Essay on Humanistic Psychology

1101 Words5 Pages
Augustine was a saint and philosopher. Some of Augustine’s thought can be related to the practice of humanistic psychology. My professional focus is the psychotherapy category called Humanistic-Experiential. Humanistic-Experiential therapies are, “psychotherapies emphasizing personal growth and self-direction” (Butcher, et al, 2006). The humanistic approach places primary importance upon human interests, values, and most importantly the belief in human potentials (Schultz & Schultz, 2009, pp297). Augustine’s idea of knowledge and understanding confront human problems of thinking and behavior. Humanistic psychology is able to help address the complexity of happiness and love according to Augustine.
Humanistic theories are growth oriented,
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The highest level of knowledge is the knowledge of God.
According to Augustine, happiness is the ultimate goal of human behavior (Stumpf, pp65). We must go beyond just the natural world to the spiritual in order to experience happiness. It is the consequence of our human condition that we seek happiness. We are incomplete as humans separate from God; therefore, can only find happiness in God “since we were made by him to find it in him” (Stumpf, pp66). Humans search for happiness through love.
It is inevitable for people to love because it is a condition of our incompleteness. We can love objects, others, and ourselves. Different human needs prompt different acts of love (Stumpf, pp66). Some of these needs are positive regard, unconditional positive regard, and positive self-regard. Positive regard is given to infants and children from the primary care-giver. Unconditional positive regard occurs when approval is granted regardless of a person’s behavior (Schultz & Schultz, pp330). From these needs, stems the reciprocal idea of positive regard. Objects are able to give a limited amount of satisfaction. However, the deep need for human companionship is only met with relationship. Inanimate objects cannot substitute for a human being. The spiritual need should prompt our love of God (Stumpf, pp67). People are made to love God, and God is infinite. Only God can satisfy the precise need for the infinite. Love of these things brings an
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