in which individuals report their own conscious experiences. Strengths and Weaknesses Focus on both the positive nature of humankind and the free will associated with change. Strengths A second positive aspect of humanistic theory is the ease in which many of its aspects fit well with other approaches. Many therapists have adopted a humanistic undertone in their work with clients. While they may argue humanistic theory does not go far enough, they see the benefit of the core components in helping people change. Finally, most have seen the benefits of humanism carry over into different professions. If you take a health class, you are likely to discuss Maslow’s hierarchy. If you study economic or business, you will also focus on moving upward in our lives in order to be more aware of who we are and where we fit in with the world. The same holds true with other professions, including literature, criminology, and history, among others, as the basics of humanistic thought strike an undertone in all of what is considered human. Weaknesses The biggest criticism of humanistic thought appears to center around its lack of concrete treatment approaches aimed at specific issues. Secondly, there are those who believe humanistic falls short in its ability to help those with more sever personality or mental health pathology. Finally, humanistic makes some generalizations about human nature that are not widely accepted as complete. Are people basically good or are their some individuals who are not capable of this? Can we adequately argue that everyone follows the same levels as Maslow explained, or are these levels, and even what they stand for, be determined by the individual? Why do some people seem to make negative choices even when positive solutions are staring them in the face? EVALUATION It provides power to individuals by emphasising free will and the ability to change. It ignores biological influences. Maslow's hierarchy of needs
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