The humanistic approach

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  • Key assumptions of the humanistic approach:
  • The concept of free will is central. The humanistic approach rejects attempts to establish scientific principles of human behaviour. We are all unique, and psychology should concern itself with the study of subjective experience rather than general laws - a person-centered approach. 
  • Maslow's heirarchy of needs:
  • Seld-actualisation refers to the innate tendency that each of us has to want to reach our full potential and become the very bet we can possiby be. In his heirarchy of needs the 4 lower levels (definiceny needs) must be met before the individual can work twards self-actualisation - a growth need. The self refers to ideas and values that characterise 'I' and 'me' and includes pereception of 'what i am' and 'what i can do'. 
  • The self, congruence and conditions of worth:
  • Rogers argued that personal growth requires an individual's concept of self to be congruent with their ideal self (the person they want to be). If the gap is too big, the person will experience a state of incongruence and self-actualisation isnt possible. Issues such as worthlessness and low self-esteem have their roots in childhood and are due to a lack of unconditional positive regard from their parents. A parent who sets boundaries on their love for their child (conditions of worth) by claiming 'I will only love you


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