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A brief introduction to humanism


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Introduction to the theory behind the Counselling modality Humanism. Mentions of Carl Rogers,

Published in: Health & Medicine

A brief introduction to humanism

  1. 1. HUMANISM
  2. 2. * • During the 1950’s Humanistic psychology began as a reaction to psychoanalysis and behaviorism that dominated psychology: - - Psychoanalysis: focused on unconscious motivations driving behaviour - Behaviorism: study of conditioning processes that produce behaviour • Humanist thinkers felt psychoanalysis and behaviorism were too pessimistic: - - Focusing on the most tragic of emotions - and/or failing to take into account personal choice [aka autonomy]
  3. 3. • 1943 - Abraham Maslow described his hierarchy of needs in 'A Theory of Human Motivation' published in Psychological Review • 1951- Carl Rogers published ‘Client-Centred Therapy,’ which described his humanistic, client-directed approach to therapy *
  4. 4. • Abraham Maslow [1908 – 1970] • Carl Rogers [1902 - 1987] • Erich Fromm [1900 - 1980] *
  5. 5. Carl Rogers 1902 - 1987 Founder of non-directive therapy aka Client-Centred aka Person-Centred
  6. 6. * • Rogers & Freud both based there theory on clinical practice • Also, both were well thought out, tight & broad But • Freud sees people as bad or ill / Rogers as basically good* *mental health is a normal progression & mental illness, criminality etc. are distortions of this natural state • Freud is very complex / Rogers VERY simple & elegant namely - ‘Self-Actualisation’ not survival only but striving to make the best..
  7. 7. * • Why do we want: - - air, water, food? - safety, love, sense of competence? - new medicines? - new power sources? - new works of art? Because it is in our nature to do the best we can
  8. 8. * • Like Maslow, rogers started from basic physical needs: - - Organisms know what is good for them - Evolution has provided the means* food that’s good for you tastes good generally food that’s bad for you tastes bad generally This Rogers calls ‘Organismic Valuing’ Note: Just like Maslow, rogers starts from basic physical needs • Question: Does this resonate with experiential thinking
  9. 9. * • We instinctively value: - - Positive regard [love, affection, attention, nurturing etc.] - Positive self-regard, which is peculiarly human [self-esteem, self-worth, positive self-image] • We experience Positive Self-regard via the positive regard we receive from others* *without this we fail to be all we can be • Like Maslow [and based on basic physical needs] Rogers believed: - - If left to our own devices, we will tend to eat & drink what is good for us. Even babies seem to want & need what is good for them BUT: Somewhere along the line man has created an environment that is vastly different from that which we evolved: - e.g. Chocolate, refined sugar, butter etc. all taste yummy – appealing to our organismic self although not actually good for us. Flavours appeal to our organismic valuing but don’t serve our actualisation
  10. 10. * • Society/Culture lead us astray: - - We only get what we need when we show that we are worthy - We get a drink at break-time - We get something sweet when we finish our vegetables - and………….. - we get love & affection when we B E H A V E Note: Think about your own conditions of worth??? Example exercise: Reflect on one instance……
  11. 11. * • We NEED Positive Regard and hence these conditions are incredibly important So We bend ourselves NOT based on Organismic valuing or Actualising tendency BUT on societal requirements Society may not have our best interests at heart…….. A good boy or girl may not be a healthy boy or girl Hence we experience ‘Conditional positive regard’ …..can you offer any examples?
  12. 12. * • Experience of conditional positive regard leads us to a conditional positive self-regard • We like ourselves only if we meet the standards others have applied to us & not via our own actualisation* • These standards were not set with us as individuals and so we can’t meet them. We can’t maintain any self-esteem Think about Gestalt and Perl’s contention about the importance of being yourself & not being frightened to be unpopular
  13. 13. * • Originally called ‘Non-Directive’ Therapists should not lead the client Client directs the process • Then ‘Client-Centred’ Realised that by being ‘non-directive’ he was still influencing. being non-directive impacts clients • Person centred [aka Rogerian] Reaction to upset therapists who felt CC was a slap in the face* * ‘aren’t all therapists client-centred’
  14. 14. * • Therapists Require Just 3 Qualities: - 1: Congruence – genuineness / honesty] 2: Empathy – ability to feel what the client feels 3: Respect – acceptance / unconditional positive regard • These 3 qualities alone are ‘necessary & sufficient’ if a therapist displays these then the client will improve even if no other special techniques are used Question: The therapist or the therapy Question: Are therapists born or made
  15. 15. * Real Self versus Ideal Self
  16. 16. Abraham Maslow 1908 - 1970 Best known for his ‘Hierarchy of needs’
  17. 17. * • Like Rogers, Maslow proffered the belief that: - Maslow said that human beings strive for self-actualization, or realization of their full potential, once they have satisfied their more basic needs • However, unlike Rogers & Freud, Maslow looked at ‘healthy’ personalities  [including Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt]
  18. 18. * Maslow described these characteristics shared by self-actualising people: -  Awareness and acceptance of themselves  Openness and spontaneity  The ability to enjoy work and see work as a mission to fulfil  The ability to develop close friendships without being overly dependent on other people  A good sense of humour  The tendency to have peak experiences that are spiritually or emotionally satisfying
  19. 19. *
  20. 20. Erich Fromm 1900 - 1980
  21. 21. * Organisms Progress Through 3 Basic Orientations [is this analogous to self- actualisation?]: - • Instinctive bond between us and other living things • Love for humanity & nature • Independence & freedom Question: Is this like Maslow and Rogers thought?
  22. 22. * [1] Relatedness: Relationships with others, care, respect, knowledge [2] Transcendence: Being thrown into the world without their consent [3] Rootedness: Need to establish roots and to feel at home again in the world [4] Sense of Identity: Expressed non-productively as conformity to a group & productively as individuality* * is this like conditions of worth?
  23. 23. * [5] Frame of orientation Understanding the world and our place in it [6] Excitation and Stimulation Actively striving for a goal [7] Unity A sense of oneness between one person and the "natural and human world outside [8] Effectiveness The need to feel accomplished
  24. 24. • Too subjective: - - the importance of individual experience makes it difficult to objectively study and measure humanistic phenomena - How can we objectively tell if someone is self-actualized? The answer, of course, is that we cannot - we can only rely upon the individual's own assessment of their experience • Observations are unverifiable: - - No accurate way to measure or quantify these qualities *
  25. 25. • Emphasizes the role of the individual: - - This school of psychology gives people more credit in controlling and determining their state of mental health • Takes environmental influences into account:- - Rather than focusing solely on internal thoughts and desires, humanistic psychology credits the environment's influence on experience • Continues to influence therapy, education, healthcare and other areas • Helped remove some of the stigma attached to therapy and made it more acceptable for normal, healthy individuals to explore their abilities and potential through therapy *