The Humanistic-Existential Perspective Essay

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The Humanistic-Existential Perspective

The humanistic-existential perspective is both a reaction to and an outgrowth of the psychodynamic perspective. These thinkers refer to psychodynamic theory as inadequate, many were repulsed with its tendency to break down the "whole" person into discrete components, and, the idea of adapting to one's society, however questionable its values. Most importantly, they disagree that human action is beyond the individuals control, in fact they believe that if we could develop with out constraints, we would be rational and socialized. Humanists and existentialists also think psychology should be converted into a human science, different from psychological theories with more focus on natural science.
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Both humanists and existenialists see the individual as a process. Finally, the concept of Freedom and Responsibility is met. What this means, and what also makes the humanistic- existential perspective stand apart from any other psychological stand-point is the belief that we are as humans, given self-awareness. Meaning, we can control our impulses and are responsible for them. In other words we create our own destinies, the result is reached through our own judgement.
Humanist Carl Rogers developed a theory that saw behavior motivated by what he called the actualizing tendency, the desire to preserve and enhance oneself through self-actualization. While persuing self- actualization we engage in the valuing process, where we go through various experiences that either enhance oneself and are valued as good, or, bad experiences not enhancing oneself which are avoided. Hence, how we handle this process relies on two interacting factors: the organism, our total perception of our experiences, and, the self, our image of ourselves. A major decisive factor is childhood experience and the positive regard that is engrossed. Rogers also developed a technique called client-centered therapy. In an accepting atmosthere the patient confronts inconsistent feelings and experiences, where self and organism are brought back into congruence. Now free from their troubles they can proceed with
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