Humanistic and Existential Personality Theories

1229 Words Apr 30th, 2012 5 Pages
Humanistic and Existential Personality Theories
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PSY/405
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University

Humanistic and Existential Personality Theories
In a perfect world, there would only be one, if not two different types of personality theories that psychologists would have to choose from in order to diagnose and treat their patients with, but variety, as they say, is the spice of life. In addition to that of psychodynamic personality theories, another set of equally important, and perhaps more interesting are that of humanistic and existential theories, made popular by psychologists Carl Rodger and Abraham Maslow.
Humanistic and Existential Analysis Individual Personalities
Humanistic and Existential theories focus on the different aspects
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“The fundamental contributions of existential therapy is its understanding of man as being” (Kiser, 2007, p. 2). This theory implies that an individual is in an endless process of becoming who he or she truly are and are meant to be.
When combined each theory provides an inner picture of an individual, and employs him or her to evaluate underlying factors, by taking responsibility, and making independent decisions. Row (2011) combined the theories and states, “An existential-humanistic (EH) theory, orientation, and practice of psychotherapy is a framework which emphasizes presence, awareness, and personal responsibility, in service to achievement of full potential, within a world which is limited yet brimming with possibility” (p. 2).
Interpersonal Relationships
Two humanistic theories are the holistic-dynamic theory and the person-centered theory. The holistic-dynamic theory was created by Abraham Maslow and for his approach to motivation he developed a hierarchy of needs with five levels. These levels start with the most basic needs and work up to the higher level needs. Meeting these needs guide a person’s behavior. For interpersonal relationships, the needs on the hierarchy will fall under the first level, which is physiological then the third and fourth levels, which are love or belongingness and esteem (Kowalski & Westen, 2009). The
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