HUMANISTIC PSYCHOLOGY

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HUMANISTIC PSYCHOLOGY

There is no doubt about the individual’s inherent momentum towards self-realization

At the core of this approach is the belief that people are inherently good, and that a belief in humanity is important for positive mental health. Based on existential-humanistic psychology, we offer an alternative approach to psychological conversations and consultation where there is no need to talk about mental disorders or diagnosis of any kind

HUMANISTIC PSYCHOLOGY THEORY

Humanistic psychology theory came to its rise in the 1950s, partly in response to the abundance of military conflict that characterized the first half of the twentieth century. Perhaps more than ever before, this is a direction in psychology that is relevant to the reality we live in globally today, and as such carries an important message for us. At the core of this approach is the belief that people are inherently good, and that a belief in and respect for humanity is important for mental health. Alongside this essential belief there are several other important principles of the humanistic psychology perspective.

The present is more important and more significant than both the past or the future

HUMANISTIC THINKING

According to humanistic thinking, the present is more important and more significant than both the past or the future.
Therefore, it is more useful to explore what can be done here and now, instead of making decisions based on what might happen in the future or to constantly dwell on past experiences, such as what if something hadn ́t happened or why did it happen?

The perception of you having control over the present is important to master challenges in everyday life

Having a subjective sense of present control is key to fixing life- here and now– such as in our relationships with others, but especially in terms of adaptation to stressful life events, such as traumatic events, experiences of loss and grief, abrupt changes and phases of transition. This so called ‘Perceived Control‘ is a central concept in psychology and is the key to understanding individual differences in post stress outcomes (Frazier, Berman, and Steward, 2001).

The greater sense of perceived present control you have of yourself and of your life, the greater are the chances for moving on and reclaiming your life after hardship and traumatic life events

RESEARCH ON HUMANISTIC PSYCHOLOGY SHOWS

Research shows that the experience of having control of a difficult situation- even if you do not see the solutions adequately yet- is very relevant in adaptation to stress and unforeseen life events. Thus, one can not change what has happened in the past. But one can take responsibility for how to choose meeting the past here and now. And neither can one predict the future, but again take responsibility for attitudes and behaviors that define the here and now.

One can not change what has happened in the past. But one can take responsibility for how to choose to meet the past here and now

THERE IS ONLY TWO THINGS YOU CAN HAVE CONTROL OVER

In therapy we tend to emphasize the fact that there is only two things you can have control over: the first is you, the second is the present. Hence, in dealing with the aftermath of your past and carving out the vision of the future, you can do two things: one, you can choose in the present right here and now how to respond to the past, sort of rewriting it. Secondly, you can in the present invest your energy in developing a sense of preparedness for potential future scenarios rather then trying to control scenarios that have not even taken place yet in the present! In either case, you will have real control not an illusion of it

THE PERCEPTION OF CONTROL

The perception of control leads to the second idea in the humanistic approach, which infers that every individual must take personal responsibility for their actions and equally, lack of actions. Thus, it is not only what we do that is important, but equally what we did not do and failed to do!

In the humanistic approach to psychology, the sense of personal responsibility is considered essential for good mental health

HOW DOES HUMANISTIC THERAPY DIFFERFROM OTHER PSYCHOTHERPY APPROACHES?

Abraham Maslow, an early proponent of humanistic psychology, believed that these ideas were in direct opposition to Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis. One of the most central in Freud’s theories is that human urges and desires are unconscious and hidden, as opposed to humanistic psychology which claims that people are consciously aware of the motivation that drives their behavior. Essentially, psychoanalysis accept that most aspects of life are beyond individual control, while the humanistic approach is based on the belief in free will and thus gives the client a realistic hope for change and therapeutic change.
People are consciously aware of the motivation that drives their behavior

The humanistic approach to psychology has some strengths that makes it a particularly useful approach in today’s world and global reality. This approach emphasizes the idea that everyone can contribute toward and be an active part of improving their own mental and physical health in the way that is most useful to them. In addition to these theories, one takes here into account environmental factors in the design of personal experiences.
The concept that all people should have the same rights to respect and dignity is also useful, in that it encourages racial and ethnic tolerance and enhances the individual’s belief in their own self- worth.

