The Humanistic Approach To Psychology

827 Words4 Pages
Humanism, also known as the phenomenological approach, is a contemporary approach to psychology that focuses on the “whole person”. It stresses the idea that a person is an individual and is unique. Humanists look at behavior through the eyes of the person, not as an observer. Everyone needs to be treated differently based on their unique personality. They believe that a person’s behavior is determined by their perception of the world around them, not their environment or genetics. Humanism begins with the belief that people have free will, or personal agency as it’s called in humanism, and that all people are inherently good. It is believed that everyone wants to make themselves and the world a better place. They have a natural born drive to fulfill their maximum potential. Humanism emphasizes personal worth and basic human values. Humanists are not concerned about instinctual drive, external forces, or past experiences. Instead humanists use the ideas of love, fulfillment, self-worth, and independence to help people as they are the basic human wants. Humanism rose to prominence in the mid-20th century. American psychologists Abraham Maslow and Clark Moustakas met with other psychologists in 1957 and 1958 to discuss developing an organization devoted to a different approach to mainstream psychology. They wanted self-actualization, creativity, health and individuality to be the major focuses of the approach. In 1961, with assistance from Brandeis University, the
Open Document