Humanistic therapy is a method therapist use to focus on clients' subjective, conscious experiences. Just as behavior therapists, humanistic therapists focus more on what clients are experiencing in the present.
The major form of humanistic therapy is person-centered therapy, which includes specific philosophies, and definite methods and goals.
Jeffrey Nevid, Spencer Rathus, and Beverly Greene in ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY IN A CHANGING WORLD (2006) mention: the philosophies of humanistic therapy are derived from Carl Rogers who believed people have natural motivational tendencies toward growth, health, and fulfillment.
Roger's views follow the thoughts: psychological disorders develop largely from the roadblocks that other people place on their path toward self-actualization. Children begin to disown the criticized parts of themselves - the feelings and beliefs that others have selectively disapproved.
In order to earn social approval, one may don social masks or facades. Interestingly and sadly, one learns to be seen and not heard, and may become deaf to his/her own inner voice. The result of this self-actualization indicate Nevid, Rathus, and Green: one becomes poorly adjusted, unhappy, and confused as to who they are.
The importance of creating a warm therapeutic relationship that encourages the client to engage in self-exploration and self-expression is imperative. Nevid, Rathus, and Green remind: humanistic therapy follows the belief that the therapist should possess four basic qualities: unconditional positive regard, genuineness, empathy, and congruence.
The philosophy of the humanistic therapy is to stress to clients that they have natural motivational tendencies toward growth, health, and fulfillment. Through this strong notion, humanistic therapy helps each client achieve those motivational tendencies.
METHODS AND GOALS
The methods and the goals of humanistic therapy are overlapping concepts. Methods of humanistic therapy include four basic qualities, which the therapist must express: unconditional positive regard, empathy, genuineness, and congruence.
Unconditional positive regard sets the goal for, and provides clients with a sense of security encouraging clients to explore feelings without fear of disapproval. As clients feel accepted or prized, they are encouraged to accept themselves.
Ryerson.ca/`Glassman/humanist.html specifies: Rogers stressed that every human being has intrinsic worth and value because people are basically good and are motivated to pursue goals. Within humanistic therapy, therapist must display this empathy by trying to see the world through the clients' frames of reference.
Therapists' goals and methods within empathy, highlight Nevid, Rathus, and Green, are to listen carefully, refrain from judging, and encourage clients to get in touch with their own feelings. These first two methods and goals of humanistic therapy are crucial to creating the warm therapeutic relationship.
Nevid, Rathus, and Green illustrate: Therapist must also display genuineness by being open about feelings. For example, the methods and goals of genuineness consist of a therapist being honest. If the therapist becomes bored, tired, or negative, he/she should express those feelings to a client.
Therapist should also include congruence. Nevid, Rathus, and Green demonstrate: the methods and goals of congruence are displayed through behavior, thoughts, and feelings which are integrated and consistent. Congruent therapists serve as models of psychological integrity to their clients.
Therefore, the method of the humanistic therapy includes expressions which are crucial for the therapist to develop a deeper, cohesive, client-centered approach.
Humanistic therapy through person-centered therapy seeks to expand clients' self-insight through the major forms, which includes specific philosophies, and explicit methods and goals.
Imperative and crucial for therapist to remember is: the philosophy of humanistic therapy is to stress to clients that they have natural motivational tendencies toward growth, health, and fulfillment. Therapists must help each client achieve those motivational tendencies by helping each patient realize their potential.
ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY IN A CHANGING WORLD (2006), by Jeffrey Nevid, Spencer Rathus, and Beverly Greene
The Humanistic Approach, on http://www.ryerson.ca/~glassman/humanist.html