The humanistic approach is based on the belief in free will and thus gives the client a realistic hope for therapeutic change
What is the criticism of humanistic psychology and psychotherapy?

Critics point out that there seem to be few standardized treatment methods within this approach. This effect is largely the result of the meaning ‘free will’ plays in humanistic psychology, making elaborate standardized treatments extremely complicated.

Another problem is that this approach is not seen as an appropriate treatment for people with organic mental disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This prevents it from being considered a universal approach in psychotherapy.
Despite this criticism, the core elements of humanistic psychology have been incorporated into many therapy approaches.

The humanistic approach, with an emphasis on personal and social responsibility and tolerance, makes it a useful starting point for positive personal and social change

Therefore, although it may be inadequate in some respects in regard to psychological theory, it provides some simple and practical tools for self-examination!

WHY CHOOSE EXISTENTIAL- HUMANISTIC THERAPY WITH US

Based on existential-humanistic psychology, we offer an alternative approach to psychological conversations and consultation where there is no need to talk about mental disorders or diagnosis of any kind

What is important is that you, the client, has a genuine desire to do a thorough reflection on a theme that is meaningful and important to you and / or you aim to evolve further achieve self- growth as a person.

Our primary form of therapy is an existential approach to humanistic psychology, but this form of therapy may also involve elements from psychodynamic therapy, interpersonal therapy,cognitive therapy (also called cognitive behavioral therapy) and solution focused therapy.

TRAUMA THERAPY, SYSTEMIC THERAPY AND FAMILY THERAPY

When applicable, we also utilize approaches from trauma therapy, systemic therapy and family therapy.
This therapeutic approach is technical terms also called assimilative eclecticism. It means that each treatment has primarily been adapted to the client’s personality -and personality structure, issues and needs. In simple terms this means that as a psychologist we are working with tools and techniques from several therapeutic directions, to find the one that best suits each client.

Humanistic-existential psychotherapy is a kind of psychotherapy that promotes self-awareness and personal growth

It emphasizes the present reality and your current circumstances and problems without spending time on dwelling on your past.

By analyzing and modifying certain patterns of response we can help our clients to realize their potential. This process can also be done in a group, where several aspects of the problems are revealed through interaction with others.

CLIENT-CENTERED THERAPY, EXISTENTIAL THERAPY, AND GESTALT THERAPY

Types of humanistic-existential psychotherapy is client-centered therapy, existential therapy, and gestalt therapy.

An existential humanistic approach differs from other forms of therapy in that it increasingly emphasizes:

  • Individuals freedom to choose their own destiny, implying that humans are largely controlled by future goals and ideals
  • Meaning and meaning making, where the will to meaning is central – stimulation of meaning and meaning construction is perhaps the most important goal in the existentialist oriented therapy
  • Questions such as ‘what are the «inner processes» behind action or behavior’ is key
  • Present and future oriented (versus rooted in past)
  • ‘Freedom’ is another term that is central. The human being is basically free but it can choose to limit its freedom. Freedom is linked to choice and responsibility. A central task for the client in therapy is to gain insights into the areas he / she has chosen to limit their freedom within
  • The idea is that people can choose non freedom to reduce existential angst. The anxiety comes partly from the responsibility that freedom brings
  • Emphasis is placed on the real relationship that is created in the therapy room, and the new interpersonal experience that this relationship can provide both client and therapist. It is therefore important for the therapist to strive for a comprehensive presence and an authentic encounter with the client
  • Most emphasizes equality between therapist and client
  • Four “ultimate concerns”: freedom, isolation, meaning and
    meaninglessness and death
  • growing awareness of the individuals role in shaping of their own
    lives