Humanistic Psychology

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Augustine was a saint and philosopher. Some of Augustine’s thought can be related to the practice of humanistic psychology. My professional focus is the psychotherapy category called Humanistic-Experiential. Humanistic-Experiential therapies are, “psychotherapies emphasizing personal growth and self-direction” (Butcher, et al, 2006). The humanistic approach places primary importance upon human interests, values, and most importantly the belief in human potentials (Schultz & Schultz, 2009, pp297). Augustine’s idea of knowledge and understanding confront human problems of thinking and behavior. Humanistic psychology is able to help address the complexity of happiness and love according to Augustine. Humanistic theories are growth oriented, optimistic, and positively subjective. A component of humanistic psychology is phenomenology which can be defined by stating a person’s only reality is what the person subjectively experiences (Schultz & Schultz, 2009, p.329). In Augustine’s view, all knowledge is aimed at helping people understand God (Stumpf, pp57). Therefore, religion has priority. However, it is the ability of human reason to be certain about specific things. Knowledge derived from senses is the lowest level of knowing because the senses give the least amount of certainty. Senses can be reliable, but have limitations because sensed objects are mutable (Stumpf, pp61). Augustine paid much attention to the physical world, but believed it cannot provide true knowledge (Stumpf, pp64). A person must understand this world in order to relate ourselves appropriately to it (Stumpf, pp64). Humans are the union of body and soul, and Augustine believed we encounter two types of objects: bodily sensed objects and objects of the mind (Stu... ... middle of paper ... ...ion. A person needs a desire to know God and then the faith seeking understanding is the act of loving God seeking a deeper knowledge of God. Augustine and Humanistic-Experience psychotherapies both believe a person needs to be in tune with the material world, but focus thought to spirituality. This combination allows for happiness and understanding. Works Cited Baird, Forrest and Walter Kaufman, From Plato to Derrida, Fifth Edition (Upper Saddle River,NJ : Prentice Hill, 2008). Butcher, J. N., Mineka, S. and Hooley, J. M. (2010). Abnormal Psychology. (14th ed.). Boston, etc.: Pearson Education, Inc. Schultz, D. P. & Schultz, S. E. (2009). Theories of Personality (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Stumpf, Samuel Enoch, Socrates to Sartre and Beyond (Selections chosen for Core 300), Seventh Edition (San Francisco: McGraw Hill Primis Editions, 2010).

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