Humanistic approach

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  • Humanistic Approach
    • Basic Assumptions
      • Humans should be viewed as a whole and not reduced to component parts
      • Humans are active agents
      • Humans strive towards achieving self-actualisation
      • The real self and ideal self must be congruent to be psychologically healthy
      • Carl Rogers
        • Important aspect of therapy was to focus on the clients immediate situation rather than their past.
        • The client could be brought to a state of realisation in which they can help themselves
          • (and the use therapy as a way to achieve a more ideal sense of self rather than remaining an irrational world
          • by having a personal relationship with the client
      • Non-directive, talking therapy
        • the therapist encourages the client to express their inner feelings and perceptions
        • therapist acts as a mirror-reflecting back what the client has said in order for the client to achieve personal growth
    • Maslow's hierarchy of needs
      • portrayed as a pyramid consisting of 5 levels
      • Four lower levels of the hierarchy are referred to as deficiency levels
        • esteem, love/belongingness, safety and psychological needs
      • the top level is referred to as a growth need
        • self-actualisation
      • Only when all deficiency needs are met can the individual work towards achieving self actualisation
      • Impacts and applications
        • Work - allowing employers to match people to the right job depending on qualifications and satisfaction
    • Evaluation
      • Weaknesses
        • Theories are hard to falsify
          • lack predictive power and therefore unscientific
        • Lack empirical support as it rejects scientific methods
        • Over-emphasise a persons ability to change and develop
        • Individual emotions and consciousness is difficult to study objectively
      • Strength
        • View person as an active agent unlike behaviourism
        • promote idea of personal responsibilty
        • subjective experience of a person is of value and importance
        • PCT is used by psychologists and counsellors in therapy today


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