Humanistic Theory Essay

379 Words2 Pages
The Humanistic Theory The focus of the humanistic theory is on oneself and the perception of one’s experiences. This view argues that you are free to choose your own behavior, rather than reacting to environmental stimuli and reinforcers. The major focal point is personal development. There were two major theorists associated with the humanistic theory, Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow. The four basic beliefs of the humanistic theory include the presence of a person, that person taking personal responsibility for their actions, and that person also believing that they are worthy. Lastly, that person will personally grow and understand. Carl Rogers believes that everyone needs to build self regard on their self concept - and then build unconditional positive regard. Unconditional positive regard when others demonstrate unconditional love. Rogers believes that psychologically healthy people enjoy life to the fullest. Abraham Maslow feels that there is a hierarchy of needs and one’s needs must be met in that order. From top to bottom the needs include: basic needs, safety needs, love and belongingness needs, achievement needs, and self-actualization. There are several strengths to the Humanistic Theory. Some find this theory to be valid; Maslow and others see the individual as very powerful. This approach is easily fit well with other approaches. Many therapists have included a piece of the humanistic theory in their approach. Most have seen the benefits of the humanistic theory involved in several different aspects of life. Although there are several strengths, there are also quite a few weaknesses. Critics believe there is not enough concrete treatment used in the humanistic approach. The basic concept behind the theory is free will, making it difficult to develop a treatment and study effectiveness. Critics also believe that the humanistic theory simply
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