Humanistic Psychology Essay

1843 Words8 Pages
Humanistic psychology emerged as an explicit movement in the 1950’s, it was founded by George Kelly, Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers, who felt that core aspects of human experience were being left out of account by the psychology of the time. According to the American Association of Humanistic Psychology ( 1962, p. 2) ‘ It stands for...respect for differences of approach, open-mindedness as to acceptable methods, and interest in exploration of new aspects of human behaviour...it is concerned with topics having little place in existing theories and systems: e.g. Love, creativity, self, growth,...self-actualisation, higher values, being, becoming, spontaneity,... responsibility, meaning,... peak experience, courage and related concepts’. The concern of Humanistic Psychologist was to do justice to people’s conscious experience of themselves and their role in directing their own lives. The assumption is that everyone in the world has the potential for growth and development (Carver & Scheier, 2000). Humanistic Psychology had a number of influences. While it came about in part to a reaction to psychoanalysis, the idea of unconscious motivation was not discarded and often the concerns of the two perspectives overlap. The Humanistic perspective has also been influenced by both European and Asian philosophies. In the late 1950’s Maslow was one of the key figures in establishing both the Association and the Journal of Humanistic Psychology. Rather than focusing on problem states, his primary interest was to explore the healthy personality and the ‘farther reaches of human nature’. His early years were characterised by hardship and his parents thought little of him and his mother was cruel in her treatment of him. He was later to say that hi... ... middle of paper ... ...gaged and committed and thus have meaning. This does not provide us rational answers to questions of meaning but the questions matter less. Three important conceptualizations of the self were developed by early humanistic psychologists such as maslow and rogers. They emphasised the self as being, or becoming (Polkinghorne, 2001). Both humanistic and existential perspectives favour the idea of a fluid and changing, but intergrated self. The second concept is that the self is experienced (Polkinghorne, 2001) and then the final idea of the self as an agent, or it has the ability to act. Existentialism is the area of philosophy concerned with the meaning of human existence. It carries the idea that the self cannot exist without a world, and the world cannot exist without a person to perceive it. Humanism emphasises a persons worth and the importance of human values.
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